Kamp Kaolin – Advanced Framing

In advanced framing, we bridge the corners with ladder blocking instead of the 3-stud corners used in conventional framing. This technique not only uses less wood, but also allows you to get insulation into the corners. advanced framingadvanced framing The studs are spaced 24 inches on center with single top plates and the roof trusses are “stacked,” meaning there is vertical alignment, to create a direct load path. advanced framingadvanced framing Advanced framing maximizes the wall cavity space where dense packed cellulose insulation will be blown in, reduces thermal bridging and creates a tighter building envelope.

Kamp Kaolin Blower Door Test #1

Today was the initial blower door test at the Kamp Kaolin site.  With all the passive house building methods used at Kamp Kaolin, we were very excited and confident going into the test. blower door test, passive house In the above picture is David Berg (right) of DSB Energy Services and Hugh Lofting (left) are installing the frame of the blower test in a window because the door openings were too large for the frame. IMG_3968 IMG_3963 blower door test, passive house   Kamp Kaolin came in at 0.88 air changes per hour (ACH) at 50 Pascal, which is very good!  After the dense packed cellulose and dry wall are installed this number should go down.  The passive house standard is 0.6 ACH at 50 Pascal.  Even though the Kamp Kaolin project is not going for certification, we are striving to hit all the passive house standard milestones. IMG_3975

Kamp Kaolin – Foundation & Air Barrier

In line with passive house building principles, the airtight building envelope begins at the foundation and is continued throughout the entire construction process and the entire house. passive house, airtight building envelope, air barrier, foundation The under-slab vapor barrier, the yellow wrap, is placed on top of 2” of EPS insulation and then is covered by an additional 2” of insulation. Basically, the vapor barrier is sandwiched between 4” of EPS insulation.  All of the seams are taped to insure an airtight barrier. passive house, air barrier, moisture barrier, vapor barrier, insulated foundationradiant heating, radiant flooring, PEX tubing, insulated foundation, vapor barrier, air barrier, moisture barrier, rigid insulation Rebar is then installed in a checkerboard pattern to reinforce the concrete, prevent cracking, and provide structure for the PEX tubing to be attached to. Finally, the concrete is poured. radiant heating, radiant flooring, PEX tubing, insulated foundation, vapor barrier, air barrier, moisture barrier, rigid insulationradiant heating, radiant flooring, PEX tubing, insulated foundation, vapor barrier, air barried, moisture barrier, rigid insulationradiant heating, radiant flooring, PEX tubing, insulated foundation, vapor barrier, air barried, moisture barrier, rigid insulation The yellow vapor barrier will be taped up the side of the house, on top of the wall vapor barrier, on this project, the Zip System, to continue the building envelope. air barrier, vapor barrier, passive house, building envelope, air barrier, vapor barrier, passive house, building envelope, airtight building envelope air barrier, vapor barrier, passive house, building envelope, airtight building envelope The next post will discuss our advanced framing building techniques.

Kamp Kaolin

Scheduled for completion in November 2014, Kamp Kaolin is a high-performance 2,700-square-foot private home on a secluded site in Chester County, PA.  HJLCMS collaborated with the homeowners and architect Townsend Moore of Tick Hill Studios. Design and construction for the project are based on passive house principles and building science. photo 2 Building science focuses on the analysis and control of building materials and building envelope systems.  In this case, building science is informing a passive design.  Passive houses generally achieve energy savings of 60-70 percent through super-insulation and airtight building envelopes, highly efficient HVAC systems or energy recovery ventilation, high-performance windows, and moisture control.  Kamp Kaolin incorporates air and moisture barrier zip systems and super insulation as well as a closed-loop pond geothermal system for extremely efficient heating and cooling.  The 2,700-square-foot house also features aging-in-place amenities (roll-in showers, single-floor living), advanced home automation systems (systems and lighting controlled via smart phones and tablets), the warm beauty of timber framing, and integration of indoors and outdoors through an open floor plan with few interior walls, an expanse of windows on the rear of the house that provide pond views, dual rear porches – one open and one screened – and natural, limited-maintenance landscaping. photo 5(2)

