Under Construction – KSQ Barn/Carriage Shed Update 2

HJLCMS has been very busy finishing up the KSQ Barn/Carriage Shed. The last update ended with the exterior being prepared for the siding and the installation of the standing seam metal roof. However, before the siding could go on, the windows had to be installed and the electric had to be run. Once the windows were in and the electric had been run, the siding could be installed. The material for the exterior finish is rough sawn board and batten for the first story and a cedar shake for the second story, upper gables and cupola. While this was going on, one of the HLTF crew members was building the cupola in our shop. The cupola was then transported to the job site where it was finished with cedar shakes and standing seam metal roofing.  This cupola is not solely ornamental, as it will function as passive climate control as well as house the ventilating fan. The cupola was then flown into place with the crane. Check back for the next update.

Under Construction – KSQ Barn/Carriage Shed Update

Hugh J. Lofting Construction Management Services, LLC (HJLCMS) is currently working on completing the construction of a timber framed carriage shed that had been raised by its sister company, Hugh Lofting Timber Framing, Inc. (HLTF).  Once the HLTF crew had completed raising the two-story 24×36 Oak timber frame, HJLCMS took the reins and began enclosing the structure. The frame sits upon an insulated concrete slab, which contains pex tubing for a radiant heat system.  This heated floor along with the tightly insulated walls should allow the homeowner a comfortable working environment even in the dead of winter. The 1×10 Eastern White Pine tongue & groove roof decking was the first component of the built up wall system to be installed on the timber frame skeleton. As the decking was going down, felt paper was applied to protect the roof decking from the elements. Once the roof was ‘dried-in’, the interior finish made up of 1×10 tongue & groove, eastern white pine was applied to the exterior side of the timbers to complete the first layer of the built up wall system. The white pine 1×10 T&G applied to the outside of the carriage shed beautifully highlights the exposed timber frame. Once the white pine decking was in place, the rigid foam insulation was then ready to be applied to the entire structure. The two layers of 2” EPS rigid foam board is the insulation for the carriage shed.  These two layers are staggered to offset the seams, which will help to reduce air infiltration. Lath, which acts as a nailing surface for the exterior siding, is applied directly to the rigid foam insulation. The added air space from the lath is helpful as it allows any moisture that may find its way behind the siding to dry out.  The second story siding will be cedar shakes while the first story will be 1×12 board and batten. In preparation for the cedar siding, the lath on the second story will be installed horizontally across the vertical members creating a breathable lattice framework. The standing seam metal roof is 24-gauge steel with a medium bronze finish. Check back for more updates as the construction process continues.

Off-The-Grid Home

Just south of Annapolis, Maryland HJLCMS constructed an off-the-grid home.  Tucked far back from the road the property enjoys the peace and quiet of farmland views and a backdrop of forest. But don’t let the bucolic surroundings or the craftsman appearance fool you. This new residence is a thoroughly up-to-date, sustainable home filled with cutting edge technology that had a very aggressive mission – provide a modern lifestyle for a family of four while minimizing their footprint on the Earth. This project’s environmental highlights include:
  • Creating a beautiful structure that brings joy for many generations
  • Generate all electricity on-site
  • Source all domestic and landscape water from rainwater capture or on-site resources
  • Maintain all storm water on-site through capture or infiltration
  • Use of local tradespeople and utilizing natural, local and/or recycled materials
  • Minimize construction disturbance and waste
  • Create and maintain a healthy indoor environment
  • Off-the-grid living
HJLCMS and Hugh Lofting Timber Framing (HLTF) designed and built the home to work with the Earth.  “The house is sited to maximize passive solar gain in the winter but is designed to be shaded from too much sun in the summer,” says Hugh Lofting, company president. Concrete floors and a real fireplace, made from Avondale Quarry stone, were used to create a thermal mass to maximize passive solar heat gain. Coupled with tight construction and a seamless blanket of insulation is a solar thermal heating system installed by Radiant Comfort Systems that utilizes the heat energy of the sun to warm the in-floor radiant system.

South facing wall, designed for maximum solar gain

For those few really cold days, peak-heating demand can be met with two wood burning stoves and a geothermal heat pump.

This is where the wood stove now sits.

All three floors of the home contain radiant heat.  The basement and the first floor are hand troweled concrete which is stained then polished. Both locally sourced labor and material were used to help bolster LEED rating points.  Additionally the recycled content of the concrete was traced and documented to gain additional points. Local, yet nationally recognized, company Hyde Concrete was contracted to transform the concrete from a gray slab of material to a finished product with deep tones of color to create a warm atmosphere.

Hand troweled concrete floors

From the warm leather tones in the finished basement entertainment area to the accents in the terra-cotta first floor the polished concrete brings a modern touch to the home.

Stained and polished concrete floor.

The same solar thermal system provides domestic hot water to the home.  The domestic water system is backed up with a propane fired instant hot water system for peak demand. The hot, humid summers of coastal Maryland posed a comfort challenge.  The home is positioned to take advantage of prevailing winds for natural ventilation and is equipped with large, high-efficiency, operable windows throughout.

Positioned for prevailing winds and natural ventilation

The mechanical system includes passive nighttime cooling through the solar thermal panels with a geothermal heat pump as back up. Regardless of the mode of operation, a healthy indoor air is maintained via Energy Recovery Ventilator (ERV) that efficiently maintains temperature while introducing fresh air. In addition to using ERV, the home utilizes the radiant system to cool the home.  Radiant cooling along with minimal ducting help control the humidity and allow the home to be comfortable in the summer. HJLCMS utilized a systems approach to construction that reduced site generated waste and construction time while increasing quality control.  The precast concrete foundation wall system from Ideal Walls provides an R-23.5 at the basement walls. The timber frame crafted in the HLTF shop is enveloped by Murus Company Structural Insulated Panels (SIPS) that provides R-40 insulation on the walls and roof. Although there are a number of windows on the south wall for solar gain, windows on the other faces are limited and all windows are high-efficiency Serious Windows, series 700 or 900, providing at least an R-5.6 and SHGC of .21.  Energy modeling shading simulation software was used to determine the most efficient percentage of window area to wall for the North, South, East and West walls. This Off-The-Grid house has exceeded expectations with its performance and intuitive design.  The homeowners are thrilled that their dreams of an up-to-date, sustainable home filled with cutting edge technology have come true without having to sacrifice their craftsman style aesthetic.  This house proves that modern technology can be used in any style home.

New Project Under Construction – Kennett Square Barn

The latest HJLCMS project to begin construction is the Buzzard Barn in Kennett Square, PA, right in our backyard! The timber frame structure will be made from locally sourced mixed Oak that has been planed for a smooth, almost furniture grade appearance.  The wood will be stained with Land Ark, an eco-friendly natural finish. So far we have dug and laid the foundation.  The foundation is a block wall that also acts as a retaining wall. The block cores are filled solid to handle the lateral pressure created by the grade. The insulated concrete slab and block walls establish the barn as a well-insulated, conditioned structure.  There is a radiant heat system contained in the concrete slab.  A sound foundation is the best start. The Hugh Lofting Timber Framing timber frame is currently in the lay out phase. It actually went right into lay out the day it arrived at our shop, the crew wasted no time for the frame to start production. The hand cut timber frame is already producing a lot of sawdust, which goes right into our wood burner that heats the radiant floor in our shop and keeps us warm all winter. This barn contains many more sustainable features, including built-up wall and roof systems and a cupola that provides passive climate control.  Check back for more progress pictures!