Thursday, June 19, 2008

Night Moves

My building permit was approved yesterday!  What better way to celebrate than to hike up Looking Glass Rock in the middle of the night with some good buddies.

Look closely, you can see the full moon at the top of the photo!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

This is Where I Live

After all that hard work on Saturday, we camped at Wilson Creek and spent sunday riding our bikes, swimming, laughing, hiking.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Beautiful Day for a Chainsaw

The plans have been submitted to the City of Asheville for permits.  They said I should hear from them in 7-10 days.  In the mean time, Matt, Beth, and I cleaned up the lot a bit this morning.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Passive House

My house is designed to be a passive house. Hopefully certified by the Passive House Institute. (the first certified house in NC!).

What is a passive house you may ask?

A Passive House is a very well-insulated, virtually air-tight building that is primarily heated by passive solar gain and by internal gains from people, electrical equipment, etc. Energy losses are minimized. Any remaining heat demand is provided by an extremely small source. Avoidance of heat gain through shading and window orientation also helps to limit any cooling load, which is similarly minimized. An energy recovery ventilator provides a constant, balanced fresh air supply. The result is an impressive system that not only saves up to 90% of space heating costs, but also provides a uniquely terrific indoor air quality.

To achieve the required level of insulation, the walls tend to be very thick (12").

The main performance requirements are as follows:

  1. Airtight building shell ≤ 0.6 ACH @ 50 pascal pressure, measured by blower-door test.

  2. Annual heat requirement ≤ 15 kWh/m2/year

  3. Primary Energy ≤ 120 kWh/m2/year

    The initial construction cost tends to be a little higher than conventional construction, but the energy savings should pay for this and then some.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Universe, you've done it again!

So I've had a sneaking suspicion that the Universe has been conspiring to make this project come together in an amazing way.  From Aaron and Calder, the architects, Ken Huck, energy consultant, Dev, Kathy, Kay, and Denise at City Real Estate, to all my friends and family who have offered to help.

Well, this suspicion has been confirmed.  I rode my bike home from work yesterday to find the mirror smashed on my car.  Not only did the guy leave his business card and offer to pay for the damage, but he is a contractor specializing in framing and trim work.  Based on his honesty alone, I hope to hire him to do some work.

Friday, June 6, 2008

The Truck Have Started to Move

I picked up the plans today.  They are amazing!  I need to finish up the structural drawings this weekend, and I'll submit them for permit on Monday.  Luckily, Aaron and Calder are Registered Architects, and I'm a Registered Engineer.  This makes the permit process much easier.

Also, I closed on the construction loan yesterday.  I have an excavator lined up, so as soon as the permit comes through, full speed ahead.

Some of my dorkier friends will know where the title from this post comes from.  The first one to name it gets two free tickets to paradise.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Trees are made of wood

So I had to have a tree removed from the lot.  It wasn't in the greatest of shape, and was in the way.  Jeremy from arboressence tree care came by to take it down.  Pretty interesting stuff.  I went by to see the progress, and got to run through a bunch of poison ivy to help pull the rope guiding a large section of the top of the tree that was about to snap.

Here's Matt keeping the street clean and the cars safe

And Jeremy 40 feet up with a chainsaw

They did a great job, and now I have tons of firewood.  

Monday, June 2, 2008

The Plans

So I met Aaron and Calder Wilson (of Studio Dionisi) one night at the Rocket Club, and had a brief chat about a house I wanted to build.  Them being architects and me being a structural engineer, we had plenty to talk about.

Once I sealed the deal on the land, the three of us had lunch.  Aaron and Calder were really excited about the prospect of a small house, these things just don't get built or designed all that often. About four days later, they sent me floor plans and renderings.  I was wowed!