Archive for October, 2009

Tubular Skylights

October 30, 2009

Skylights reduce the need for artificial lighting in rooms without windows. Tubular skylights have a smaller roof penetration than conventional skylights and have an additional layer of insulated glazing at the ceiling level that resembles a light fixture.

14″ diameter VELUX® SUN TUNNEL™ skylights are being installed in the Master Bedroom closet, the Master Bath and Bath #2.

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Skylight opening in the roof deck above the Master Bedroom closet.

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Flexible reflective tube from roof opening to the Master Bath room ceiling. 2 x 4 framing will facilitate insulating the tube through the attic.

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Reflective flexible tube installed for Sun Tunnel in Bath #2.

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Sun Tunnel domes on the roof on the East side of the house.

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Roofing and Windows

October 29, 2009

Roofing

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Even before the framers are finished, the roofers started "drying in" the roof. View from the Southwest.

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Roof on the rear of the house is completely "dried in" and ready for shingles. View from the Northeast.

Tamco® brand “Heritage® 30”, Weathered Wood laminated asphalt shingle is the brand and color that was required by the development’s covenants. This shingle will be on every home in this development.

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By the end of the first day of roofing, most of the shingles are on the front side of the house. View from the Southwest.

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By noon on the 2nd day, the roofing is complete. View from the Southwest.

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Attic vents on the Garage. View from the Northwest.

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Attic vents, Sun Tunnels, and plumbing vent pipes on the rear of the house. View from the East.

Windows

As the roofing is being installed, the window installation is beginning. The first step is the installation of a window sill pan. A Dow® WHEATHERMATE™ Sill Pan was selected for this installation. With the molded ends and corners, this product protects against wind-driven rain penetrating into the wall cavity below the window.

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Close up of molded end and backdam.

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Close up view from the outside.

Next comes the window. As the result of the energy modeling, it was determined that an ENERGY STAR® rated window was needed. After examining various brands and products, the Anderson® 100 Series windows were selected. The window frame and sash is manufactured from a patented Fibrex® material which is composed of 40% pre-consumer reclaimed wood fiber. The window is glazed with Low-E glass and has a U-Factor of 0.29 and Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) of 0.19.

These windows are pref-inished inside and outside. There is a choise of four exterior colors: Cocoa Bean, Terratone, Sandtone and White.  The exterior color selected for this house is Sanstone. The interior of the window is White.

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Close up of window label.

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A bead of sealant is applied around the window opening and the window unit is nailed in place. Flashing tape is then applied around the unit on both sides and then across the top. The window installation is complete.

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View from the inside.

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All the operable windows are a casement style. View of the window hardware.

Framing

October 29, 2009

Staging Materials

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Engineered floor and roof trusses arrive at the site.

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Additional materials are dropped on the lot across the street and covered to protect from the predicted rain.

Days 1 & 2 – Basement Walls, Floor Trusses and Rain

While performing the various energy analyses, it was determined that the exterior walls needed to be constructed with 2 x 6 dimensional lumber to allow for R22 Blow-In-Blanket insulation. Floor trusses, wall studs, and roof trusses will all be spaced 24” on center and stacked so that less wood is used. Less wood in the exterior walls allows for more insulation, which will result in a higher R-value for the wall assembly. All interior walls will be framed with 2 x 4 dimensional lumber.

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Framing begins in the Basement with the load bearing walls. View from the E. side looking to the Southwest.

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View from the E. side looking to the West.

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View from the E. side looking to the Northwest.

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Close up view of the engineered floor trusses.View from the E. side looking to the West. Day 3 - Floor Decking, Main Level Walls and RainWhile the OSB floor decking is installed on floor trusses, the Garage walls are framed and erected. View from the Southwest.

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Since the Garage will not be insulated, these walls are framed with 2 x 4 lumber. Studs are at 24” on center to use less wood. View from the North, looking Southwest.

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The Main Level floor is installed with the opening for the stairway to the basement at the center of the photo, in front of the forklift. 2 x 6 lumber for wall plates is placed around the perimeter to facilitate wall construction. View from the North, looking toward the Southwest.

As a result of our energy analysis, it was determined that an insulated sheathing product was needed to increase the R-value of the wall assembly.  ½” thick Dow STYROFOAM SIS™ Brand Structural Insulated Sheathing (SIS) with a 3.0 R-value was selected. STYROFOAM SIS combines structural lateral bracing, insulation and water-resistive barrier properties. It eliminates the need for wood structural panels and housewrap, wood let-in bracing or metal T-bracing. In addition, this sheathing is designed to lower the installed cost by appling structural support, insulation and a water-resistive barrier with fewer trips around the house.

