Sunday, December 28, 2008

Everything seems to slow down during December as the holidays consume us. And that includes construction on our home.

The siding has been going up however, and we hope to soon be able to upload pictures of the metal roof being installed.

Don't worry, the siding is not going to remain gray, it will be painted. To get an idea of what it will look like, just revisit one of our previous posts where we included architectural renderings.

We hope everyone is enjoying the holidays!

Monday, November 17, 2008

WIS-TV Visits Switzer Green Home

David Stanton from WIS-TV in Columbia visited our construction site during the US Green Building Council SC Chapter's recent meeting at our home.

Copy and paste the address below in your web browser to see David Stanton's report.

Monday, November 10, 2008

US Green Building Council Meeting at Switzer Green Home!

Although there has not been much change to the house since the last posting (hence no pictures today), we have been very busy picking out plumbing fixtures, fireplaces, HVAC systems, solar water heater, etc... We have come to the realization that everybody should build a house before they ever buy one. It is a very educational experience. You have no idea how much is involved until you actually go through the process.

And because we're Going Green, there has been even more work. It hasn't been easy researching and deciding on low-flow toilets, faucets, shower heads, direct-vent fireplaces, geothermal HVAC systems, etc...but we are making progress.

The plumbing is almost all in now. Next are the fireplaces and HVAC which we should decide on today or tomorrow.

The siding should be going up this week, followed by the metal roof next week. Then it will really start looking like a house.

Everyone is invited to see the progress that has been made on our home so far and to learn more about green building by coming to Friday's meeting of the SC Chapter of the US Green Building Council at our new home. The meeting is Friday, Nov. 14th at 1:30pm at the Pavilion (Community Center) inside Cobblestone Park, immediately followed by a tour of our house. The builder, architect, LEED provider and Maggie, will all be there probably until at least 3pm or 4pm. All the details can be found at the chapter's web site:

We hope to see you there!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

More Garage, etc...

The garage is mostly finished now with the roof connected to the main house via a connector roof over the breezeway.

The front porch roof is also now up.

And the roof is up over the screen porch in the back.

Maggie checks out the barrel ceiling going up in the hallway connecting the foyer with the guest bath and bedroom.

Jay, the builder, says the siding and metal roof will be going up soon!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Garage and Screened Porch

The garage continues to make progress and soon will be ready for connecting to the house via a covered breezeway.

The screened porch off the master bedroom at the back of the house is also now underway.

Friday, October 10, 2008

What will our house look like?

Many of you have asked "what will your house look like when it's finished?" Well, here are color renderings from our architect, Bob Bourguignon of Sustainable Architecture in Moore, SC.

And as an added bonus, here is a picture of our banker, Garner Corley of First National Bank of the South in Columbia, SC, as he prepares to write another construction loan advance for our home.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Garage, Windows, etc...

The garage slab has just been poured so hopefully we will soon see the detached garage go up. The detached garage is another green feature of our home. Having a detached garage helps keep the car fumes out of the home.

You can also see here that the staircase has been started so now we don't have to use a ladder to see the progress upstairs.

The builder has draped a large tarp over the rooftop terrace until the materials arrive to finish it so that the rooms underneath stay dry.

Our Energy Star windows from Peachtree have also arrived and are mostly installed.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Tyvek Time

We've reached the stage where the Tyvek® weather-resistant barrier goes on to the exterior of the home. It helps combat water, moisture and air infiltration.
Wind-driven rain and moisture can saturate walls, creating a breeding ground for mold, mildew and wood rot. The properties of DuPont's Tyvek® help prevent this. Air infiltrating from outside can create cold or warm spots while increasing heating and cooling costs.
The Tyvek® acts like a windbreaker and wrapped over the sheathing and under the exterior siding—cut out around windows and doors and taped securely at the seams—resists air infiltration and water intrusion and makes for a more comfortable, energy-efficient home or building.

Which of course is what our new "Switzer Green Home" is all about!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Meeting with Bob and the Builder

A few days ago we had our first on-site meeting with Bob, the architect and Jay, the builder.

We went over everything that has been done so far and decided on a few minor changes.

We decided to make the pantry a little smaller, which increases the size of the guest bedroom (Dad will like that).
And an arched hallway will be added from the foyer to the guest bathroom. Jennifer, Bob's wife and office manager, suggested swapping where the master shower and one of the vanities were located which would give us the larger open-style shower we wanted and so we approved that change.

We also determined that the upstairs hallway needed to have one of the ceiling beams restructured.

Later we also decided that we needed to swap some of the exterior doors upstairs.

All the changes were minor and will not slow construction. Here are some pictures we took after the meeting.

You can see the progress continues to move right along. The framing should be done by the end of next week and then roofing, siding, and windows go in.

Stay tuned...

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Second Floor Begins...

The Structural Insulated Panels are going up on the second floor. Before you know it, we'll see the roof!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Framing Has Started...

The framing has started on the first floor and will need to be mostly finished before the second floor SIPs can be installed. Here are the "green" things that the framers are responsible for:

1. WASTE: reduce waste generation to a level below the industry norm, i.e., reduce construction waste to 2.5 lbs/sf of conditioned floor space (not including waste diverted for reclamation or recycling) = a maximum of 10,000 lbs of waste for the entire project going to the landfill.
a.No wood or wood products go in the dumpster – goes into the mulch pile
b.Nails, plastic wrap, caulking tubes, and things of this nature go in the dumpster
2. Reduce overall waste factor (of framing wood) to <> 19.2” oc where possible
3. Use low VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) for caulking or sealants used in the framing process.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Question and answer

Ray Cohen wrote:

Hello, Mike and Maggie. I was just reviewing your Green Home Blog. I know you are happy to be able to actually see progress being made. I was wondering if you might know what the R value is in the SIP wall panels containing the foam insulation and also what the actual thickness would be. Just curious. I hope you guys are doing well. Goooo Cocks!


Here is the answer from our architect:

The SIP panels have a true r-value of 17 + siding and interior finish which adds maybe 2. Whereas fiberglass insulation has an r-value of 13 for the same thickness wall however the overall performance of a conventional wall has an air loss factor and thermal bridging due to studs every 16” on center. The result is that the r value of a 4 ½” SIP wall acts like an 8” stud wall.”

The SIP walls are 4 1/2" thick and the roof SIP's are 10 1/2".


Saturday, August 30, 2008

Starting to Look Like a House!

It's so exciting to see our new home starting to take shape.

After almost two years of research and design, to see it spring to life is something to behold.

In this picture, you can see the foam insulation in the SIP panels.

All of the first floor SIP panels are now in place and over the next several days after Labor Day, the framers will start framing the downstairs interior and putting in the second level floor.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The Walls are Going Up!

After days of delay due to the remnants of Tropical Storm Fay, our SIP panels are finally going up. Here's our progress so far...