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.
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.
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!