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Since the Garage will not be insulated, the North and South walls have ½ OSB sheathing. An engineered Garage door beam is installed on the West wall. View from the Northwest.

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Wall sheathing was applied to the Main Level walls prior to their erection. View from the Northeast.

 

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Sheathing is being applied to Basement walls. View from the East, looking Northwest.

By the end of Day 3, the Garage walls and part of the exterior house walls are erected.

Day 4 – More Walls and More Rain

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Entry and Kitchen walls. View from the inside looking Southwest.

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Applying sheathing to the East Living Room wall. View from the inside looking South.

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Standing the East Living Room wall. View from inside, looking Southeast.

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Standing the East Living Room wall. View from the Southeast, looking Northwest.

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Almost up. View from the inside.

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Almost up. View from the outside.

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In place and braced. View from the inside, looking Southeast.

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All exterior walls of house are up and braced. View from the Southeast.

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View from the South.

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View from the Southwest.

 

By the end of Day 4, the Garage roof trusses are in place and all of the exterior house walls are erected.

Day 5 – Roof Trusses

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Applying OSB sheathing to the Garage gable. View looking East.

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Roof trusses on the house and OSB sheathing on the North gable. View from the Northeast.

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Since there is a vaulted ceiling on the South end of the house, the Dow STYROFOAM SIS is used as sheathing. View from the Southwest.

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Soffit and housewrap on the North side of the Garage. View from the Northwest.

By the end of Day 5, all the roof trusses are in place. 

Day 6 – Roof Decking, Soffits, and Fascia

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Roof decking on Garage and on Front of house. View from the Southwest.

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Soffit and fascia on the front porch, South and East sides of the house. View from the South.

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Roof decking and trusses. View from the inside looking North.

Day 7 – Sunshine, Roof Decking, Soffits, Fascia, and Interior Walls

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Sunlight in the attic from roof trusses that are not yet covered with decking on the East side of the house. View of the Garage attic from inside the house.

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Living Room East wall. View looking East from the inside.

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Framing for interior walls. View looking Northeast from the Entry toward the Master Bedroom.

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North wall of the Living Room adjacent to the attic. Styrofoam SIS sheathing applied to the attic side of the wall. View looking North.

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Bottom run of the Basement stairs being constructed. View looking North.

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All the roof decking on the West side of the house is complete. View from the Southwest.

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All the roof decking on the East side is complete, except over the Deck and the Dining area. The engineered beam for Deck roof is in place and braced. View from the East.

Day 8 – Stairs and Deck Roof

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The bottom run of the Basement stairs with temporary treads. View looking down from the Main Level.

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Deck roof complete. View from the Northeast.

Day 9 – Attic Walls, Roof over Dining Area and Soffits

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Attic walls adjacent to the vaulted ceiling in the Living Room and Hall. View from the Master Bedroom.

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Front porch soffit / ceiling. View from the South.

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Dining area roof. View from the South.

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All the interior walls are complete. View looking Northeast from the Kitchen toward the Master Bedroom.

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All the soffits and fascia are complete on the East side. Plumbing vent pipes and holes for tubular skylights are in the roof. View from the Northeast.

Day 10 – Kitchen and Basement Walls

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Kitchen wall and Breakfast Bar wall. View from the Hall.

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Basement walls completed. View from the Future Family Room toward Future Bedroom 4.

Basement walls completed. View from the Future Family Room toward Future Bedroom 3.

By the end of Day 10, Framing is complete.

Basement Insulation

October 22, 2009

Energy efficiency is a primary reason for building a Green home. The average certified LEED Home uses 30% to 40% less electricity and will save more that 100 metric tons of CO2 emissions over its lifetime*. ENERGY STAR®, a program established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, sets strict guidelines for energy efficiency and is a vital element of LEED for Homes and the NAHB National Green Home Program. The ENERGY STAR program includes requirements for an efficient home envelope, with effective levels of wall, floor and attic insulation.

