Solar Ready!

Photo Credit: U.S. Dept. of Energy
As the final pieces  of our “net zero” home come together it becomes more and more apparent that this house is ready for solar panels!!  Looking at the pitch of the roof you can see that solar panels will be a great addition.  The passive solar design of the home will take advantage of the climate to maximize solar exposure and di ... Read full post »

Advanced Framing & Home Slicker

The “net-zero” home in Durham that we have been working on is not only trying to reduce their expenditures later by utilizing energy saving construction but they are also saving money during the framing process by using advanced framing techniques.   Advanced framing techniques (also called Optimum Value Engineering) start with a well thought out framing  design that considers common lumber and sheet sizes. This reduces waste, mi ... Read full post »

Radiant Floor Heat

One of the most cost effective ways to install a radiant heating system is to embed the tubing in a concrete slab. Here you can see the hydronic lines over the insulation boards. After the lines were placed it was time to pour the concrete. The concrete will be smoothed and prepared for a polished finish.  A polished concrete floor is a gorgeous alternative to other floor coverings allowing our homeowner to make the most of their r ... Read full post »

The foundation has begun!

In addition to the work on the geothermal heat pump we have been getting started  on the foundation of our net-zero project in Durham.  The foundation for this project has included a combination of 10″ poured concrete walls (where significant retainage is needed)  and standard concrete block where the grade is less severe. The penetrations in the poured concrete wall show the large opening where our mechanicals,  (electric, plumb ... Read full post »

Geothermal Heat Pump installation

An exciting and energy/cost saving feature of our future “net-zero” project in Durham is the geothermal heat pump. Geothermal heat pumps are able to heat, cool, and, if so equipped, supply homes and buildings with hot water. A geothermal heat pump system consists of a heat pump, an air delivery system (ductwork), and a heat exchanger—a system of pipes buried in shallow ground. In the winter, the heat pump removes heat from the hea ... Read full post »