The Hansen House Part 10: The Exterior

After the tar paper was installed on the exterior of the Hansen House, the next step was to install the venting network for the siding.  Venting behind siding is necessary to prevent the major problems that could arise from trapped moisture. Hansen Progress_01-18-13 014 The venting material is cor-a-vent sturdi-strip which runs vertically and cor-a-vent SV-3 which runs horizontally along the exterior of the walls.  The sturdi-strips and SV-3 are crush resistant extruded polypropylene core with fluted airways that provide maximum airflow.  The SV-3 has an enhanced insect screen to prevent insects from getting in behind the siding. Hansen Progress_01-18-13 006 Hansen Progress_01-29-13 002 The siding is the HZ5 product line of HardiPlank.  The HZ5 products are a special substrate composition designed to perform in climates with freezing temperatures, seasonal temperature variations, snow and ice. Hansen Progress_01-18-13 006 Hansen Progress_01-18-13 002 Timber bark is the color of the siding with arctic white trim and soffits. Hansen Progress_01-29-13 022 Hansen Progress_04-03-13 004 The Hansen House has 3 variations to the exterior which give it a unique look.  As you approach the house you encounter the stone wall which is a continuation of the original and existing architecture of the farm. Hansen Progress_04-03-13 002 When you walk around the to the front the stone fades away to classic siding. Hansen Progress_04-03-13 002 Hansen Progress_04-03-13 004 This continues along to the side porch. IMG_8087 Once you get to the back and side of the garage, the siding makes the final transformation into vertical board and batten. Hansen Progress_01-29-13 009 Hansen Progress_02-05-13 002 Hansen Progress_02-05-13 003 The soffit and trim are HZ5 product line in arctic white. Hansen Progress_01-29-13 004 Hansen Progress_01-29-13 007 Hansen Progress_01-18-13 017 Hansen Progress_01-29-13 005 The cupola, where the whole-house fan will be installed to exhaust hot air from the house and for air circulation, has the same siding, soffit and trim as the rest of the house. Hansen Progress_01-29-13 010 Hansen Progress_01-29-13 017 The main roof of the Hansen House is shingled while the porches and overhangs have standing seam metal roofs. IMG_8085 Hansen Progress_01-29-13 003 Hansen Progress_04-03-13 004

The Hansen House Part 9: Insulation & Interior Systems

White PVC pipes run under the slab where the domestic hot and cold running water tubes are housed and run.  These plumbing tubes are part of the Hansen House’s wet wall, a structural wall designed to house plumbing pipes for fixtures like sinks, dishwashers, washing machines and toilets. Hansen_10-08-12_001 Hansen_12-14-12 063 The tubes are connected into the manifold and then distributed throughout the house to the designated fixture.  Consolidating plumbing in a single wall increases efficiency as well as cutting down on building costs. Hansen_12-14-12 024 Hansen_12-14-12 062 The black PEX tubes are for the radiant floor heat which also run to the manifold where the water will be heated by an electric water heater.  The PEX tubing was attached to the rebar which was laid out in a checkerboard pattern on top of the foundation’s 4″ of insulation.  Then concrete was poured to form the slab. Hansen_10-08-12_002 Hansen_07-13-12 005 The kitchen island location and outline were marked by tape on the floor for reference points. Hansen_10-08-12_005 After the plumbing tubes were all in place, the cellulose insulation could be sprayed.  Netting was installed on ceilings and walls to hold the blown in cellulose in place.  The netting was used so that the drywall would not have to be installed before the insulation was blown in, which could cause moisture problems. Hansen_12-14-12 012 Hansen_12-14-12 028 The windows and doors were covered with plastic to be protected during the spray insulation process.  Polyurethane, the yellowish material, was sprayed to seal any plywood seams to ensure a tight building envelope. Hansen_12-14-12 045 Hansen_12-14-12 043 Hansen_12-14-12 044 Because the insulation is blown in an excess of material tends to accumulate; therefore, while one person blows in the cellulose another person vacuums it up where it is sent back to the truck and recycled back through the process. Hansen_12-14-12 102 Hansen_12-14-12 105 The metal braces seen in the picture below are part of the t-bracing which prevents lateral movement.  Rigid foam was added to the cavity so that settling of the insulation was minimized and controlled. IMG_7988 IMG_7989 IMG_7991 IMG_7994