The ENERGY STAR program utilizes the HERS® Index to rate the relative energy use of new homes. The HERS Index is a scoring system established by the Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET) in which a home built to the specifications of the HERS Reference Home (based on the 2006 International Energy Conservation Code) scores a HERS Index of 100, while a net zero energy home scores a HERS Index of 0. The lower a home’s HERS Index, the more energy efficient it is in comparison to the HERS Reference Home. Each 1-point decrease in the HERS Index corresponds to a 1% reduction in energy consumption compared to the HERS Reference Home. Thus a home with a HERS Index of 85 is 15% more energy efficient than the HERS Reference Home and a home with a HERS Index of 80 is 20% more energy efficient.

HERS yardstick for this house

Others that recognize this index as well include:
· Mortgage industry for capitalizing energy efficiency in mortgages.
· Federal government for verification of building energy performance for Federal tax credit qualification and the U.S. Department of Energy’s Building America program.
· Sixteen states for minimum code compliance.

 

Since the basement of this home is considered part of the home envelope, it is important that it is completely insulated. After working with a certified HERS rater and performing many energy analyses, it was determined that R5, 1″ rigid foam insulation plus R13, 3 1/2″ of fiberglass would be required to obtain the HERS index rating needed for the level of LEED for Homes certification we planed to achieve. The R13 insulation will be installed later after the framing is completed.

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Insulation installed on the basement walls. View looking toward the Soutwest.

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View from the center of the Basement looking toward the Northwest corner.

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View looking toward the Northeast corner of the Basement.

*source: LEED for Homes Reference Guide, First Edition 2008. 

The Cost of Green Building

October 8, 2009

Often the first question is “does building green cost more than traditional construction?” The simple answer is: Yes, it does cost more to build green, but not because of the obvious reasons like the additional cost of a photovoltaic system to offset electricity purchased from the local utility company, or a geothermal HVAC system, or a rainwater harvesting system or a vegetated roof. The simple answer is that a green building requires more attention to simple details. Details like sealing small openings in ceilings and walls to prevent air infiltration. Details like using water resistant flooring at exterior doors, using compact fluorescent light bulbs, and using products that do not emit toxic gases long after the building is occupied. The simple answer is that green buildings cost more because they are built better!

The more complex answer to this question is: Yes, it does cost more to build green because each project has a unique set of circumstances that will impact the cost. While this is true for all buildings, it is particularly true for green buildings. In most cases green buildings can be built within 2% budget of traditional construction to achieve a moderate level of sustainable design, generally equivalent to a LEED Silver rating*. The reality is that when green features like more durable materials, alternative energy sources and water conservation systems are included in a building; the end result is that it cost less over the life of the building. Additionally, when green features such as a fresh air circulation system to improved air quality and daylighting are incorporated in a building, studies have shown intangible benefits such as increased occupant satisfaction and increased learning, productivity and morale.

In green building there are many tactical tradeoffs that occur that actually equal out the cost. For example, installing high efficiency lighting can reduce HVAC equipment requirements. The additional cost of the lighting is offset by lower initial cost of HVAC equipment as well as its operating cost over the life of the two systems. It is possible to price the projects sustainable features and evaluate the tradeoffs in a cost effective and efficient manner that will satisfy your goals and budget. After all, when compared to traditional building, green building is the logical choice. Please vist www.bscconstruction.com to lean more.

*source: PREA Quarterly, Summer 2007 What does green really cost? Peter Morris, Davis Langdon

What is GreenLogic?

October 8, 2009

Home construction is constantly evolving and green building is a logical step in that evolution, particularly when thinking about your future living environment and energy usage. The fact that our residences have such a considerable impact on our health and on our environment necessitates that we design and construct more sustainable homes. Today, owners who want to build green can have a home that is healthier, more comfortable, more energy efficient and has less impact on our environment.

 

Bauer & Son Construction developed GreenLogic as an educational tool to better explain the aspects of green building and to demonstrate the holistic approach we bring to a project. Each element described relates to all the other elements. You cannot evaluate energy efficiency without understanding the site, size and design of the project. Resource efficiency relates to air quality and water efficiency. Building expertise relates to all categories.

GreenLogic - Planning & Design icon

While all construction projects begin with planning and design, a green building project involves more. Planning a green project involves extra special attention to site selection, site sustainability, efficient use of water, reduced energy consumption, stewardship of natural resources and indoor air quality. Today there are a number of programs that exist to rate green buildings. The following are several of the most recognized.

ENERGY STAR is a voluntary labeling and recognition program sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that seeks to accelerate the adoption of clean and efficient domestic energy technologies. The ENERGY STAR label helps consumers to easily identify highly efficient products, homes, and buildings that save energy and money, while protecting the environment.

