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update and wiring, plumbing and stairs photos

Aug. 23rd, 2007 | 03:09 pm

For about a month nothing at all was going on at the house but the wiring and plumbing. The guy that manages the project had fallen, hurt himself, not gotten it taken care of and ending up with a nasty staff infection that required surgery. *shaking head* Then we found out after that he is no long with the company. We don't really know what happened there.

Anyway since they started working again the pace has picked up considerably and it is really coming together now. They even say they think it may be done by mid-September. I guess we will see...

So far though they have gotten the siding done and insulated the inside of the house. I can't believe they used so much insulation on the inside. I'm used to my little 1940's house that has ZERO insulation. The house should be really quiet and very energy efficient!! Yay!

Get ready for a bunch of photo posts!Read more...Collapse )

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Article- Homebuilding Association Pushes Members to Go Green

Aug. 3rd, 2007 | 10:17 pm

Homebuilding association pushes members to go ‘green’

By Dennis Quick
Senior Staff Writer

It used to be the public perception of an energy-efficient, environmentally friendly, ecologically safe home was of an expensive, secluded, 1970s back-to-nature aesthetic monstrosity equipped with huge solar panels and windmills, a structure that hardly looked like a traditional house.

So noted Phillip Ford, executive vice president of the Charleston Trident Home Builders Association, which includes 645 homebuilders and subcontractors.

However, that perception is changing as durable, healthful homes made with environmentally sound building materials are increasingly entering the mainstream. Technology has advanced to the point where such “green” homes are more affordable to build and more pleasing to the eye, Ford said.

Green homebuilding is steadily becoming a nationwide trend. In June, the Washington, D.C.-based National Association of Home Builders, which promotes green homebuilding, reported that since the mid-1990s more than 97,000 green homes have been built in the United States, up from 61,000 reported in 2004.

With green, also known as “sustainable,” homebuilding gaining a stronger foothold in the country thanks largely to rising energy costs, the time is right for members of the Charleston Trident Home Builders Association to add green homes to their homebuilding repertoire, Ford said.

The association is encouraging its members to participate in the EarthCraft House program.

Managed by the Atlanta-based Southface Energy Institute, EarthCraft House is a blueprint for healthy, comfortable homes that reduce utility bills and protect the environment.

Participation in the EarthCraft House program is voluntary. Builders enroll in an intensive day-long course taught by EarthCraft instructors and learn about building materials and techniques used to create an EarthCraft-certified home. The course costs $300. Ford is arranging to have a course taught in the Charleston area in August.

Homes must be tested and inspected before receiving EarthCraft certification.

More than 300 EarthCraft homes have been built or are under construction in the tri-county area. Home Builders Association members building EarthCraft-certified homes include Brentwood Homes Inc., Bridgetown Construction Co., Passailaigue Homes Inc., Sabal Homes LLC, Simonini Builders of South Carolina, Structures Building Co. and the Verdi Group LLC.

About 400 EarthCraft homes will be built in the Lowcountry by the end of this year, Ford said.

All of the nearly 380 homes that will be built in North Charleston’s Oak Terrace Preserve, which the sustainability-minded Noisette Co. is developing, will be EarthCraft-certified.

Among the elements of an EarthCraft house are the use of recycled and natural-content building materials; minimal construction waste; durability; quality insulation, air-sealing measures, and heating and cooling equipment; energy-efficient lighting and appliances, such as the Energy Star product line; high indoor air quality; a site plan designed to control erosion and preserve trees; and low-flush toilets, low-flow showerheads and other indoor water-conserving features.

EarthCraft homes tend to cost anywhere from 1% to 10% more than traditional homes.

However, the lower utility and maintenance costs offset the home’s higher price, Ford said.

Builders benefit from the EarthCraft program because the homes reduce the amount of repair work, which cuts into a builder’s profits. Also, the energy efficiency and low maintenance built into the home justifies the home’s higher cost, which increases the builder’s profits. EarthCraft builders also have access to energy mortgage programs they can sell to potential buyers; the programs can reduce a buyers mortgage payments, increase the loan amount they qualify for or even eliminate the down payment, according to a Southface statement.

As homebuyers become more energy- and environmentally-conscious, builders who build green homes in addition to traditional homes most likely will have an edge on their traditionalist competitors, Ford said.

Building green homes is not only smart business, it is “the right thing to do,” Ford added.

“We’re doing something good for the environment,” Ford said.

Dennis Quick is senior staff writer for the Business Journal. E-mail him at dquick@charlestonbusiness.com.

