Sunday, July 17, 2011

Some Assembly Required

Some Assembly Required

This past week was extremely busy for us. Coordinating our final site prep, installing barbed wire fencing to keep the cows out of the drain field and foundation (good thing I got a Tetanus shot when I cracked open my head)g, moving uprooted plants to new locations, moving heavy rocks from point a to point b, shoveling wood mulch, over-seeing well digging, termite control and temporary electric, obtaining a builder’s risk insurance policy, finalizing our plumbing fixture selection, meeting with Sundance to finalize our radiant floor heating design, commuting back and forth (about twenty hours) and oh yea, all this while avoiding bear attacks. I’m sure glad we get to relax this weekend. I’m doing 4 illustrations (paying work) and writing blogs while Edrianna soaks and launders our clay stained clothes, researches info about picnic tables made of recycled materials, sorts through all the photos she took this week and blogs. I guess wet can rest in about 10 years when everything is complete.

Somewhere in this blur we went to Deltec to make our final payment for our house package and to see how the house is being built in their factory. Writing a large check is not very exciting, however seeing the construction progress is. Kerry, our project manager gave us an excellent tour of the process. She rarely gets to meet with here clients because Deltec homes are built throughout the world and projects are handled by phone and email. The factory is run very efficient using assembly line manufacturing techniques. I mentioned back in March that this company is very “green”. The plant is completely lighted by solar and they are very diligent about using building materials wisely and recycle many items.

There are major advantages to having your home built in an enclosed facility.
  1. All materials are protected from the weather and there are no weather delays.
  2. Assembly line techniques incorporate jigs, fixtures and man power that assure consistency, uniformity and speed.
  3. The workers are in a safer controlled environment.
Here is our home all in this tight package. Just add water. Just kidding! All the component parts for the house are marked with our name so they are not confused with the other projects being built at the same time.

This is the pine tongue and groove ceiling wood that Edrianna and I will install after the house shell is constructed. We are doing all the finished carpentry and cabinets ourselves. The wood is precut in the factory and stained...nice!

Here's Kerry (doing a Vana)
I'll buy a "G" for GREEN!

This is the first stage on the assembly line where the walls are constructed. I told you are house will be "Green". Actually the green color is a special coating we are putting on all the structual wood that prevents mold and resists termites. This coating is environmentally safe and adds to the long term infrastrucure.

Each 8'x9' panel is constructed using 2x6's which add more structure to the house and more depth for extra
insulation. When ever possible the studs are spaced 24" apart using less wood than standard 16" spacing. This still provides support, however leaves room for even more insulation. Wood has less insulating ability than insulation materials. By the way the lumber is sustainably harvested.

The exterior plywood is applied next and any rough openings are cut out. Nearly all scrap wood is reused in the factory or recycled . Much of the wood scrap material is donated to Nicaragua and used for building projects.

Here is Kerry showing us some of the windows. Edrianna will tell you about the windows.
Deltec uses Integrity windows from Marvin, and specifically the Wood-Ultrex series.
Two things make these windows really effecient, actually they exceed the Energy Star rating, the frame construction and the glass. The frames don't expand and contract like wood, aluminum, vinyl or vinyl composites and they are extremely strong and durable. The glass is made by Cardinal Corporation - - and comes in a variety of types. Integrity utilizes two types - LoE2 272 and LoE 180. The LoE2 272 (pronounced LoE squared 272) is dbl pane glass with Argon gas between the panes. It is used every where except on the south windows because it blocks virtually all heat or cold as well as uv rays that would normally pass through the glass. The LoE 180 are also dbl pane with Argon gas but also have a special glazing that blocks the sun's heat in the summer but allows it to pass through the glass in the winter - to warm the house, but the uv rays are blocked. Isn't that so cool? 
The windows are our first line of defense because that is where the majority of energy is lost in a home.

All the siding material is called Hardie Plank.  It is made from fiber cement and lasts longer than wood or vinyl. This strong and durable material is non-toxic and sustainable. The factory is also pre-painting all the exterior siding and trim on all sides of the boards with 2 coats of paint. This is referred to as Delkote Factory Finishing. This is more protective and saves money by having it painted now instead of after the house is erected. The Delkote finishes are all very low VOCs (volitile organic compounds) and it should last us about 25 years.

James is working hard installing the siding and window trim. Working flat makes the job more precise.

Stacking the finished panels

There is extra foam insulation placed under the siding which will add more heat and cold protection. We are having the finished house Energy Star Certified and I will give you more info on this proceedure later. You might notice a "B" on this panel. We have 15 in total and each are marked alphabetically so that they can keep track of them while they are constructed. 

Exrta foam is shredded and reused in the wall headers as additional insulation (it is an option). What can't be used is recycled with some of it being sent to local artists to be used as packing material for their artwork.

This area is where the roof and floor trusses are assembled. As the house is constructed we will share more photos to show you how these components work together to support the house.

The wood for the trusses are held together with these nailing plates pressed into place by a compression machine.

The floor trusses ready for shipping.

Edrianna (doing her best Vana) presenting the steel ring colar system that supports the roof trusses. You will see how this works when the shell is constructed.

We feel really good that we are using a local North Carolina company and most of their suppliers are local as well.

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