Saturday, April 7, 2012

From the dirt, a house begins to emerge

Foundation poured and backfilled.
Apropos of Spring, Our Connecticut Passive House has sprouted up from the ground like the crocuses and daffodils. After seeing our house for so long on paper and in my imagination, it's amazing to see it physically begin to take shape.

Cement footings, then thick cement walls for the basement and the base of the garage were poured last month, thanks to the mild winter. The first floor/basement ceiling has been constructed as well as part of the first floor exterior walls.
South/east corner.  Large windows let light and heat in
 the lower level.
So far, it looks like construction you'd see on a typical house.  There are a few differences, however.  A lot of attention is being paid to air tightness as the frame is constructed.  Gaps between consecutive sill plates are sealed.  There's a layer of rubber weatherstripping between the foundation and the sill plate.  Joints on the exterior walls are sealed with tape.  A lot of attention is also paid to reducing thermal bridging.  Instead of joists 16" apart ours are 24" apart.  The frame of the house will be constructed with double stud walls.  You can see the exterior stud wall in this picture.  Inside the exterior studs will be 5" of rigid foam insulation creating a continuous area of insulation.  Inside the rigid foam insulation will the be interior stud wall.  Both the interior and exterior stud walls will be insulated with cellulose between the studs. In the basement, a layer of rigid foam insulation will sit inside the foundation walls and underneath the concrete basement floor.

A huge ammount of planning and design has gone into this project and it is so exciting to see it all comming to fruition.  I guess I need to rename "our patch of dirt".  Now it's "our big green box".

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