insulation, tis blow-in the wind

our LEED project, westbourne, is really starting to come together. we had the insulation installed last week and for the exterior walls and the roof/ceiling we used the blown in from greenfiber as discussed in a previous post. here are a couple of action shots;

step one is installing the mesh on the inside of all the exterior walls.  

step two is cutting small holes in the mesh and inserting the vacuum hose and blowing the insualtion in. it took about three days for the complete install. 

kind of like a vacuum hose in reverse.
kind of like a vacuum hose in reverse.
the second floor complete with exterior walls and ceiling
the second floor complete with exterior walls and ceiling
the hopper that the insulation is fed into.
the hopper that the insulation is fed into.

everyone hangs out in the kitchen

 it seems no matter how small your kitchen is or how hard you try and keep people out, when you have friends over, they always end up in the kitchen. it’s inevitable. i must admit, i’ve even tried to leave the kitchen a little dirty, maybe even leave a few dishes in the sink before having people over for the sole purpose of keeping them out of the kitchen ( it never works by the way, and i end up washing dishes with one hand and flipping  mushrooms in the other in front of an amused audience). so i decided to not only accomodate people in the westbourne kitchen, but really create a kitchen that will be sure to be the center of the party, that embraces the gathering and celebration of good food and great friends. from family gatherings to cocktail parties, this is one kitchen that will see a lot of smiling faces.
floor plan


we created an open kitchen that features a large sliding window system by nanawall that will allow for great cocktail parties as the outside/inside line merge to become one. we’ll also be building a countertop on the outside side of the nanawall window system. the countertops will be caeserstone, a product made from crushed quartz and extremely durable. the drawing below is the floor plan of the kitchen (layout);

Elevation looking at cabinetry, sliding window system
elevation looking at cabinetry, sliding window system


the drawing to the right is an elevation (as if you were standing in the kitchen looking out) of the cabinetry and sliding window system. the windows will all slide to the left allowing a gracious 10′-0 opening;



elevation of cabinetry and 4'-0" range
elevation of cabinetry and 4'-0" wide range


the drawing to the right is an elevation looking at the 4′-0″ wide range and cabinetry. notice we’re not installing uppers along the back wall which we’ll keep a nice open feel in the kitchen (we have plenty of storage).



elevation showing refrigerator and upper cabinets
elevation showing refrigerator and upper cabinets


the drawing to the right shows the upper cabinets and refrigerator wall elevation. the cabinets will be made from FSC, forest stewardship council, rift cut white oak. the cabinet construction will be 100% formaldehyde free.

california going greener

david22california has long been a trend setter  for the rest of the country and many states look to california for guidance on setting up many of their own rules and regulations. here is an article, from the associated press,  that i hope grabs the attention of other states’ legislators,  california’s committment to go a deeper shade of green. one particular point that caught my eye was this one:

“But there will also be costs: Cars could become more expensive, and Californians can expect higher electric rates as utilities increase their use of renewable energy. Homes built with energy-efficient materials could also prove more costly, as could gasoline reformulated to release less carbon dioxide.”

i thinks it’s a great idea the utility companies will be increasing their use of renewable energy, but it sounds like this may be an increase in cost to the consumer. one way to create a win win situation is for the homeowners to make sure their existing homes are as energy efficient as possible (window leaks are sealed, weather stripping around all exterior doors is installed, dual pane windows are installed, to name a few).

for homeowners considering a major remodel or new construction, it’s even more important (as well as an exciting opportunity) to consider designing and building the most energy efficient home possible, including properly sealing the exterior envelope with foam and insulation, using energy efficient windows with low e and argon filled glass, planning for open spaces to allow for natural ventilation, and planning for overhangs that keep the sun out in the summer but let the sun inside in the winter. the above items, when properly designed into the project, will add little overall cost (assuming a major remodel), but will go a long way in helping your home become more energy efficient.