Third-party Performance Testing

April 15, 2010

While energy modeling was performed as part of the design process for this house, verification of the actual tightness of the home is required as part of the perfornance testing for LEED® for Homes Energy and Atmosphere, AE category. This test is performed by utilizing a diagnostic tool called a blower door which is designed to measure the airtightness of buildings and to help locate air leakage sites. A blower door consists of a calibrated fan for measuring an airflow rate, and a pressure-sensing device to measure the air pressure created by the fan flow. The combination of pressure and fan-flow measurements are used to determine the building airtightness.

The blower door being installed in the Maseter Bedroom door to the deck. The fan is on the floor, behind the technican.

The technican is recording readings from the pressure-sensing device connected to the blower door.

The data from this test will be used to determine the final HERS rating the house will receive.

Since we are not now going to qualify for Indoor airPLUS, we lost 13 points in the Indoor Environmental Quality category. In order to still be certified at the Gold level and achieve as many points as possible in this category, we now need to take the alternative Pathway 2 which is the Perscripitive Approach. This pathway includes 9 sub-categories that can be used to achieve points. Compliance with two of the sub-categories, EQ 5 Local Exhaust and EQ 6 Distrubution Systems will allow us to regain 3 points.

This test pictured below is for EQ5 and is performed for all the exhaust fans in the house. An exhaust fan flow meter measures the cubic feet/minute (cfm) at that particular fan and that data is compared to the fan manufacturer’s rating.

View of the test being performed in Bath 2.

The test pictured below is for EQ6 and is performed for all the supply air duct openings in the house. This device, a balometer capture hood, measures the cubic feet/minute (cfm) at a particular opeining and that data is compared to the original design criteria.

The hood being used on a supply duct opening in the basement Family Room.

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Bathroom Fixtures

April 14, 2010

Water efficent toilets, faucets and shower heads qualify for points in LEED® for Homes and the NAHB Green Building Program. The toilets in all three bathrooms are rated at 1.28 gpf (galions per flush). The faucets in all three bathrooms are rated at 1.5 gpm (gallons per minute) and the shower heads are all rated at 1.7 gpm.  

The toilet and the lavatory installed in Bath 2.

The toilets selected for all the bath rooms are Wellworth® by Kohler. The pedestal lavatory selected for Bath 2 is a Devonshire® by Kohler and the faucet is a Pepetua by Luxart.  

The shower valve and shower head installed in the Bath 2 shower.

The shower valve and shower head selected are Perpetua by Luxart.  

The toilet installed in the Master Bath.

The bathtub valve and spout installed in the Master Bath.

Faucets installed on the lavatories in the Master Bath.

Shower valve and shower head installed in the Master Bath shower.

The toilet and shower valve installed in the basement bath.

Appliances

April 1, 2010

Installation of an ENERGY STAR® refrigerator, dishwasher and washing machine qualified for 11 points in the NAHB Green Building Program. In the LEED® for HOMES program, ENERGY STAR appliances were used to increase the HERS rating, only 1 ½ points were directly attained in category of Energy & Atmosphere EA9.2 Exemplary Performance for a water-efficient clothes washer.

SAMSUNG ENERGRY STAR Refrigerator installed on the South wall of the Kitchen

Whirlpool Microwave Hood Combination unit installed on the South wall of the Kitchen.

Whirlpool ENERGRY STAR Dishwasher installed on the North wall of the Kitchen.

Whirlpool Electric Range installed on the South wall of the Kitchen.

SAMSUNG ENERGY STAR clothes washer installed on the South wall of the Laundry room.

Ceramic Tile and Carpet

April 1, 2010

After the bamboo floor installation is complete, the installation of ceramic tile and carpet begin. Since carpet was selected for the Family Room and the two bedrooms in the basement and will abut to the two area of ceramic tile, the tile work has to be completed first.       

As mentioned in our previous post titled “Bamboo Flooring” on March 17th, a prerequite for LEED® for Homes, Durability Management Process requires using a water-resistant flooring within 3’ of any entry door. Ceramic tile was selected to meet this requirement at the exterior basement door. The tile selected for the door location is American Marazzi, Augustus 61, 12” x 12” ceramic tile.            

Ceramic tile installed at the exterior basement door.

Ceramic tile was also selected for the floor in the basement bath. The tile selected for the bathroom is GBI Tile and Stone, Inc. Conti, 12” x 12” porcelain tile.     

Ceramic tile installed in the basement bathroom.

The owner also sellected the “brickwork” pattern fpr all the tile which offsets the joints from row to row. Now that the tile is complete in the basement, the carpet installation can begin. The first step in the carpet installation is the installation of the carpet tack strip. This wood stripping is so called because of the sharp nails that are exposed on the top side when is installed. These tacks that will hold the carpet when it is stretched.       

