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3/21/10

Spring Arrives In A Net Zero Prefab House Kit.

[Above picture of the net zero prefab house is from one of the scouting cameras as we arrived...It says 71 but that is from a black box that was in full sun...]

Now that the time change has occurred, the milder weather and longer days allow us to race the sunset to the off grid prefab house kit- watch with a keen eye as we pack up after work on a Friday (vs. Saturday), load up, and keep abreast with the sun along the railroad tracks and highway, quickly pacing it and our progress, hoping to unload inside the prefab house kit before the sundown.

This time? It was a tie.
In the harsh seasons, this is critical.
We still have no heat, only the passive solar design and the comfort of the energy efficient SIPs (structural insulated panels). When we used to camp here in March or December in the camper, before the comfort of the passive design and SIPs of the prefab house kit, even without systems, EVERYTHING had its place and moment- if it didn't, you could not only question comfort, but survival.

I was still in Winter-Without-Systems Drill Sargent Mode as we raced the sun to the prefab house, instructing:
"Child 1, Child 2, you get XYZ. Go to the bathroom first, then WE ALL ENTER TOGETHER, once, so not to lose an iota of heat!"

We did.  I hurried back to unload what was just needed but not carried (the rest could be unloaded in the sun's warmth tomorrow)... when suddenly: I noticed the bright green of the fields, heard the frogs on the pond... saw the deer scatter on the field... and realized, "Oh, wow, spring arrives."

Even with a window cracked and the prefab house kit engulfed in the long shadows of dusk already, inside it was 68.
(Remember: We have no systems yet, and ERV / HRV are critical in a SIPs house - so until that is installed, we crack a window as we leave, yes, I know, I know, architects, but it works, honeychile...for this strange stage before systems. I cherish doing it this way, but if I had to do it again? Yes, I would just do it all in one swoop.)

Now we're sealed in for the evening, happy, comfortable, cozy.
And wow, it will not be going down to 11 degrees tonight, just the 30s.
It will be cold outside; but inside, comfortable.
Not even surviving-cautious-do-all-these-things-to-be-comfortable-like-wear-hats-to-bed-and-wear-three-layers.
Just... comfortable.


Thus begins the season where we don't really document temperatures, it's just too comfortable and non-interesting. Throw us in the 100 degree or 10 degree conditions, and that excites us to document! But now? We're too busy having fun with the bulbs bursting and the trees about to flower... I'll try to post the temps but... it's hard to do when it's boringly comfortable.
Tomorrow, we work on the prefab.
And maybe go to a farm auction.

We noted some tracks about the prefab- looks like Ole Hog Boy is back...
Hmmmmmm...

With deer season over we can now begin cutting trails, walking in the woods again...

But first: the prefab house kit foundation finishing!!!

Good morning!
We are off to pick up the interior bedroom doors and head out to a farm auction.
Last night, when we closed up the house, the temperature was 64ish after the opening and closing of doors in the evening.
At dawn in the prefab passive solar house? 60. 
Outdoors, the temperature fluctuated from 78 to 34!

And we still haven't finished insulating...
Handsome Husband and Pipsqueak #1 spent the weekend adding the rubber membrane over half of the slab... and Ron, Our Fabulous Contractor Who Retired On Us, said it was the BEST job he's ever seen anyone do! We were admittedly thrilled.
Over the rubber membrane, around the prefab house kit slab, we will add foam, then flashing to match the cladding.

Handsome Husband also sealed with foam to further insulate the top of the south wall where there was framing where the wall SIPs meets the roof SIPs (structural insulated panels).

We had our list of “to do”s for the weekend laid out.
We did a pretty good job, considering we spent half of Saturday at the annual farm auction…

Check out how looooooooooong the line o' cars were, up and down the highway- and this photo doesn't nearly capture it!

EVERYONE was there, from four states adjoining, supposedly.
The Amish were there, thanks to drivers (no horse-and-buggies on 360)!
Even a few helicopters flew in from adjoining states, for the larger equipment... which provided *much* entertainment for all.
Food was provided to raise money for good, local causes - check out these sweet guys on the right, a football team and their coach, raising money for the Jaycee's.


And then it was back to work.

WHILE the Shop Dawgs lounged, of course.
ON the furniture on which  they're not allowed...



If you come to the Net Zero Off Grid Prefab Open House April 10th, please make special mention of the "gorgeous" newly painted front door (which we still need to trim in galvalume to match the window above it), but seriously, folks, isn't it the *most gorgeous* paint job you've ever seen in your life?!?


I painted the door to the prefab house kit finally.
Fiiiiiiiiiiiiine, I'm no Tom Sawyer, to my chagrin.
And I have a renewed respect for anyone who paints professionally.

We also had quite a bit of unexpected laundry to wash. *SIGH*
So again I tested out my Lehman's hand washer.
We had fresh clean sheets to put onto a certain someone's bed by day's end, dried in the outdoor sun and wind, without having to cart 'em back to Richmond or impose upon local friends.

Handsome Husband and Pipsqueak #1 continued adding the rubber membrane about the prefab's slab, to which we will then add our insulation to ensure the prefab house kit is completely insulated not just from the prefab house kit panels in the walls and roof, but under and about the foundation.

AND while we were busy working, Pipsqueak #1 taught Pipsqueak #2 how to ride a bike!!!



We added interior bedroom doors to the prefab...
(which is especially significant because now I can prevent the dogs from jumping up on, staining with their muddy clay-laden paws, and ripping the nice bed sheets I have for the prefab house... New rule: You must close your bedroom door before bedtime!!! NO DOGS ALLOWED!!!!)

As we finished our chores and readied the prefab house kit for departure, Ron drove up with Jason Dorris.
Jason and his wife moved here from Hawaii last week. It turns out that Kristin is an architect (I took her to Green Drinks in Richmond this week), and Jason, a contractor!  His parents have a farm right down from us on 47. They are staying there until they can decide where they want to move, if at all.


Ron may have retired (*sob*), but he's not leaving us. Thanks to Ron & Judy, we now have someone who can help us with our prefab green home while they enjoy their grand children!

P.s. Here's some of my favorite photos from the weekend in the net zero off grid prefab house kit!

Tiny fawn tracks the size of my finger nail...

And rural structures, which, if you follow this blog, you know I love documenting.



AND... the entire weekend.: )
In the prefab off grid net zero pre-fabulous house kit: HAPPY.

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2 Comments:

At 4/14/10, 2:19 AM , Blogger Sutton Healy said...

Love the Casa Ti! I live in Maui and was wondering about the shipping to Maui and the expence of ordering a Casa Ti. I wrote the web site but just in case it doesn't get checked often I thought I would try the blog. Hope to hear from you soon.
Mahalo,
Sutton Healy

 
At 4/14/10, 7:18 AM , Blogger Copeland said...

Good morning Sutton!
I will check the emails immediately as I responded to all requests yesterday (I try to respond within 48 hours but with the Open House this weekend I might have missed some)- in regards to Maui I guess we would just ship via truck to the closest port for you?

P.s. Did you notice our new contractor Jason Dorris just moved here from Maui?!?

 

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