Archive for March, 2010

Parade of Homes

March 25, 2010

While we participated in the Home Show, we decided to also participate in the Wichita Area Home Builders Association Spring Parade of Homes.



This years Parade of Homes is scheduled for April 10&11, 17&18, 24&25, with hours from Noon to 6:00 p.m. There will be 182 homes in price ranges from $100,000 to over 1.4 million and are located in Wichita and surrounding areas. Our home is listed as entry 41 in the Parade of Homes Magazine that can be viewed and downloaded from the Wichita Area Builders Association web site at

By the opening day of the parade, we expect to have verification that we have in fact received LEED® for Homes – Gold certification, NAHB National Green Building Program – Gold certification, the ENERGY STAR® rating and the U.S. Department Of Energy’s – Builder’s Challenge award. 

No Indoor airPLUS

March 25, 2010

As the end of the construction process approaches, we began to look over each program we are attempting to qualify for. This process involved a detailed review of each program’s checklist and re-reading of the detailed explanations that accompany them. 

Each program has differing requirements for qualifying. LEED® for Homes has pre-requisites for various categories that must be achieved before any points can be attained in that category. The NAHB Green Building Program has a minimum number of points that are required to achieve a rating in each category and all categories must have the same rating to achieve that overall level of rating or certification. The ENERGY STAR® and Indoor airPLUS programs require that each item on their checklist be achieved in order to receive the rating, The Builder’s Challenge program is the least restrictive and has many items that are recommended as best practices but have exceptions based on local practices.  

Prior to starting construction on the house, each program checklist was used to develop specifications for each phase of the process. If an item on a checklist was unclear, we referred to the detailed explanation for clarification. Our initial reading of “Bituminous membrane installed at valleys & penetrations” which is item 1.9 in the Water-Managed Roof Assemblies on the Indoor airPLUS checklist, seemed to be satisfied by our standard practice of totally covering the entire roof of the house with UL 15# asphalt saturated felt and then installing metal flashings in the valleys. While conducting our review of this item, the term “self-sealing” was included in the detailed description. We considered reworking the roofing to comply, but decided not to because of cost and weather conditions. 

While we are still on track to quality for LEED for Homes – Gold certification, NAHB Green Building Program – Gold certification, ENERGY STAR, and the U.S. Department Of Energy’s – Builder’s Challenge programs, we regret the loss of not qualifying for the U.S Environmental Protection Agency’s – Indoor airPLUS rating.

Home Show Exhibit

March 17, 2010

On February 4th through the 7th, Bauer & Son Construction participated in the 56th annual Home Show sponsored by the Wichita Area Builders Association. The booth we selected is 10’ x 20’ at the end of an aisle. We produced plans and had the display fabricated.   

Plan of the rear wall display. The large blue rectangles are 37” flat screen TV’s.

Plan of the aisle kiosk display. This unit has two TV’s as well. Each TV played a video or slideshow about the home we have under construction.

Panels for the displays are ready to be assembled.

Aisle kiosk display assembled in the shop ready for paint and pre-drilling for sign mountings. This kiosk is three individual sections with storage in the bottom of each unit. The shelf for the center section is on the floor. When assembled, these three units are 8’ wide x 8’ tall x 2’ deep.


The rear wall display assembled in the shop with blue masking tape applied for painting the reveals. The two shelves are to display brochures. This unit assembled is 20’ long x 8’ tall x 1’ deep.

Booths are beginning to be assembled in Exhibition Hall the day before the show opens.

The Bauer & Son Construction booth prior to our arrival the day before the show opens.

Bauer & Son Construction truck backing in for the delivery of the display components.

Unpacking the display components from the delivery truck.

The first two pieces of the kiosk display in place on the aisle side of the booth.

The rear wall display pieces being set up on the back side of the booth.

Assembling the kiosk display

Program logos all mounted on the displays and the metal letter signs are being installed on the aisle side of the kiosk unit.

TV’s are in boxes in the lower right corner ready to be installed.

The kiosk unit with the TV and metal letters mounted. Green masking tape is holding the letters until the silicone dries.

The booth is ready for the first day of the show.

The back of the kiosk unit with a TV featuring Bauer & Son Construction’s GreenLogic web site.

Bauer & Son Construction employees, Adam Bauer and Steve Houser, manning the booth.

Bauer & Son Construction employees, Adam Bauer and Steve, talking to visitors.

Bauer & Son Construction employee, Laura Heagler, answering questions about green building programs.

Awareness and Education is a LEED® for Homes category for earning points, but participation in a home show was not approved as a way to promote general public awareness about LEED for Homes. LEED does however have a process whereby applicants can seek guidance on how LEED credits apply to their project. This process is called a Credit Interpretation Request (CIR). Since the potential exposure of the home show was projected to be 38,000 to 40,000 attendees, we are proceeding with the request.

Bamboo Flooring

March 17, 2010

Bamboo is recognized as the fastest growing plant on earth. On average, bamboo is capable of reaching maturity and is ready to harvest in five to seven years, reaching heights well over 50 (fifty) feet tall. Moreover, since bamboo is a grass, it is harvested again and again from the same stalk. 

Growing bamboo is better for the environment than trees. It produces greater biomass and 30% more oxygen than a hardwood forest on the same area. Bamboo has a very high fiber density and is harder than many hardwoods such as red oak. 