The Hansen House Part 8: The Windows

The black tar paper around the window openings is for durability and to protect the window sills. Hansen_12-12-12 003 Hansen_12-12-12 002 As you can see below, the corners of the openings have water and ice shield for further protection. Hansen_12-14-12 001 The InLine Fiberglass windows are triple pane low-e casements with fold down cranks and colonial grids between the window panes. Hansen_12-12-12 004 Hansen_12-12-12 005 All of the windows in the Hansen House have white exteriors and Oak laminate interiors, except for the windows in the garage which have brownstone exteriors and Oak laminate interiors. DSC00467 DSC00469 Using the window orientation as a reference point to help determine where the sconce should go, our Project Manager had the great idea to put the sconce on a 2×4 and have the homeowner move it up and down the wall to help him visualize where he wanted it placed. Hansen_12-12-12 010 Hansen_12-12-12 013 These exterior shots show the timber framed side porch, without the roof on it yet, and the installed windows.  The Marvin Integrity Center Hinge French Doors with sliding screen are found on by the side porch and off of the front of the great room. DSC00462 DSC00464 This custom entry door’s arch matches the arches of the existing barn and mill house. DSC00476hansen door trimmed The arched door is located under the timber framed entry way which is part of the wrap around front porch. DSC00482 DSC00492 The next post will cover the spray cellulose insulation so check back to learn all about it!

The Hansen House Part 7: Exterior Stone Work

The reclaimed stone for the Hansen house was found on the property.  The original owners had purchased the stone from a church was that being dismantled because it matched the stone used for the original farmhouse. Hansen_11-02-12_002 Hansen_11-02-12_014 Hansen_11-02-12_018 KeeneStone cut 1” is a 3-dimensional drainage device for 1.0” masonry cavity wall applications.  They are designed to catch and hold mortar droppings while allowing moisture to pass through and drain out of the wall as well as suspending mortar drippings above the weep holes to prevent the drainage channels from becoming blocked or clogged. Hansen_11-02-12_017 Hansen_11-07-12_003 Hansen_11-07-12_004 The marble cornerstones are also reclaimed from the property.  On some of these marble pieces, the drill holes from the original mining process. Hansen_11-02-12_009 Hansen_11-02-12_010 Hansen_11-02-12_012 Hansen Progress_11-30-12 004 Hansen Progress_11-30-12 005 The masons from Stonescapes, Inc. did a beautiful job on both the chimney and the stone walls as seen in these amazing detail shots. Hansen_11-07-12_001 Hansen_11-08-12_002 Hansen_11-08-12_003 The arched door matches the radius of the doorways in the barn and the well house. Hansen Progress_11-30-12 006 Hansen Progress_11-30-12 007 These exterior shots show the craftsmanship of the masons and a quick preview of what is to come. Hansen Progress_11-21-12 013 Hansen Progress_11-30-12 003 DSC00482 DSC00492 Check back for the next update on the installation of the windows.

The Hansen House Part 6: The Fireplace & Chimney

The fireplace insert is a Mendota Gas Fireplace.  Mendota Gas Fireplaces offer BurnGreen technology featuring environmentally friendly practices such as adjustment of heat and blower output, which allows the user to conserve fuel.  To maximize combustion efficiency and preserve indoor air quality, the direct vent design uses 100% outside air for combustion. IMG_0507 IMG_0514 IMG_0515 Once the fireplace was connected and tested then the framework for the stone chimney could be constructed. Hansen_11-02-12_004 Hansen_11-02-12_005 Hansen_11-02-12_006 The face of the fireplace was protected while the custom stone chimney was built around it. Hansen_11-08-12_006 Hansen_11-08-12_007 Hansen_11-08-12_009 Local stone artisans from Stonescapes Inc. were the masonry contractors who created this beautiful chimney.
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The drill marks are visible from the original mining process are visible on the large marble stones.

Hansen Progress_11-21-12 004 The chimney is two stories high and extends through the second story loft.
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The loft floor decking framework is visible at the top of this photo.

Hansen Progress_11-21-12 005 The combination of wood and stone provide beautiful details.  The stone was reclaimed from around the property.
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Note the texture of the stone.

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The Hansen House Part 5: Timber Framing & Roof SIP’s

Quick photo update on the Hansen House:
Douglas Fir Timber Frame

Douglas Fir Timber Frame

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2x8 Southern Yellow Pine Roof Decking

2×8 Southern Yellow Pine Roof Decking

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Roof SIP's

Roof SIP’s

R-45 Roof SIP's

R-45 Roof SIP’s

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Roof SIP's

Roof SIP’s