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porch photos

Jun. 30th, 2007 | 01:57 pm

Working on the porches Read more...Collapse )

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Inside photos 1st and 2nd floor

Jun. 30th, 2007 | 01:44 pm

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2nd floor, roof (very heavy with photos)

Jun. 12th, 2007 | 02:21 pm

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More to see under the cut Read more...Collapse )

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coming right along

Jun. 1st, 2007 | 11:41 pm

I went over to the house today before and after work. Josh from Verdi was there both times. We talked about what Brentwood is doing with those raised slab houses. It's ridiculous, in my opinion. This company builds a foundation with cement block, fills the thing in with dirt, lays a slab on top of that and then builds the house on the slab. Why not just use a crawlspace! Funny thing is, he said that the guy over there priced out all the dirt it would take and it came out cheaper to do it that way. Turns out, the estimate they got was low and are ending up paying more that if they just went with a crawlspace.
Speaking of crawlspaces.... Ours builder uses sealed crawlspaces. Right now, the interior of the foundation walls are lined with insulation that is sealed to the walls. They are going to put down a moisture barrier and complete the seal on the crawlspace. It'll reduce our energy use by keeping the air in the crawlspace cool and dry. There is also metal flashing between the top of the crawlspace and bottom of the house. Apparently, this is an old- fashioned termite barrier. The big builders no longer do this, I guess trying to squeeze out every cent of margin they possibly can.
They have completed the framing on the interior of the first floor and the floor system for the second. Tomorrow the plan is to get up the second floor exterior walls(SIPS panels), get the stairs up and frame the second floor interior walls. Hopefully the rain will hold off enough to get most/all of that done. Monday they want to get the roofs(thicker SIPS panels) on our's and the house next door(Verdi is building both of them). That'll be pretty cool.
They can then get the doors and windows in, wrap the house and it'll be sealed off from the weather. Josh said he goes through the house himself once all the walls are in and seals all the joints to make the house as airtight as they come. The last one they completed in our neighborhood("the green house") tested off the charts when Earthcraft was certifying it.

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The walls go up.

May. 30th, 2007 | 08:30 am

From the front
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Side looking at kitchen. See the sip panels. They cut them and then piece them together.
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The back doors.Read more...Collapse )

Looking through the front door at the kitchen.Read more...Collapse )

Later in the day the workman had gone home and we climbed up in the house. This is looking towards the back wall (the living room).Read more...Collapse )

Back door and kitchen area.Read more...Collapse )

The kitchen.Read more...Collapse )

For some reason we didn't think to take a photo of the forth outside wall where the stairs will be. I'll have to do that today.
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Green council in SC

May. 30th, 2007 | 07:35 am

Green council sets up Lowcountry chapter

By Lindsay Street , Staff Writer

South Carolina’s green industry is exploding, said Brad DeVos, an engineer with DWG Inc.

South Carolina is a small state, yet it has 270 Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certified professionals in the state, said DeVos, who is setting up a Lowcountry chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council.

LEED is a program supervising and certifying green construction, and it accredits professionals with the tools needed to construct LEED projects.

The council was originally designed to be a nationwide organization. However, as interest grew in green building, state chapters began to develop. South Carolina’s chapter meets in Columbia. But that is just too far away for many of the LEED professionals and green-oriented builders of the Lowcountry to use as a resource, DeVos said.

The council has more than 70 chapters across the nation with close to 9,000 member companies and organizations.

Urban and suburban sprawl is becoming less of a trend and that is one of the reasons people have become more interested in building green, DeVos said. Building green refers to using sustainable materials, materials that are manufactured or produced within 350 miles of the project and practices, such as New Urbanism, that decrease reliance on vehicular transportation.

Living close to a downtown area and living in apartments is becoming the new trend, DeVos said.

“People are starting to realize it’s not just for people who are really, really energy conscious or liberal,” DeVos said. It has become a holistic approach to working with the environment. “People are coming out of the woodwork.”

In 2005, green building products in the United States became a $7 billion industry. The industry is expected to grow to over $12 billion in 2007, according to a U.S. Green Council report.

The local chapter follows in the wake of the Sustainability Institute, which started giving workshops in 2003 and serves as a green building education tool for the community.

Bryan Cordell, executive director for the institute, serves on the local chapter’s steering committee as educator. Since 2003, the institute has helped more than 950 participants go green and save $188,840 in energy costs, Cordell said.

The local council chapter is in the first phase of its three-phase plan. In this first phase, DeVos and others will develop a strong steering committee to help develop the focus of the council.

Next, the council will garner community interest and support. Thirdly, the council will begin to hold meetings and work out its future mission. DeVos expects the council to begin meeting in July or August.

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upstairs hallway

May. 25th, 2007 | 11:41 pm

Love it!

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Hey wait a minute, so where are you going to eat?

May. 25th, 2007 | 11:31 pm

If you have paid close attention you will notice that the dining room is now the music room and the kitchen has no space for a table. We like to eat at the table so where to put it??

We really want to put the table out on the screen porch. We think it would be fun to sit out there and eat breakfast and dinner. We have a round white table that would be a perfect fit. If it turns out that we don't like it we can always take over the music room and make it a dining room or glass in the screen porch.

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