In continuation with the great room, I thought that it would be best to cover the loft area next. The loft consists of a sitting area and a balcony through which the chimney extends up through. The custom fireplace and chimney, made with stone found around the property, was built by Stonescapes Inc. of Hockessin, DE. The intersection of the chimney through the balcony creates a lovely, small sitting area that is a perfect spot to read a book. The loft also has a larger seating area located above the kitchen. The railings and balusters were hand forged by Harris Metalsmith Studio LLC and are simple twisted picket design, painted Satin Black with an Oak cap rail. The floors in the loft are Wormy Maple. Above the sitting are in the loft is a cupola. The cupola assists in passive ventilation.
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. 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. 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. The kitchen island location and outline were marked by tape on the floor for reference points. 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. 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. 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. 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.