RJ StegoraBusiness Service in Apple Valley, Minnesota
Arrival of windows! We can now close in the structure. With windows the air barrier will soon be complete and ready for a blower door test.
Sweet tree passive house progress...
I have shared quite a few posts of other photos as our work has progressed on the Sweet Tree Passive House, but not posted in quite a while from the perspective... of the craftsmen putting it together. These photos are are of the concrete wall forming/framing of the 3rd floor structure up to topping off of the concrete gable walls just a inch shy of 44ft above the hole we started with. For us it seems like a long journey up to 44ft of wall height, but then I can't help but think what it would take to bring this house down... it's going to be there for quite some time!
I have shared quite a few posts of other photos as our work has progressed on the Sweet Tree Passive House, but not posted in quite a while from the perspective of the craftsmen putting it together. These photos are are of the concrete wall forming/framing of the 3rd floor structure up to topping off of the concrete gable walls just a inch shy of 44ft above the hole we started with. For us it seems like a long journey up to 44ft of wall height, but then I can't help but think what it would take to bring this house down... it's going to be there for quite some time!
A happy work site is a moat free work site!!! Yeah for flat ground to work on.
A great milestone reached at the Sweet Tree Passive house. We have topped off the concrete work! Now on to some wood framing and the all important roof!
A close up of the "ledger board" of the sweet tree passive house. This is the "tiny" ledger board that the floor trusses are attached to. To put this into perspective, this ledger is 20" tall. Point being, it will feel VERY solid, like everything in this home.
The kitchen backsplash window opening. The red steel beam above will be exposed (and painted) with bolts and all. The bones of this home all be exposed... and consist a very difficult materials to modify, not much pressure to get things right on the first try😁
Second floor framing coming together at sweet tree passive house. Ready for subfloor, a bunch of vertices rebar, and and double check everything for plumb, straightness, and dimensions before first floor wall pour.
For those who ask the question "what is passive house?", I have learned to point them to this video. Very efficient use of time in this video😊
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1st wall pour was complete a couple weeks ago. The photos of wall forming are limited since apparently the sweat of summer was too much for my IPhone (come on apple, you can't make these things waterproof?). So I'm skipping forward from footings to post-first wall pour. This pour included the basement walls and the garage, breezeway, and mud room walls from footing to roof (some of them 15ft tall). It was a stressful and challenging day (75 yards of concrete can cause quite ...a bit of stress with a 3 man crew) but it was successful. The pour was on a Friday so we all spent the weekend wondering, and second guessing every movement we made and how that might impact the look of the exposed walls... so Monday we went straight into form removal and were very pleased with the results. Interesting wood texture with all sorts of things going on in the concrete. I could see myself spending a lot of time looking at the walls wondering "why is that line there, why is that texture different". So much to look at when you are an arm's reach from the walls, it will be hard not to get sucked into to staring at it. At least, that's what I see, I'm sure it's going to be different for many as this is far from conventional construction!
A month ago, we embarked on another new challenging journey for the residential building realm. A passive house made of ICF but not just your ordinary ICF, in this house the concrete structure will be exposed to the interior (along with heavy iron beams, and bolts, elm and maple sawn from trees lost in the owners previous yard). Putting all that useful mass to the side of the envelope that matters- the interior. So just imagine your house is a super insulated passive house ...with extreme scrutiny of all thermal bridges or any heat loss for that manner, coupled with a 650,000lb (if only including the weight of the concrete, probably more like 750,000 including rebar, steel beams, and lumber) flywheel to boot! Let's just say the occupants of this home are going to learn to really not give a rip what happens outside their home. Energy crisis, rising or falling utility costs, extreme weather patterns, power outages, they all become a quiet whisper in the background... none will significantly impact this home.
Let's just say that although all of the exterior walls will have exposed concrete surfaces, this home is expected to be the most comfortable home we have built yet.
More details to come but here are some progress photos on this one of a kind build (even more so than usual for us).