Friday, January 27, 2012

Recent Projects

Here are some projects from the last few Months. What an exciting time! New jobs and some stirring in the economy.
                                      2- story Garage-

Remove old garage.(all wood, shingles, cement, everything, taken to American Waste's Sorting/Recycling facility in Kalkaska, MI.)

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

FreeForm Building

Very interesting talk given by Huntsville,TX builder and philosopher Dan Phillips about the state of home construction and our needs to consume. Also another link here for expanded article on his work.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Tax Incentives for Home Energy Efficiency Reduced

There have been major changes to the Energy tax credits that I have used as a homeowner and enjoyed as a Builder. Sadly, what was a win/win/... for homeowners, builders, lumberyards and manufacturers has been whittled down but there are still some. The changes are explained well @Thedailygreen-Tax Incentives for Home Energy Efficiency Reduced. Here also is a link to Energy Star that also shows what home improvements qualify and for how much.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Container Mania

I've been getting quite interested in Shipping Containers or ISBU's as building blocks for construction. This is not a new idea but it ties neatly to my interest in modular construction, redux and recycling. The folks at MoonDog Vineyards have brought their ideas for a possible expansion of the Barn and I have to credit them for the new excitement and interest this has generated in me.
This is an interesting video and interview with Adam Kalkin, Architect Extraordinaire that briefly talks about containers.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Solatube Product Training

Last Friday, I attended the first seminar in a series that Eco-building Products are offering to builders here in Northern Michigan. EBP is undoubtably Northern Michigan's finest resource for Green products. This was part of their Back2Basics pro series, a series intended to inform Green builders of the latest green techniques and green products they carry.
Friday's was given by Tim Cofran, Midwest Sales Representative for Solatube International. The product training focused on the installation, the benefits of daylighting in our homes and the strength of the Solatube product line. The Solatube eChoice daylighting systems qualify for 30% Tax Credits. I've seen other manufacturers of these through-the-roof tubular devices at some of the "Big-Box"stores but these Solatube systems appear highly superior in tube reflect-ability, flashing system, dome technology and simplicity of installation.
The benefits of daylighting are huge-

  • Turn those dark areas of your home such as walk-in closets, baths with no windows and stairwells into well-lit rooms.
  • Bring more light into areas that don't have enough windows or have too much shade.
  • Lights don't have to be turned on during the day.

    Thursday, March 4, 2010

    Green Expo365 part II

    I wasn't able to attend Day 3 of the virtual tradeshow, Green Expo 365 that I mentioned in the preceding entry. I wish I could attend these educational events because I am a firm believer in "continuing education", but sometimes a builder has got to build. (and try to make a living in this economy)
    Another nice thing about the event is the ability to watch the presentations archived or "On Demand". Once you click on the link above and register you can watch all five of these stellar presentations.
    I'd like to highlight two of the speakers and their presentations.
    Quoting from Green Builder magazine "Ron Jones is Founder and Editorial Director of Green Builder® Media." Green Builder® media was the organizer and one of the sponsors of GreenExpo 365. He is a green builder and has been instrumental in forming green standards throughout the country. Mr. Jones gave the first presentation on Monday. It really was the Keynote Address of the conference. It was in video form and was the perfect way to start this ground-breaking event. It was extremely inspirational as he spoke from the "ReVision" house, a Green net-zero retrofit in Las Vegas. It really is must-see video for both current or aspiring green builders and homeowners.
    Another presenter that really caught my attention was the architect, Peter Pfeiffer FAIA. Mr Pfeiffer (quoting Green Expo 365) "is a LEED accredited professional Architect and Building Scientist who has spent the past 30 years developing pragmatic high performance building design strategies." His slide presentation was centered on the thought that we as architects, builders and consumers get consumed with "eco-bling". We're turned on by solar and wind turbines but don't find spray foam or 3' overhangs "sexy". Design is key- No part of the building should be an after-thought....meaning:

    • Proper orientation-take advantage of passive solar
    • Properly placed windows-for ventilation and daylighting
    • Good, tight insulation, moisture/air-sealing
    • Correct overhangs and awnings-
    • IAQ-Indoor Air Quality
    • HVAC done right-proper sizing and placement
    • Energy and water efficiency
      He felt that once these are taken care of, then, we can consider the use of Eco-bling. Once we've done the bulleted items, we are moving to a greener, more sustainable future.