Posts by Paul

Spaces Magazine

Posted by on Jul 30, 2013 in Blog | 45 comments

Spaces Magazine

I understand that this site has become more of a museum than a living document, but given the recent (and upcoming) press, I thought I’d put a placeholder here. If you have any questions about the project after reading the article in Spaces Magazine, feel free to ask them in the comments. I have about a dozen posts that are in various states of completion, but life has moved on since we started this blog over two years ago.  We’ll resume writing this summer, if only to complete the story.  Stay tuned.

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HRV

Posted by on Apr 11, 2012 in Airtightness, Ventilation | 66 comments

HRV

As stated elsewhere on our site, there’s no ‘magic’ to creating a super-efficient, comfortable home.  Technique trumps technology, and if you had to choose between a carefully built shell or an exotic gadget, the shell wins every time.  Nearly everything we’ve used in the construction of our house is readily available on the market today, and the few things we’ve had to import were brought here for their superior performance, not their alien technologies.  That said, our tours invariably elicit the most questions about the heat recovery ventilator, or HRV. ...

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Days 91 – 130: We’re back!

Posted by on Feb 9, 2012 in Siding | 5 comments

Days 91 – 130: We’re back!

It’s certainly been a while since our last update – over two months.  Two months of steady but agonizingly slow progress on the house.  I’m going to go into more detail with each of the systems we’re on track to finishing, but I also want to get a general update out there for our long suffering fans. The first (and most exciting!) update is the completion of the siding.  After several months of work, Ryan and his crew have wrapped up the last bits of siding and trim to go onto the house.  There are still important elements to be taken care of, notably the chimney...

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Space Heaters

Posted by on Dec 2, 2011 in Electrical, Heating | 30 comments

Space Heaters

One of the most misunderstood elements of our house is the way that it will be heated.  Many people read the quote that it could be heated with two space heaters as it would.  Obviously, this led to a great deal of consternation, confusion and derision.  Aside from the fact that I don’t think it’s even possible to get approval from the city for something like this, it would be extremely expensive to heat even our house with electricity*. The difference between gas and electrical resistance heat is large here in Minnesota.  Gas is sold in therms, which represent 100,000 BTUs of...

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Days 81- 90: Finalizing the Shell

Posted by on Dec 1, 2011 in Electrical, Siding | 22 comments

Days 81- 90: Finalizing the Shell

If you’re a Minnesotan (or maybe a fan of Game of Thrones), one phrase can send shivers down your spine: Winter is coming. It’s coming for us now, and Ryan’s team is moving as quickly as possible to get the shell secure before the snow begins in earnest.  “Quickly as possible” is really not all that quick, unfortunately.  The walls of the house are not simple by any measure, and the details are time consuming.  Building a wind-tight, waterproof, vapor open, highly insulated wall that will last for generations is a tall order in any climate, but we here in...

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