Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Another new product..Gigacrete!

The images you will find below are of the guys (Sargent Construction)installing a new technology for finishing ICF, block, concrete and many other uses.

The only reason I even found this product was because I very dissapointed in the industries selection general for healthy alternatives for foundations and below grade materials that had good thermal properties. Really the only options out there are poured walls, block walls and ICF (insulated concrete forms). Everyone should know by now that I am very reluctant to use any chemically based materials unless there are no other alternatives. ICF construction was the only logical choice for this home because of the high elevations, extreme temperature fluctuations and wind. So once we decide to use ICF (build block) I was on the mission to find a product I could apply to the foam to create a sheel or a barrier just in case there is any outgassing of any matter how minimal. This led me to Gigacrete. Gigacrete is a spray on, roll on, trowel on product that hardens to 5000 PSI and has incredible fire ratings and water resistance .Gigacreteis designed to be environmentally responsible. It emits zero pollutants, and uses less water than similar products currently on the market. Gigacrete contains 35% recycled content (by volume); all gigacreteproducts exceed USEPA and California indoor air quality and VOC standards.If you would like more info regarding the product, you can visit and look for the ICF plastermax base coat.

Images of the new panels set yesterday

The panels that were set yesterday are the walls for one of the master closets. As you can see in the final shot, there is no header over the door opening that enters the closet, this should provide nice natural light to enter from either the master bath or master bedroom side.

Panels starting to go in very smoothly!

It took our guys a day to figure out the system but they have the haqng of it and we are hopeful they will be set by the end of the week. Organization of all 74 panels has been the biggest challenge because of our tight spaces within to work. The stairwell created a bit of a challenge because of the sheer size of the panels it was very difficult to manuever them into place while trying to float them over aq 4 foot hole in the floor. But, from this point forward they should be able to fly through the remaining panels.
The one point we need to all remember is that these panels are being set by two guys and it will end up taking them 5 working days to complete all the interior walls on 2 floors. Now try to imagine the length of time it would have taken the same two guys to traditionally frame all the walls and then to drywall them as well. This system just validated it's worth. This doesnt even take into account the environmental and health benefits of the product either. I beleive this is the new phase and next level of "true" green building.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

"True" Green building history made yesterday!!!

Yet another groundbreaking material installed on the Push House. Purepanel install began yesterday afternoon. Purepanel is 100% post consumer recycled paper structural and non structural walls. The 2 1/8" wall thickness consists of the recycled paper core material then a inner and outer skin of Magnum® Board which is a natural replacement to drywall. The concept is, which you will see in the photos is that you stand the panels up, attach 4" timberlock screws into the roof structure at each corner and then the same into the floor system. At the end of each panel is a 1" groove from top to bottom that we insert a 1" strip of hardwood to act as the tongue for the next panel. These strips are glued into place and the next panel will be slid into place right next to it glued to the tongue on the other panel and then screwed to the floor and roof as well and then this processs is repeated throughout. The only this that needs to be done from this point is for the seams to taped and skim coated just like you would do with drywall, and the finally painted. The electrical channels are already built into the walls. There is a cavity from top to bottom for the electricial to fish wires in and then simply cut out where his boxes are.

This is the very first residential install of this product in North America and thanks to the help of Atlanta Sunbelt (manufacturers of the complete panel) and Purepanel a division of EA International along with Magnum Building Products we were able to take true green building to the next level.

Images follow

Shots from yesterday

The house is really starting to come together and it looks FANTASTIC!!

Finally, mother nature comes through with great weather!

Since mid december we have been in a winter wonderland here on the top of the world here in Asheville. We have not been able to accomplish very much due to the heavy snow, below freezing temperatures and poor road conditions to the site.
But finally we have nice weather and we have been able to get a tremendous amount done in just a few days. We have been able to set all the windows, install the soffit and fascia material, put down the IPE decking on the 2 decks, frame the plumbing walls on the main floor and stucco the crawl space.