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. 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. 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. Timber bark is the color of the siding with arctic white trim and soffits. 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. When you walk around the to the front the stone fades away to classic siding. This continues along to the side porch. Once you get to the back and side of the garage, the siding makes the final transformation into vertical board and batten. The soffit and trim are HZ5 product line in arctic white. 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. The main roof of the Hansen House is shingled while the porches and overhangs have standing seam metal roofs.
The month of July has been very busy at the Hansen House. Once the insulated foundation was complete the plumbing pipes, as well as mechanical conduit piping, were laid out, run and installed. Plumbing pipes have to be run at a slight downhill slope so that the waste in the pipes can drain properly. Weld-On P-68 primer was used to help join the pipe and fittings. This low VOC product is compliant with LEED Green Building Rating System and can be credited towards indoor environment quality. The same GreenGuard rigid insulation that was used with the foundation walls was installed before the slab was poured. These products contain up to 30% post-industrial recycled content and help reduce energy consumption and improve durability. On top of the 4 inches of insulation the rebar was laid out in a checkerboard pattern used to reinforce the concrete and prevent cracking. The PEX tubing for the radiant floors is also attached to the rebar structure. PEX tubing is a tough, flexible plastic that is easy to layout in loops and bent around corners. The PEX tubing is where the warm water is circulated to heat the radiant floors. Select floors throughout the Hansen House will have radiant heat. The PEX tubing for the radiant heat will run to the manifold in the mechanical room. Here it will be heated with an electric water heater and pumped back through the piping. The electric water heater will be run on energy generated from future solar panels. The concrete is then poured over the PEX tubing and rebar. Using products made from recycled materials is a standard operating procedure for HJLCMS. The concrete for the Hansen House was made with 20% fly ash and is sourced locally. This recycled material content is closely tracked should the need for LEED certification be considered. Fly ash makes the concrete more durable, water-resistant and stronger. Fly ash shrinks the environmental footprint of concrete because it reduces the amount of water and Portland cement in the mix. Once the concrete had set, the power trowel was run over the surface to smooth out any imperfections and get a tight, glossy finish. The more passes with the power trowel will give you a more glossy finish. The broom finish on the concrete floors for the wrap around porches gives a unique and distinguishing feel to these outside areas. A material called River Jack was added to the concrete as the aggregate giving the East porch a textured surface. Check back for the next post as the crew begins to frame out the garage.
Since HJLCMS broke ground on June 1st on the Hansen House, there has been a lot of progress on site. We wanted to make sure that none of the trees were unnecessarily disturbed by the construction process so signs were placed at drip lines of the trees to protect the root systems. The new driveway was engineered to share a portion of the existing driveway to reduce the footprint of new construction. Gravel was used because it is a permeable surface that allows rainwater to be absorbed and therefore naturally filtered. Once the driveway was complete, the crew excavated the area for the house and dug out the footers. The Hansen House is designed as an energy-efficient building. One of the keys to an energy-efficient building is the use of high levels of insulation. The concrete footers and block foundation both contribute to the super insulated slab and insulated slab ledge. Because heat is lost through foundation walls and concrete slabs, it is important to insulate them. There is 2” rigid foam insulation along the perimeter walls of the block foundation. The foundation is part of the house’s thermal envelope. A clear penetrating sealer has been applied on all perimeter walls from the footers to the tops of walls to damp proof the foundation. The insulated foundation contributes to the conservation of energy and heating and cooling costs and also eliminates potential moisture and mold problems. Check back for the next phase of construction.
Introducing the Hansen House – HJLCMS’s newest project. On June 1st HJLCMS broke ground on our newest project in Chester County, PA, the Hansen House. This is one of the several projects HJLCMS has going on during this busy spring and summer. In line with the mission statement of HJLCMS, this project will be built around sustainable systems incorporating the highly energy-efficient green technology standards we at HJLCMS hold ourselves to. In the early stages of planning and siting the Hansen House, HJLCMS and the Owners performed a careful evaluation of the solar access, water resources, vegetation, soils and other important natural areas of the site. The information they gathered helped to guide not only the actual location of the house but also some key design elements of the house. For example, the house is designed to utilize passive solar heating, day lighting and natural cooling. Because of this careful planning, there has been minimal site disturbance and all the topsoil will remain on site to be used later in the construction process. Make sure to check back soon for our next post on the Hansen House!
