Monday, April 17, 2017

Tree reclamation

A large Aleppo pine needed to be taken down at the Neuhaus project and we decided to make the best use of it as possible. West Coast Milling planed it into planks to be reclaimed as tables or benches once properly dried out. We can't wait to see the final creation!

The planks are spaced apart so they can dry out 

Chris from West Coast Lumber

Doro Pirino (designer), Antje Heinz (homeowner), and JP (site supervisor)

Friday, April 14, 2017

Renewable Energy

We installed a 9.3 kW solar photovoltaic system on the roof at the Neuhaus residence which will offset an estimated 63% of predicted energy use! After state incentives, this system should pay back the homeowners after 3 years. Not to mention, it earned the project a full 10 LEED credits in the EA10 - Renewable Energy credit category.

Prepping the racks

After the photovoltaic modules are installed. (30) 310W Talesun panels

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Durable and sustainable exterior cladding

The exterior cladding at the Neuhaus is Resysta, a durable and environmentally-friendly product that serves as a great alternative to wood. Unlike wood, it does not fade over time, absorb moisture, or allow pest infestations. It's fiber-reinforced hybrid material produced of approximately 60% rice husks, 22% common salt and 18% mineral oil. These are rapidly renewable materials and therefore will earn the project 0.5 LEED points in the Environmentally Preferable Products category. 

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Neuhaus, New Year - Update & Features

Things are moving along well. The Standing Seam Metal Roof installation is almost complete. This roofing color has a high Solar Reflective Index to reduce solar heat gain for the home, keeping it more comfortable in summer months and reducing any need for air conditioning (think "cool roof".) The metal is composed of recycled material, and in itself the roof is recyclable. Metal roofs also have a much longer lifetime than other types of roofs, such as composite shingles.

The second phase of stucco, "Brown Coat", has been completed and we are waiting the minimum 28-days of curing before we apply the final "color coat."

The shotcrete phase of the pool construction will be starting this week. This pool is being constructed by New Era Pools and will feature technology by Wellspring Water Technologies. The pool equipment uses around 30% of the energy used by other efficient pool systems, and best of all the pool will be chemical and salt free. The water in this pool is so clean and pure that it will be drinkable, and of far better quality than most people's indoor water in San Diego (due to the revolutionary technology by Wellspring.) Wellspring will also provide the treatment of both indoor water and landscaping water.

Landscaping water requirements will primarily come from recycled greywater from the home. We are finalizing the design for this system, and intend on sharing that design with others to make approvals through city jurisdictions much simpler. The backbone of the system will be constructed with materials from ReWater. The greywater reclamation/irrigation system is being designed and installed by our AGB Team member, Bill Wilson.

Inside the home, we have completed drywall installation and sprayed the drywall with Low-VOC oil-based primer by Zinnser. We have also painted the wood windows with ultra-low Dunn-Edwards "Evershield" premium paint which resists sun-fade (thus will not need repainting for many years).

We are currently moving into "finishes" phase with installation of cabinetry and tile. On target to complete the home by late March, 2017.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

LEED Awareness & Education

Creating public awareness of the features and benefits of a LEED project is an integral part of the LEED for Homes process. It invites the public to learn more about the residential green building movement and possibly to make positive changes in their homes or workplaces.

In the Awareness & Education category, we will achieve 1 point for Public Awareness by choosing to complete at least 3 out of the 4 options:

  • Publish a website that provides detailed information about features and benefits of a LEED home. (You're reading it now!)
  • Display LEED for Homes signage. (Check out the sign below)
  • Generate a newspaper article for LEED for Homes (Please check back in closer to final)
  • Hold a public open house or participate in a green building exhibition or tour (We will see!)

Here is our LEED for Homes signage (Wave Crest is AGB's parent company):

Monday, November 7, 2016

Locations and Linkages

Today we are going to talk about the second of eight LEED categories within the certification system - Location & Linkages. The complete list of 8 categories is:

  1. Innovation & Design
  2. Location & Linkages
  3. Sustainable Sites
  4. Water Efficiency
  5. Energy & Atmosphere
  6. Materials & Resources
  7. Indoor Environmental Quality
  8. Awareness & Education
The Location & Linkages credits reward builders and homeowners for selecting sites that have more sustainable land-use patterns and offer environmental advantages over conventional developments. The idea is to minimize construction on undeveloped land, increase walkability, and utilize existing infrastructure. There are 10 credits available in this category and they are all intrinsic to the project site - and the Neuhaus project qualifies for all 10! Some of these points include:
  • Walkable distance to community resources such as convenience stores, schools, medical centers, restaurants, etc.
  • Building on a site that is previously developed and is close to existing water and sewer lines
  • Access to open spaces such as public parks
In "green building" we often think of materials used and building techniques but forget about the elements inherent site. However, improving existing sites instead of building on undeveloped land as well as reducing the need for cars as transportation are two important ways that buildings can greatly reduce their environmental impact!

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Framing progress

The Neuhaus framing is coming along and scheduled to finish next week. Next up - Water main, plumbing, electrical, and HVAC!