Less than a week later and look where we are!! The SIP installer arrived on site on Tuesday and was done putting up the first floor walls by Wednesday evening. It was amazing to watch the crane lift the panels while four workers wrestled the panels into perfect position. They started on the north side of the house and moved clockwise around. The larger portion in the center of the south side contains structural supports due to the windows and thus extends to the roof in one piece. It was great to stand in the middle of the house and look out the window openings at the trees and surrounding landscape.
I love the positions of the windows, both their proximity to the ground and their height. It makes you feel like you are standing outside. We really agonized over the window positions and sizes during the design of the house, and so far they look great. In the picture to the right, the view is looking south out the living room windows toward the kids playscape. That is where I spend much of my time swinging Nola and watching the progress. We will be starting all the mechanicals in the slab (plumbing, electrical, and radiant tubing) next week. After consultation with our Energy Star (HERS-Home Energy Rating System) rater, we decided to put a vapor barrier between the earthbox sand layer and the poured slab. We hired the HERS rater to do the Energy Star certification for the house. This has to be done in order to qualify for all the state and federal incentives (cash rebates and tax benefits). We also found out last week that our house was chosen as a finalist in the Connecticut Zero Energy Challenge. A website will be launched soon, by Connecticut Light and Power Co. and the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund, that features all the finalists and their projects. We'll include more information and links when we know more.