LEED was initiated in 1998 by the U.S. Green Building Council, and is now an internationally recognized green building certification program that is applicable to all building types, commercial as well as residential, new and remodel. LEED projects are awarded points within specific categories and can receive a rating of Certified, Silver, Gold or Platinum.

NAHB Green Building Program was initiated in 2005 by the Nation Association of Home Builders. The NAHB Green Building Program is similar to LEED, but is only applicable to residential construction. Green Building Program houses are awarded points within specific categories and can receive a rating of Bronze, Silver, Gold or Emerald.

By following the requirements of recognized programs such as ENERGY STAR, LEED, NAHB. or others, Bauer & Son Construction can tailor a green building program to fit your needs and budget.

GreenLogic - Air Quality icon

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) most Americans spend 90% of their time indoors, where levels of pollutants may be two to five times — and occasionally more than 100 times — higher than outdoors. Improved indoor air quality involves removal of the sources of pollution; controlling the source of pollution and dilution of the pollutants. Source removal amounts to evaluating and selecting products that produce none or very low levels of potentially irritating off-gassing contaminants. Source control involves the filtering and capturing the air borne particles that otherwise would be continuously re-circulated. The strategy of dilution consists of the addition of a fresh air ventilation system to ventilate the home and exhaust pollutants to the outdoors.

Occupant comfort and safety are also aspects of indoor air quality. Occupant comfort involves maintaining proper temperature, humidity and ventilation while occupant safety involves the installation of carbon monoxide detectors.

GreenLogic - Energy Efficency icon

According to the Department of Energy, homes consume 22% of the energy produced annually in the United States. Energy efficiency affects the single largest on-going cost of owning a home. Appliances, light fixtures, heating and air conditioning have all seen significant improvement in efficiency in recent years. Energy efficiency is also about construction techniques and materials such as insulation and types of windows. When a home is built with greater insulation and fewer opportunities for air leaks, it may be possible to install smaller heating and air conditioning units, resulting is smaller utility bills. It may also be logical to evaluate alternative energy sources such as solar, wind and geo-thermal as these options become more popular and cost-effective.

GreenLogic - Water Efficency icon

Water is one of our most precious resources. Less than 1% of the earth’s water supply is suitable for drinking. Indoor water usage can be minimized by using low-flow toilets, faucets and water-saving appliances. Water can be re-used by implementing innovative wastewater technologies such as greywater and biological waste treatment systems. Strategies to reduce outdoor water usage include high efficiency irrigation systems and rainwater collection systems.

GreenLogic - Resource Efficency icon

Resource Efficiency can be summarized easily in the slogan: “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle”.

Reduce: Good design decisions regarding framing enable a home to be constructed using 15 –20% less lumber. Purchasing materials locally will save transportation costs and reduce the amount of energy expended and pollutants emitted as a result of that transportation.

Reuse: Good material selection includes researching options that incorporate recycled content. New products are becoming available on a regular basis. There are cabinets and countertops, doors, trim, carpet, siding and even roofing products available that are manufactured using recycled content.

Recycle: According to the US Green Building Council, construction and demolition waste account for 40% of the total solid waste in the United States. In Wichita, we can recycle construction debris including concrete, wood, sheetrock, and cardboard to reduce the amount of material headed for the landfill.

GreenLogic - Building Expertise icon

One characteristic sets Bauer & Son Construction apart from most building companies—our expertise. For over 60 years, Bauer & Son has held a leadership position in the building industry. We are experienced in the design-build process for commercial as well as residential projects. Our vast knowledge and experience in residential, commercial and industrial construction provides tremendous value to you. We are committed to maintaining the highest level of training for our staff including LEED accreditation for all involved in green building. We believe that this is beneficial for you, our customer and for the environment.

In truth, GreenLogic is more than a tool, it is our pledge to address, guide, promote and build in an environmentally friendly, responsible and logical manner that creates the best value for you the client and the world we live in. Please visit www.bscconstruction.com to learn more about GreenLogic.

Basement Construction

October 7, 2009
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With groundbreaking and excavation complete, Basement construction begins. View from the Southeast.

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Laying out and setting forms for footings. View from Northeast corner.

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Forms for footings at the walk out retaining wall. View from the Southeast corner.

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Footings are poured. View from the Northwest.

Cement along with crushed rock or sand and water are the key ingredients of concrete. The cement for the Basement footings, walls and floor was manufactured by the Monarch Cement Company in Humbolt, Kansas.  