The tack strip used for this installation was manufactured in Wichita, by Baco Corp.

The carpet pad selected for the installation is 3/8”, 8 lb. Ultra Magic, made by Leggett & Platt from 100% recycled materials. Please visti www.lpurethane.com to learn more about this product.       

Tack strip and pad installed on the stairs.

The carpet selected for the house is Great Scott II, manufactured by Shaw Industries and meets the Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI), Green Label Plus requirements. Please visit www.shawfloors.com/greenlabelplus to learn more about this product.  

Carpet being cut to fit in the West basement bedroom closets.

Most rooms are larger than the width of a roll of carpet so it is necessary to seam two pieces of carpet togeher. The carpet installer is seaming the carpet in the West basement bedroom.

Carpet stretcher in the basement Family Room.

After the carpet is stretched and hooked on the tack strip it is cut around the edge. Carpet being cut to fit the basement Family Room.

Carpet installation complete in the East basement bedroom.

Carpet installation on the stairs. View from the Main Level looking down.

Carpet installation on the stairs. View from the basement.

Completed stairway carpet.

Completed carpet installation, Northwest corner of the Family Room.

Completed carpet installation the basement Family Room with ceramic tile at the exterior door in the lower left hand corner.

While the carpet is being installed in the basement, the preparation for ceramic tile begins in  Bath 2 and the Master Bath. The owner selected pre-cast bases manufactured by The Onyx Collection in Belvue, Kansas, for both the showers in Bath 2 and in the Master Bath. These products are made from mixture of polyester resin and alumina trihydrate with a gelcoat on the surface. Please visit www.onyxcollection.com to learn more about this product. A atandard 60” x 30” pre-cast base is installed in Bath 2.  A custom size pre-cast base is installed the the Master Bath shower.    

Pre-cast base installed in Bath 2. The bottom of the Master Bath tub can be seen on the other side of the wall

After the shower bases are installed, the walls and floors that are to be tiled are covered with USG FIBEROCK® Aqua-Tough tile backerboard. Made of a uniquely engineered gypsum/cellulose-fiber combination, it is strong, water resistant, and mold resistant, Please visit www.usg.com to learn more about this product.    

Backerboard installed on the shower wall in Bath 2.

Backerboard installed on the shower wall in the Master Bath.

Backerboard installed on the wall around the tub in the Master Bath.

Backerboard installed on the floor in the Master Bath. The tub is on the left and the shower is on the right.

Tile installed in the shower and on the floor in Bath 2.

Shower with corner shelf in Bath 2.

Tile floor in Bath 2

The tile selected for around the tub, the floor and vanity backsplash in  is Neostile, Chocolate, 12” x 24” porcelain.  The tile selection for the shower is Neostile, Ekru, 12” x 24” porcelain.          

Tile around the tub and on the floor in the Master Bath.

Master Bath floor looking toward the vanity, shower on the left and the tub on the right.

Tile in the Master Bath shower.

View of the pre cast shower pan in the Master Bath shower. Work in the shower is done until the glass enclosure and the door are installed.

Recessed shelf in the Master Bath shower wall.

Master Bath vanity tile backsplash.

The owner’s tile selecton for the Kitchen backsplash is Dal-Tile, Modern Dimensions, Matte Cityline Kohl, 2”  x 8” ceramic.          

Tile backsplash on the West wall of the Kitchen.

Tile backsplash on the North wall of the Kitchen and under the Breakfast Bar.

Close up view of corner detail of tile around the Kitchen window.

Breakfast Bar

April 1, 2010

The owner opted to upgrade the Breakfast Bar countertop. The top was fabricated from black granite and placed on the wall on the East side of the Kitchen.

View of the Breakfast Bar top from the South side of the Kitchen.

View of the Breakfast Bar top from the Dining area.

View of the Breakfast Bar top from the Living Room.

Kitchen Sink and Bathroom Lavatories

April 1, 2010

After the bamboo flooring is complete the Kitchen sink and the bathroom lavatories are installed. The Kitchen sink Is a stainless steel from Just Manufacturing. The faucet is from Luxart. The garbage disposal is from Whirlpool.

Kitchen sink cut into the countertop.

Kitchen sink installed with faucet.

Garbage disposal installed under the kitchen sink.

Kohler Pennington self-rimming lavatories and Luxart Perpetua faucets were selected for the Master Bath.

Lavatory cut into the left side of the Master Bath vanity countertop.

Faucet mounted on the lavatory prior to installation.

The same Kohler lavatiory was selected for the basement Bath. The faucet is by Mainline.

Lavatory installed in the basement bath.

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 www.wabahome.com.

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 www.simplefloors.com 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.