Sunday, March 2, 2008

The Blower Door Challenge

The excitement is escalating. When John & I surveyed the progress being made to date, we decided it was going to be a shame to cover up such fine carpentry with interior finishes. Nathan and the crew of carpenters can not be commended enough for their fine craftsmanship and the attention to detail that they are giving this project.
We as a team are determined to prove that we can meet or exceed the air tightness required by the The Passivhaus Institute. They require that the air change rate of the building shell is limited to 0.6 air changes per hour, in reference to the buildings volume, at 50 pascal pressure differential. Construction to this tightness will be a challenge indeed because it is about 20 times tighter than a typical home construction. A blower door test after the construction is complete will indicate whether we have succeeded.

Chairs for Childern

Not so many months ago our good neighbor and partner in the Lake Home Association Steve Bystedt introduced me to a guy named Tony Mancuso. And after one of those spontaneous combustion type evenings, where we solved all the worlds problems and while creating self-induced a headaches for the next morning, I quickly arrived at the conclusion that he was no ordinary dude. I will not indulge you the reasons for this conclusion because the discovery of his hidden talents and good nature would be short changed if I tried to commit it to print. Suffice it to say you would also do well to cross paths with Tony some day.

I share this with you because Tony is now an integral part of this project. He called one day to ask if he could use some of the wood we had harvested to make chairs for children as part a charitable giving program that he has made furniture for in the past.

After we arranged to have the logs cut into 3 inch planks, thanks to Joe Ernst and Dan Spina’s newly purchase portable sawmill, Tony picked up the wood and is ready to transform them into quintessential furniture.

Tony has offered to help us use some of the harvest wood to create yard furniture and help me try and create interior designs that use salvaged material as our theme.

Another of his many attributes is his passion for environmentally friendly building design. Tony is Minnesota’s St. Louis County Director of Property Management, he has been busy improving the energy performance of municipal buildings since he has t

aken the position.