green building

Recycling Gluelam Beams

The Mill Creek NetZero Home (MCNZH) will have very heavy floors. The concrete top coats applied to the main and second floors (in order to add thermal mass to the home) will each contain about 200 cubic feet of concrete. At about 145 pounds per cubic foot, we're talking 29,000 pounds, or over 13 metric tonnes of concrete, on each floor.  read more... »

Solar Retrofit to a mid-1960's bungalow - Part 2

Well, since my first posting about doing a solar thermal retrofit to my house back on May 10th, I'm sorry to day it's been pretty much a nightmare.  When the collectors arrived on March 14th, they looked like they'd been shipped through a war zone.


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Heating System

I've thought about the heating system for the Mill Creek NetZero Home (MCNZH) for months now. The home will need a very tiny amount of heat because it's so superinsulated, super sealed, and passize solarized. The computer model that simulates the energy performance of the house (using HOT2000) has the MCNZH using 2500 kWh. That's roughly 6% of the heat that my renovated (with new insulation and windows) 1950s bungalow uses.  read more... »

Reclaiming Cedar Siding

Man, there was a lot of wood around when they built the pink house at 9805 - 84th Avenue in 1916. It turns out that the pink paint on its exterior is covering cedar siding. 

So as part of deconstructing the 100-year old house that the Mill Creek NetZero Home (MCNZH) will replace, I've been removing the cedar siding.  read more... »