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Green Home Under Construction – Advanced Framing Techniques

September 24, 2009 2 comments

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iJzubBfK9FU&hl=en&fs=1&]Today I’m posting about the advanced framing techniques being used by Sovick Design/Builders to construct a new green home available for purchase at 404 Park Street in Old Town Fort Collins.  These green building methods will minimize the use of dimensional lumber during construction, maximize insulation in exterior walls and reduce thermal bridging as compared to conventional framing techniques.  The benefits for the future owner are improved energy efficiency and comfort year round, and knowledge that their home was built in a manner more mindful of the natural environment.

If you haven’t done so already, check out the rest of the series documenting the construction of this green home and learn from the very experienced builder doing the work.  Now, let’s take a virtual tour with that builder, Dennis Sovick, via the YouTube video above to learn about a number of advanced framing techniques.   Or check out the stills and descriptions below.  Or both!

2 x 6 Studs
This image shows 2×6 studs spaced every 24 inches. The standard is 2×4 studs spaced every 16 inches.  The larger studs allow for a greater depth of insulation (R-20 or more compared to R-13) and wider spacing means fewer studs and less thermal bridging to the exterior.

Insulated Header
Many engineers and/or framers spec/use two 2×12’s for headers to be sure they are “covered” no matter what the load.  Sovick Design/Builders size their headers for the specific sized openings as shown in the above picture and incorporate rigid insulation into the header to break the thermal bridge created by the header.

Insulation Corner
This photo shows a special exterior wall construction detail that allows the corner itself to be insulated.

No Cripples
Standard practice is to add single studs under each end of the window sill.  These are known as “cripples”. They serve no purpose. In the image above, they are eliminated and only the studs on planned spacing are included. By eliminating the cripples, insulation space is increased and thermal bridging is reduced.

Interior and Exterior Wall Connections
With advanced framing, interior walls are attached to exterior walls with a ladder frame constructed from scrap lumber. Framers typically use three full studs for this purpose. Another benefit is that insulation can be positioned between the ladder framing and exterior surface of the wall, breaking a very large thermal bridge.

Engineered I-Joist
All floor joists are engineered I-joists made from waste wood materials. In addition to being a greener material, these joists are stronger and straighter than dimensional lumber.

By now, you should be getting a sense that this unique green home will have very solid “bones” and an energy-efficient “shell”.  If you are interested in owning a home such as this in the future  get in touch with The Green Team Real Estate. We are the Northern Colorado go-to company for more sustainable homes and we are best prepared to get you connected with  a builder, or help you find an existing home that will meet your needs.

Green Home Under Construction – Insulating Concrete Forms Foundation

September 20, 2009 1 comment

Insulated Concrete Form (ICF) FoundationI recently had an opportunity to shadow the Sovick Design/Builders team as they constructed the foundation for the home at 404 Park Street using Insulating Concrete Forms (ICF’s).  This picture shows the ICF’s ready for concrete to be poured. 

For contractors, ICF’s can be a cost-effective alternative to typical cast-in-place concrete foundation walls or walls constructed of concrete masonry block.  The foam-walled forms that ultimately define the concrete’s shape stay in place after construction, providing insulation and eliminating a significant investment in reusable wood and metal forms.  They are easy to build.  Their insulating value allows concrete to be poured in colder weather without the use of special insulating blankets and the like.  And most are ready for interior finishing.  All of these contractor benefits help keep the cost differential between ICF and conventional foundations to a minimum, particularly when a finished basement that will be partially above grade is desired, as is the case at 404 Park Street.

And here’s the important part from the perspective of the future homeowner – an ICF foundation basement is quiet, solid and more energy efficient than a conventionally constructed basement.

So check out the video below to see the concrete foundation being poured and learn a little bit more about the forms themselves from Dennis Sovick.  And if you want even more information about ICF’s, go to the Insulating Concrete Forms Assocation website.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p44eLwvWh9U]

Up next…a site visit to learn from Dennis about Advanced Framing Techniques.

Green Home Under Construction – Intro

September 18, 2009 Leave a comment

sherwood houseWelcome to an opportunity to observe the construction of a unique and highly energy efficient, eco-friendly home at 404 Park Street in Old Town Fort Collins.  Grab our feed or subscribe by email to follow along in the weeks ahead as we post on what goes into creating a green home like this and what sets it apart from standard new homes. 

The Green Team Real Estate is pleased to be listing this home for local green building specialists Sovick Design/Builders.  Dennis Sovick started designing and building green homes in the 1980’s – long before doing so became a trend.  His wealth of knowledge on the topic of green building allows him to create properties that take advantage of active and passive solar, conserve energy and water, minimize resource consumption, and create healthier homes.  We’ll be delving into all of these topics as construction progresses.

This infill project got underway in early September 2009 and is scheduled to be completed in February 2010.  Dennis and his team are using a tested plan, one they recently built several blocks away.  That home is pictured above.  You can take the video tour below to hear Dennis talk about the site and plans for the home, and follow us on a bike ride through the nearby neighborhood.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GJaibgk15L4]

 

Click here to see the floorplan and other details of the Park Street home.  Finishes and colors will be up to the future owner.  So follow along to get ideas for your future dream green home, and contact us if you think this one might be it!