Thursday, May 27, 2010

Walls are starting to go up & I'm finishing salvaged wood

Wood from the old house, salvaged for use in the new house. I've spent a lot of hours sanding this wood (60+boards) but it will be fun to have a bit of the old house incorporated into the new one.

Well, the walls are now being framed up! The lower picture shows the huge front yard with a large amount of soil near the left side that came from the excavation and was such great soil that we decided to keep as much as possible for a garden area. Excess soil was given away to gardeners, taken away a truckload at a time, and kept the soil from being hauled off to a fill site. I think that scores us a few green points right there! I have used some to create a new vegatable garden at my house.

'Humble Humboldt House' early model of Sunnyland Sunhouse

Here is a picture of my first green design with John Nelson as the builder. I had been interested in passive solar and energy efficiency and John brought in other ideas like rain sceening behind the siding and water barrels (on the corners).

We developed the idea of keeping the heating ducts inside the heated envelope and using a highly efficient furnace inside the heated space too.

Its located at 2228 Humboldt Street in Bellingham on a small infill lot that I owned and couldn't sell for what I had into it. In 2008 I decided to build a small house on it a John had been thinking about such a small and efficient home as a model for affordable housing.

The project was a great success, the house sold quickly since it was by far the cheapest new home in Bellingham at the time and had a lot of energy saving features that few houses had and was an Energy Star home.

The 'Sunnyland Sunhouse' is located ony a few blocks from this house and is based upon this design to a great degree. The new site is far superior especially from a solar perspective.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Here are the floor plans;

The design is a very compact with efficient floor plans and capture natural light throughout the day.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Thought we should start from the beginning, here's some pictures of the site. First, the old house, in terrible shape and overgrown with shrubs, it hadn't been occupied for over a year. The floor was buckled because it had no concrete foundation but it made it easier to remove and with less waste.
On the left is the site from the corner of King & Virginia showing the large front yard sloping up from the sidewalk. It didn't take me long to come up with the idea of a solar inspired concept for this site since its totally open on the south with no obtructions to winter sun.
We had just finished an Energy Star rated home incorporating a number of green features but I hadn't really planned on building another house. However, when this perfect site became available I jumped at the chance to build another one, this time going farther than we had in the past.

Green design means getting your permit fast!

The project started out by my builder, John Nelson of Northwest Framing and Finish, filling out forms to show that we were building a green home. This got us a building permit in just 5 days, something of note in Bellingham and an article in the Bellingham Herald;
This has given us some attention from the city since they are encouraging Green built homes and I'm hoping that we can produce a finished house that is both environmentally friendly and also affordable. Of course this will mean some compromises but John Nelson and I have taken this on as a challenge to make this house a good example of what can be done without costs getting out of hand.
We are aiming for a 5 star Green Built home (and possibly LEED certified) with 1428 SF of living space at a selling price of (hopefully) around $310,000 . There are few new homes for sale in Bellingham at or below that price and none that will have the Green certification that ours should have.

Introducing the Sunnyland Sunhouse

The Sunnlyland Sunhouse, located at 2200 King Street, Bellingham WA is my latest building/design project and will be a certified Built Green home.

Right now the house is at the start of the framing stage and walls should be standing this week. As I have time I'll explain some of the features of this exciting project!