Monday, October 24, 2011


Our passive house windows were shipped from Munster Joinery in Ireland and we expect their arrival to the US by the end of the week.  From there, its Customs, then delivery to Roanoke.  Seems like a big trip for just a house full of windows, eh?  There's actually three homes worth of windows included in this shipment; ours, a passive house in Stuart, and a passive house church in Blacksburg.




[And shipped.]

Sunday, October 16, 2011

blower door test. dirty thieves.

After the first round of blower door tests, our passive house yielded 0.26 air changes per hour (ACH) at 50 pascals (Pa).  What's that mean - well, that means that our house is tight; very little air leakage.  The passive house standard requires 0.6 ACH @ 50 Pa.  With that said, the doors and windows haven't been installed yet but the results shouldn't vary too much following their installation.

[Wesley setting up the blower door for the first test.]

[Jim taping the panel seams and remaining holes.]

[Running the first round of tests.]

With all the good news from the results of the blower door tests, we got some bad news on this past Monday.  I got a call when the roofers showed up to install the shingles and they were short an entire pallet.  After reviewing pictures and speaking with the suppliers, we determined someone stole a whole pallet of shingles.

I met a sheriff's deputy on the mountain that evening and we walked the property to determine what happened.  We discovered the thieves drove into the property, loaded up the shingles then drove away.  Fortunately, rain hadn't washed away the tire tracks so the deputy was able to capture a mold as evidence.

[Setting up the form for the mold.]

[Waiting for the mold to set.]

[And then there was evidence.]

Tire tracks aren't enough to bust a crook, but pictures are.  Our game camera caught the thieves in action.

['68-72 Ford F100 2WD]

[Two white males jacking what doesn't belong to them.]

And we even got the news to cover it!  The hole event was more of a pain in the a$$ than anything.  We've barricaded the property and we've got security fence on its way to help secure the fence for the remainder of the build.  

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

geothermal. power. shingles.

After meeting with Jim on the mountain yesterday afternoon, I learned that there's gonna be some noticeable changes taking place this week.  It sounds like the house is just about ready for permanent electrical service.  They'll be trenching for the conduit to run from the pole to the back of the house with a track hoe at some point this week.  While they have the machine on the site, they'll also be digging for the geothermal install.

[Geothermal grid to be installed in the back yard.]

The shingles were delivered yesterday and we should have a finished roof by the end of the week.

[Tar paper installed and exterior walls sealed.]

[Spaces to be filled with 5 3/4" dense foam nail base.]

Jim and Aaron told me that they're running into a problem with sealing the interior seams.  From what I can make of it, the OSB on the second floor sealing won't "accept" the tape they intended on using.  As a result, Structures had to order new tape from Germany.  Until these seams are taped, air tightness testing is suspended.  They are expecting to complete seam sealing as soon as the tape arrives.

Here's a peek at what its gonna take to seal every seam with the new tape - SIGA Wigluv 100 and Dockskin