This Kennett Square, PA residence is a hybrid construction bringing together timber framing with Structural Insulated Panels to form a framework that rests on a Superior Wall Foundation. Built almost entirely off-site, little waste was generated during construction. The focus of the design and construction team was to reduce the home’s impact on the environment by sourcing materials locally and with high recycled content, minimizing site disturbance, installing energy and water efficient systems and appliances, installing native plant landscaping and implementing innovative green building techniques that include installing a sedum planted roof, natural ventilation and rain gardens for on-site stormwater recharge. The Kennett Square, PA Residence earned Silver Certification from the US Green Building Council’s LEED for Homes program. Constructed in 2007-2008, the home was the first LEED for Homes certified residence in Chester County, PA. The home was also awarded Energy Star home certification with a HERS (Home Energy Rating System) rating of 51, 34 points below the Energy Star target threshold. Sustainable elements in this residence: Foundation Superior Walls precast concrete foundation Xi (X-tra insulation) system with crushed stone footing system for basement and crawls space areas. All concrete for slab footers and foundation contains either blast furnace slag or coal fly ash in 25% in mix. Basement, Garage, Crawl Space & Common Building Slab 4” concrete slab to contains either blast furnace slag or coal fly ash 25% in mix. Entire slab insulated with 2” rigid foam with 6-mil polyethylene vapor barrier. Floor System Weyerhaeuser Trus Joist TJI Timberstrand LSL floor joist system and Timberstrand rim board. Subfloor is ¾” T&G Advantech OSB. Radiant Floor This house boasts radiant heat floors, with multiple zone controls. The homeowner can tailor room temperatures to suit each areas specific heating requirements. Wall System Structural Insulated Panels (SIP’s) nominal 4.5” (two 7/16” OSB Skin) 3 11/16” polyurethane XPS structural core R-26 manufactured by Foard Panel, panels are XPS structural. Siding and Exterior Finish Siding is new rough sawn cypress, a rapidly renewable resource. Moisture shield system consists of paper and cedar breather. Fieldstone walls and pavers constructed of local stone from the Avondale Quarry. Blue stone paving material is from local sources for patio and walkways. Roof Framing SIP’s are nominal 6.5” (two 7/16” OSB Skin) 5 11/16” polyurethane EPS structural core R-40 manufactured by Foard Panel. Roofing All pitched roof areas are Galvalum standing seam metal roofing with paper and cedar breather underlayment. The flat roof area is white reflective membrane material EPDM by Firestone and is planted out using Weston’s Green Grid roof containment system. Windows and Exterior Glass Doors All glazing is Loewen Heat Smart Plus 1 Energy Star rated U value of .33. All exterior windows and doors are flashed with galvanized flashing and sealed with Grace “Vycor Plus” self-adhered membrane. Building Insulation Cor-Bond open cell spray foam installed over garage under second floor bedroom space, at joint between Superior Wall and Panels, at first and second floor joint and around al window and door penetrations. Ceiling of garage augmented with Green Guard Knauf Industries R-19 batt insulation. Flat roof areas built up with double layer of sheet insulation. Ceiling of basement insulated with Green Guard Knauf Industries foil faced R-19 batt insulation. Walls of heated areas of basement insulated with Green Guard Knauf Industries kraft faced R-13 batt insulation. Gypsum Wall Board & Adhesives Flu-gas gypsum wall board (GWB). As many construction adhesives as possible were low VOC solvent free products. Interior Trim All baseboard trim in lodge building, entry and basement and all door casting in-house are painted poplar from trees milled on property. All baseboards in first and second floors of remainder of house are FSC certified reclaimed heart pine to match flooring. Interior Doors Interior doors are solid wood FSC certified. Interior Finishes All paint is zero VOC, low odor and silica free product. All stains and clear finishes are low VOC solvent free products. Flooring The lodge building features FSC reclaimed antique barn wood flooring finished with Tung Oil and a coat of polyurethane for finish. At the fireplace hearth are paver bricks reclaimed from the Baltimore Depository/Mint. The entry is tiled with African Slate, installed by a local tile company. The remainder of the house features FSC reclaimed heart pine finished with Tung Oil and a coat of polyurethane for finish. Lighting Fixtures Many lighting fixtures are energy star rated, capable of accommodating compact fluorescent light bulbs, on dimmers or low voltage. Ceiling Fans All ceiling fans are energy star rated. Bathroom Fans All bathroom fans are Panasonic WhisperGreen with SmartAction. Plumbing All plumbing fixtures are high efficiency low flow fixtures (lavatory <2GPM, showerhead <2GPM). All domestic water piping is PEX tubing. Two Noritz Model N-084M Power Vent on demand propane water heaters. Kitchen Cabinets are made with FSC certified wood with natural, no VOC organic finishes and no urea formaldehyde. The countertops are soapstone and wood. Fireplace The fireplace is constructed of Avondale Quarry stone with outside combustion air supply and damper system. HVAC System Heat on first floor, garage and 1/3 of basement is a combination of in-floor, staple down and staple up 4-zone radiant system utilizing a propane fired Munchkin Vision II boiler. The boiler has 96% combustion efficiency. Heat on second floor is a 1-zone forced air system fired by the Munchkin Vision II boiler. Air conditioning is provided by two separate American Standard systems: one with one zone is a 16 SEE, 2.0 ton system, on with three zones is a 16 SEER, 4.0 ton system. All metal duct joints sealed with tape or mastic as appropriate. All flex duct sealed with tape or mastic. All wall cavity returns are lined with thermonpan. All floor registers sealed to keep out dust.
Hugh J. Lofting Construction Management Services, LLC (HJLCMS) was founded in 2007 as a construction management company that provides general contracting services for residential projects focused on sustainability. HJLCMS focuses on building services for clients who desire high-efficiency, sustainable homes. Working with architects or designing projects in-house, we strive for energy-efficient, tight structures. We start off the process by assembling the design team and the clients to share ideas and set sustainability goals, including life style and home efficiency goals, for both the home and project site. Through our charette based process, HJLCMS brings together key elements of the building team including the electrician, plumber, HVAC mechanic, engineer, architect and landscape designer before breaking ground, to ensure the smoothest building process. HJLCMS has a strong commitment to creating sustainable homes; we have completed projects including a green roof, geothermal wells, rainwater catchment, and solar power. HJLCMS has completed a LEED for homes Silver Certified residence in Kennett Square, PA and an off-the-grid residence in Annapolis, MD, which is LEED registered.