Renovate for Family Gatherings!

The aim in this renovation was to create an energy efficient home where family gatherings could occur. The existing garage was transformed to a living space. A two story addition made room for a new garage and exercise room, as well as a bedroom and bath, with a sun-room. A local architect, and engineers, were able to work with Synergy to develop the plans for the project. The challenge was draining, which needed drastic improvement. A a new french drainage system was installed on the house perimeter, along with waterproofing to protect the crawlspace and living areas. The roof was patched, and surrounding soils were re-contoured to protect the house while new roof structures were built.  Two catch basins were formed across the front of the house to direct drainage away from the structure. A larger opening was cut for a PVC crawlspace access enabling the installation of a new HVAC system in the crawlspace. Interior framing was corrected, and ceilings would be raised to 10 feet on the first floor, with 9 foot ceilings on the upper level. Threatening trees were removed from the immediate area of the new house. The exterior was completely renovated. Old cultured stone was removed, and a new look was added to the front entry, along with roof areas.  

Exciting New Project! A curved wall…

Synergy Building is very excited by the new challenge we've undertaken.  We cleared a lot and staked out a curved house last month! We’re now at the stage of roof framing.  Both the south and north walls curve to the bend in the creek below.  Staking the house and putting points in the footing were done by the surveyors.  The curve is significant. Yea technology!  It made things so much easier to compute the foundation plan into field instruments and let the survey team get it down.  The foundation contractor did an excellent job and the framer is doing the same.  Everyone is excited.   Even the interior walls paralleling the north and south walls are curved.

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The framers have to cut all the bottom and top plates on the 2x6 exterior curved walls from 2x10’s.  They’re doing it with a circular saw as they would ripping any framing lumber.

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There are structural steel components that are carrying the weight of an elevated walkway as well as a floor system above the carport.  The wall sheathing (7/16” OSB) bends to the curve. framing-walls-7

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Framing of the screened porch began this week, too.

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In short, this is a challenge to build and we all understand it adds approximately 30% to the job costs. Installing drywall, trim, cabinetry, flooring – all have to be thought through due to the special requirements of the curved walls.  This is a dramatic house unlike any we’ve done before and we're looking forward to sharing the process with you.

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Community Home Trust in Orange County

Synergy Building is pleased to be finishing their  third and fourth homes for The Community Home Trust (CHT)--previously known as Orange Community Housing Land Trust (OCHLT.)  CHT is a private, nonprofit developer and steward of affordable housing in Orange County.

Teaming with Synergy, CHT has built  four new "Green" homes in the last two years.  These homes, located in Carrboro meet Energy Star standards and System Vision requirements as verified by Advanced Energy of Raleigh.  The first of these home completed for CHT was featured in Chapel Hill's Green Building Tour in May of 2008.

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These homes include an open floor plan with first floor Master bedroom, two additional bedrooms upstairs and two full baths.

In addition to their spectacular floor plans they feature the following energy efficient items:
  • Advanced Framing techniques ( a collection of techniques to reduce construction waste and the lumber required for wood-framed houses, while increasing energy efficiency and simplifying framing layout)
  • Sealed attic and crawl space
  • High-efficiency HVAC system
  • Cold air ventilation system
  • Spray foam insulation from Allied Spray Foam
  • Energy Star® appliances
  • Low- or no-VOC paints, caulks, & adhesives for good indoor air quality
  • Low-flow plumbing fixtures
  • Low E windows

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