Week of April 5, 2010
Front Page
Coast to Coast
Politics & Government
Economics & Finance
50Plus Housing
Building Systems
Green Building
Workforce housing
Building Products
Association News
National Green Building Conference Set for Raleigh in May

Lakeside Home ‘Outrageously Green’ With Rustic Surprises

A custom home that will be visited on this year’s Green Home and Technology tour is so full of green features that even the builder says it’s outrageous.

The tour will take place on Sunday, May 16, in conjunction with NAHB’s National Green Building Conference in Raleigh, N.C., on May 16-18.

Designed by Beth Williams — who with builder (and husband) Michael Chandler heads up Chandler Design-Build — the home is the fifth stop on the tour and a showcase for green technology, including the latest innovations as well as tried-and-true solutions that are enjoying new uses.

“I refer to it as outrageous green, because it’s really over the top,” Chandler said.

The project started with a run-down house on a beautiful piece of property bordering a small lake. The house couldn’t be saved, but the empty-nester owners approached the Chandler Design-Build team to make sure that any new construction made as little impact as possible on the surrounding property.

Williams responded with a plan that incorporated sensitive environmental design — building on the existing footprint of the old home but situating the new home at a point on the lake so that every room would come with a view.

“The idea was to create a house with a wing for guests, a wing for the home owners and a big party room in the middle,” Chandler said.

The home was built to be extremely energy-efficient, scoring a HERS rating of 58. Chandler used a new micro-filament fiberglass insulation product in the walls that offers the same R-value as spray foam but allows wiring to be easily moved or added to after the drywall has been installed.

Insulated concrete forms (ICFs) created a sealed crawlspace under the home, helping to boost its energy efficiency while avoiding potential moisture problems. Because the home is so airtight, Chandler included features such as motion-sensor fans in the bathrooms. “If there is a big party in the house, the traffic in the bathrooms makes those fans stay on more” and pull more fresh air into the interior, he explained.

The radiant floor heat is powered by an oversized, 60-tube, evacuated tube solar hot water collector coupled with what Chandler calls an “old style” drain-back system that prevents freezing, as well as overheating when the owners are away in the summer.

The owners also wanted to support the local economy by buying as many materials as possible from nearby suppliers. Much of the exposed beams and flooring in the house, for example, was salvaged from old buildings in North Carolina, and the new yellow pine used for trim and ceilings was purchased from a local sawmill and harvested within 70 miles of the house.

The tree bark siding is also an unusual touch, Chandler said. It’s the processed bark from wood harvested locally for the furniture-making industry. “It was really important to us to use the local bark siding,” he said. “People have been making jokes about woodpeckers but they are attracted to the bugs and not the wood, and the process to make the siding kills the bugs.”

The home’s rustic appearance belies its elaborate electronics, which control the lighting, ventilation, Internet access and music. The reclaimed heart pine that covers the range hood also encloses the wiring that makes it work. And Chandler says builders on the tour will be fascinated by the wood-paneled light monitor, or cooling tower — especially as they try to figure out the engineering that enables it to stay up without collar ties.

Among other interesting touches is a back porch constructed of materials purchased from a local farm supply store, including goat panels — heavy-duty fencing — for the railing that surrounds it. “It can contain goats, it’s also useful for grandchildren,” Chandler noted.

The kitchen was designed to allow the owners to age in place; the recycling drawer under the kitchen sink, for instance, pops out to become a knee hole for wheel chair access. The I-joist floor framing is hung from the inside of the ICF foundation for a step-free entry from the front walk.

The floors, walls and roof were all table-framed off-site by a panelizer, with scrap and sawdust captured and recycled, but this is not your usual factory-built house. One vanity was built from a tree trunk complete with bark to match the siding. The island has mirrors on the toe-kicks that reflect the floor so that in the evening, when the light changes, it looks like it’s floating. “It’s a whimsical touch,” he said.

All together, “there’s a lot happening in this house,” Chandler said. Some of it is too expensive to reproduce in a starter or move-up home, but some of it can offer lessons to all builders. “The use of ICFs to make a sealed crawlspace is something every builder can do,” he pointed out, and using that material in a combination of applications will demonstrate the versatility of ICFs themselves.

He also thinks builders will like the way the house presents itself. From outside, the home appears to be smaller than it actually is, a Beth Williams trademark, but once inside, builders will see “a giant open space that takes your breath away,” he said.

For more information, e-mail Calli Schmidt at NAHB, or call her at 800-368-5242 x8132.

‘National Green Building Standard’ Available at BuilderBooks.com

The National Green Building Standard,” available through BuilderBooks.com, provides “green” practices that can be incorporated into multifamily and single-family new home construction, home remodeling and additions and site development.

The standard covers lot design, resource, energy and water efficiency; indoor environment quality; and owner education.

Currently the first and only ANSI-approved green building rating system, the National Green Building Standard is the benchmark for green homes.

To view or purchase this publication online, click here.

'National Green Building Standard Commentary' Available at BuilderBooks.com

The "National Green Building Standard Commentary," available through BuilderBooks.com and a companion to the ANSI approved "National Green Building Standard," that provides valuable insight to the intention and implementations of the practices and provisions found in the green building standard.

The "Commentary" is a useful resource for any designer or builder using the ICC 700-2008 as a rating system for developing or renovating residential properties of all types to reduce their relative impact.

To view or purchase this publication online, click here, or call 800-223-2665.

The Future of Residential Construction Is Green

The Certified Green Professional (CGP) designation teaches builders, remodelers and other industry professionals techniques for incorporating green building principles into homes using cost-effective and affordable options.

Earning the CGP demonstrates to clients and peers your commitment to the best and latest in green building practices and techniques. More than 5,000 people have earned the CGP designation to date.

For more information, visit www.nahb.org/CGPinfo.

‘Build Green and Save’ Available at BuilderBooks.com

Build Green and Save: Protecting the Earth and Your Bottom Line,” available through BuilderBooks.com, is a comprehensive, easy-to-read reference that shows builders how to identify and select green building materials; implement green construction techniques; explain the benefits of green housing and offer affordable green building solutions to consumers; and use resources wisely and reduce water and energy consumption.

To view or purchase this publication online, click here, or call 800-223-2665.

NBN Tools
Print This Article Subscribe to NBN
E-mail Editor Print ALL Articles Manage Your Subscription

HP Business AdvantEdge Laptop: $399 for Members
Save 20% on Mother's Day Flowers and Gifts From FTD
Members, Save on Reservations From Hertz