A prerequisite for LEED® for Homes, Durability Management Process requies using a water-resistant flooring within 3’ of any entry door. This house has four entry doors on the Main Level and one entry door In the Basement. Instead of having patches of water-resistant flooring at each entry door on the Main Level, the owner selected Premium Green Bamboo™, Hand Scraped, Vintage Collection, Jacobean flooring to install in the Entry, Living Room, Kitchen, Laundry, Hall. Please visit to learn more about this product. 

Bamboo floor in the Living Room.

Bamboo floor in the Dining area.

Bamboo floor in the Living Room around the fireplace.

Close up view of the bamboo flooring.


March 17, 2010

Plastic laminate countertops are selected for the Kitchen and in two bath rooms.

Countertop at the South Kitchen wall.

Countertop at the North Kitchen wall.

Close up view of the countertop edge.

Close up view of the countertop corner joint.

Master Bath vanity top.

Basement Bath vanity top.

Light Fixtures, Ceiling Fan & Carbon Monoxide Detectors

March 17, 2010

Interior work continues as the landscaping is going on outside. The electrical contactor is installing the light fixtures, ceiling fans and the carbon monoxide detectors.

Recessed ceiling light fixtures with trim ring, baffel and CFL lamp installed.

CFL lamps used in the recessed ceiiing fixtures.

Bath vanity light fixture with CFL lamps.

Living Room ceiling fan.

LEED® for Homes, U.S Environmental Protection Agency’s – Indoor airPLUS, and the U.S. Department Of Energy’s – Builder’s Challenge programs all require the installation of carbon monoxide detectors.

Combination smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are installed on both the Main Level and the Lower level of the house.

Gutters & Downspouts

March 17, 2010

Controlling the rain water as it runs off the roof is a durability issue, addressed both by the NAHB Green Building Program and the U.S. Department of Energy’s – Builder’s Challenge program. Pre-finished gutters and downspouts are installed to capture and drain all the roof surfaces away from the house.

Gutter and downspout on the Southwest corner of the Garage.

Gutter on the North side of the Garage.

Gutters and downspouts on the Liviing Room and Deck roof.

Gutter and downspout on the Dining area roof.

Gutter on the front porch.

Lawn Sprinkler System & Landscaping

March 17, 2010

Large blocks of native limestone are used as a retaining wall at the South side of the Basement Walk-Out patio. This wall eliminates the steep slope at this location on the lot.  

Stone retaining wall, view from the rear yard looking West.

Stone retaining wall, view looking toward the North

The lot is graded and ready for the trees. View from the Southeast corner of the lot.

Removing dirt for a new tree.

The tree spade placing a new tree in the front yard.

The tree is in place.

Two trees are planted on the South slde of the lot. The one at the rear of the lot is a Oak tree. View from the Southeast.

The tree in the front yard is an Oak. View from the street looking East.

Once the trees are set, the installation of a lawn sprinkler system begins. A high efficency irrigation system will quality for 3 LEED points in the Water Efficiency category. 

Laying out the pipe for the irrigation system. View of the North side of the house, looking East.

The vibratory plow used to bury the pipe for the irrigation system.

Flaged locations of sprinkler heads in the rear yard for the lawn irrigation system.

The Rain Bird® ESP-SMT Smart Control System is selected as part of the irrigation system. The ESP-SMT maximizes water efficiency by factoring in everything from soil type to the slope of the lawn, to the amount of sun exposure different areas receive. To learn more about Rain Bird ESP-SMT please visit 

Irrigation control panel located in the Garage.

Rain sensor located on the North side of the Garage roof.

  Once the irrigation system is complete the landscaping begins. 

Plant stock stored in the Garage, ready to be installed.

Installing edging for the plant beds.

After the plant beds are layed out and plants are in place, the lawn is next. Since the season for seeding has past, sod is selected for the lawn.

Sod installed in front yard.

Sod not yet complete on the side yard, view looking East.

Sod on the rear yard. View from the Southeast.

Sod and plant bed at the front porch.

Sod and plant bed behind the house. The landscaping is complete.

Central Vacuum System

March 15, 2010

As mentioned in our previous post titled “Indoor Contaminant Control” on December 23rd, a central vacuum system is installed in the house. This product is a BEAM central vacuum system, manufactured by Electrolux. Please visit to learn more about this product.

Central vacuum power unit installed on the wall in the Garage.

Central vacuum wall outlet.

Close up of the central vacuum wall outlet with the cover open.

Central vacuum outlet installed in the toe space of a Kitchen cabinet.

Electric Fireplace

March 12, 2010

Usually a fireplace is the focal point of the Living Room in most homes. But whether they are site built out of brick or whether they are pre-fabricated units and even with glass doors, they are not energy efficent. They act as a direct vent for heat to escape from the house. This electric fireplace does not burn any fuel, wood or gas, but has a realistic flame effect that looks remarkably like a real fire and can produce 3,410 BTUs of heat.

Wood panels have been attached around the opening in the surround constructed on the North wall of the Living Room.

Close up of the shelf and wood trim for the electric fireplace.

Electric fireplace unit installed.

The finished fireplace after a faux finish is applied to the wood panels aound the electric fireplace.

Close up view of the hammered metalic finish and the faux rivets.

Close up view of the faux rivets.

The fireplace unit is manufactured by OptiFlame® and is operated by either the manual controls on the top of the fireplace or by a remote control. It has a realistic inner glow log set, a pulsating ember bed, a 1,000 W thermostat-controlled fan-forced heater and can operates with flame only or flame and heat. Please visit to learn more about this electric fireplace.