Millions of  tons of a product called flyash are produced each year as a by-product of coal-fired energy production. Flyash was also used as an ingredient  in the concrete mix for this house. It was added to the concrete mixture as a substitute for some of the cement. It bonds chemically with the cement, making it stronger, more water repellant and more durable.

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Footing forms are removed and aluminum wall forms are ready to be set. View from the Northwest corner of the Garage.

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View from the Northwest corner of the Basement.

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View from Northeast corner of the Basement.

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Lines are chalked on the footing to locate forms. View from the Southeast corner.

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Wall forms in place ready to be filled with concrete. View from the Southeast corner.

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Wall forms are filled with concrete. View from the Northwest corner of the Garage.

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Wall forms are filled with concrete. View from the Southeast corner.

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Forms are off the concrete walls. View from the Southwest corner of the Garage.

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Cleaned up and loading forms on the truck. View from the East side of the Basement.

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Ready to apply waterproofing. View from the East side of the Basement.

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Waterproofing system. View from the Southwest corner of the Basement.

Epro System III Plus waterproofing was applied to the Basement walls. This system consists of a sprayed applied waterproofing, a 10 mil protection course and 24 mil drainage mat. The spray applied base membrane is a water-based, anionic bituminous asphalt emulsion modified with a blend of synthetic polymerized rubbers. The 10 mil protection course is a high-strength geo-membrane made from a blend of polyethylene copolymers that is impermeable to water and resists backfill damage. The drainage matt consists of a lightweight extruded “dimple” design core, with a heat-bonded polypropylene filter fabric that eliminates hydrostatic water pressure on the Basement wall. This system will enhance the indoor air quality and the comfort of the Basement as additional living space.

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Waterproofing system. View from the South side of Garage.

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Sprayed applied waterproofing was applied to the Basement walk-out wall. View from the Southeast corner.

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4" diameter exterior foundation drain system around the Basement.

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Sewer and vent piping installation. View from the South side of the Basement.

Before the Basement floor can be setup to pour, the drain and vent piping system is installed. The large white pipe entering the Basement on the right is the sewer line. This pipe will extend to the main sewer line in the utility easement on the East side of the lot. The smaller white vertical pipe will be a vent that will eventually extend through the roof.

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Sewer installation. View looking down at the Northeast corner of the Basement.

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Black piping is the 4" diameter interior foundation drain that is not yet installed. View from the Northeast corner of the Basement.

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Foundation drain sump basin in place and foundation drain lines connected. View looking down at Southwest corner of the Basement.

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Sewer, vent piping and the interior foundation drain systems are complete. View fro the North side of the Basement.

The foundation drain sump basin is in the right hand corner of the Basement. Crushed rock is being placed to fill and level the excavation before poring the concrete floor slab.

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Crushed rock fill is leveled and the floor slab insulation is in place around the Basement walk-out. View from the West side of the Basement.

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The Garage is filled with sand, leveled and ready for the concrete floor. View from the West side of the Garage.

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The crushed rock in the Basement is covered with a 10 mil vapor barrier. View from the Southeast corner of the Basement.

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Finished Basement floor. View from the Southeast corner of the Basement.

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Foundation drain system sump basin with temporary pump. White circle is a floor drain. View looking down at Southwest corner of the Basement.

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Finished Garage floor slab. View from the Southwest corner of the Garage.

Please visit www.bscconstruction.com to learn more.

Groundbreaking and Excavation

October 6, 2009

The "footprint" of the house has been located on the lot. Stakes are in the ground, ready for the excavator. View from the West.

The house will be located 18 ft. from the North property line to allow for the future additon of a 3rd Car Garage. View from the Northwest.

Groundbreaking. Pictured left to right are Bauer & Son Construction employees: Steve Houser, Estimator, Adam Bauer, LEED AP Building Design + Construction and Laura Heagler, LEED for Homes AP & Green Development Coordinator.

Excavation begins at the Northeast corner of the Basement. View from the Southwest.

Excavation of the North side of the Basement. View from the West.

North end of the completed excavation. View from the Southwest.

South end of the completed excavation. View from the West.

In addition to LEED certification, this home is also being qualified for ENERGY STAR, NAHB National Green Building Program, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's - Indoor airPlus, and the U.S. Department of Energy's - Builder's Challenge programs.

Please visit www.bscconstruction.com to lean more.