SustainABLE for ME Design Awards – Honor Award

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363HOUSE and john gordon | architect are proud recipients of an Honor Award for design as bestowed by the SustainABLE for ME Maine Design Awards 2015, co-sponsored by Alpha One and AIA Maine. We are deeply honored for 363HOUSE to be recognized as a vanguard of accessible residential design. Jury comments include, “Love this one, done very well and elegantly, superlative, favorite” and “Totally blew me away” and “Entry door threshold: brilliant” and “Epitome of great design”!  The following gallery of images depicts accessible features and building design (click on any image to enlarge and enter gallery view mode).

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NESEA Green Building Open House

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363HOUSE is participating in the 2013 Green Building Open House presented by NESEA (Northeast Sustainable Energy Association). The event will be on Saturday, October 5, 10AM to 4PM.  USGBC Maine will be “in residence” for the day conducting tours and sharing information, as will I. Hope to see you there!

Learn more at http://www.nesea.org/gboh/. Visit Revision Energy’s website for a list of participating sites. http://www.revisionenergy.com/blog/event/nesea-green-building-open-house-2013/

bright stair 2

one of the more distinctive interior features is the steel stair with a somewhat unorthodoxed galvanized finish – very industrial with its diamond-plate treads and cable railings.  the fabricator and i spent a lot of time exploring the possibilities of how to put this thing together.  the first round of detailing included separate components to be assembled on-site.  however, the resulting aesthetic would be more “clunky” due to the tread to stringer attachment details.  after some coaxing from the architect, chris (the fabricator) concluded that he could indeed weld-up the main carriage in one piece, transport to massachusetts for it’s galvanizing bath then deliver and install (insert!) into it’s final resting place in the house.  indeed, it did happen and it looks great!  here’s a series of photos chronicling the stair journey and installation:

i hope to have photos of completed stair next week.

stair fabricated by Stillwater Metalworks of Bangor.  Chris Higgins, proprietor.

bright stair

bright stairhere’s the steel stair, freshly galvanized, sitting in the shop in bangor awaiting installation tomorrow.  BTW, we do expect the brightness of the galvanization to fade a bit, in time.  if all goes well (fingers and toes crossed!), by end of day tomorrow we should be able to get to second floor WITHOUT a ladder, if we so choose.

there’s a rumor that some of the concrete countertops may have landed, too.  looking forward to another LONG day in portland tomorrow!  i think we’re getting closer?! – to the end, that is….

if you needah, we gottah!

first, a quick update….construction continues to crawl toward completion.  cabinets have been installed; concrete countertops are in-process; interior painting is scheduled to be completed soon; backyard landscaping, patio and fencing should be completed next week; and, other odds and ends are falling into place.  HOPEFULLY, by this time next week the galvanized steel stair will be installed! so, in spite of the quiet here at the blog (my social media has been suffering lately due to time constraints), we have been pressing toward completion, albeit later than we had hoped for, but….

our awesome galvanized metal gutter and downspouts were installed a few weeks ago.  they’ve added a nice level of techno-detail to exterior.  in addition to looking pretty cool, they’ll direct roof run-off into a rainwater collection system (rain barrels) for use in watering the gardens and lawn.

nice gutter/downspout configuration at front entry court.  cool photo, too.

nice gutter/downspout configuration at front entry court. cool photo, too.

more very cool hardware at downspout.

more very cool hardware at downspout.

downspout installation will appear more sensible when rain barrel(s) and fence are installed.

downspout installation will appear more sensible when rain barrel(s) and fence are installed.

gotta love those gutter brackets!

gotta love those gutter brackets!

Downeast Gutters from aurora, maine installed the gutter system.  their voicemail greeting is “if you need her, we got her”.  BUT, you MUST use wicked good downeast accent.  if you do, then it goes something like this “if you needah, we gottah”.  so, “got her”….”gottah” = gutter! got it?!

green eggs. no ham.

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WHAT: U.S. Green Building Council – Maine Chapter. Green Eggs (a monthly breakfast forum featuring a speaker and topic relevant to green buildings).

WHEN: Wednesday, June 5 at 7:30 a.m.

WHERE: Maine Audubon, Gilsland Farm Education Center, 20 Gilsland Farm Rd, Falmouth, ME.

I will be presenting a case study entitled Universal Design and LEED.  The presentation will share insights re: design and construction of 363HOUSE.

A house tour will be conducted on Friday, June 7 from 4 -6 p.m.

Hope to see you there!

Learn more at www.maineusgbc.org

 

SUNNY BOY

SLOWLY, the corrugated galvalume metal siding is making its way onto the exterior walls.  after months of looking at housewrap and a grid work of overlapping 1×3 strapping, the house is receiving its outer layer of skin.  it looks great; it’s durable; requires no maintenance; has high recycled content; is 100% recyclable; and, my client LOVES it!IMG_6487-2

Solar Hot Water is up and running.  We’re making hot water!

Hot water tank.  Glycol mixture is heated at the solar panels on the roof and pumped through the copper pipes which are connected to a coil in the bottom of the tank.  The coil heats the water in the tank.

Hot water tank. Glycol mixture is heated at the solar panels on the roof and pumped through the copper pipes which are connected to a coil in the bottom of the tank. The coil heats the water in the tank.

This monitor tells us that the glycol temp at the collectors on the roof is 156.3°F.  The temperature in the tank was 139°F.  Readings were taken yesterday morning at 9AM.

This monitor tells us that the glycol temp at the collectors on the roof is 156.3°F. The temperature in the tank was 139°F. Readings were taken yesterday morning at 9AM.

Solar PV is up and running, too.  Yup, we’re making electricity!!!!

This is the inverter.  Basically, it converts the DC electricity generated by the PV panels (AND the sun!) into AC electricity.  Yeah, I know, you might think it should be called a converter, huh?  But, a converter changes AC into DC.  As I type this, I'm simultaneously shrugging shoulders and rolling eyes!  Kindly note that geek-O feedback that will further understanding on this point is welcome. ;-)

This is the inverter. It converts the DC electricity generated by the PV panels into AC electricity. Yeah, I know, you might think it would be called a converter, huh? But, a converter changes AC into DC. As I type this, I’m simultaneously shrugging shoulders and rolling eyes! Kindly note that geek-O feedback that will further understanding on this point is DEFINITELY welcome. ;-)

As of yesterday, Mr. Sun (with a little help from some silicon, aluminum, etc.) has saved 339.81 lbs CO2 since being activated - sorry, I don't know when that occurred.  A more detailed rundown on all things energy-related is forthcoming.  BTW, gotta love the name of the inverter - SUNNY BOY!  (man, some marketing-types were thinkin' overtime on that one!).

As of yesterday, Mr. Sun (with a little help from some silicon, aluminum, etc.) has saved 339.8 lbs CO2 since being activated – sorry, I don’t know when activation occurred. A more detailed blog post on all things energy-related is forthcoming. BTW, gotta love the name of the inverter – SUNNY BOY! (man, the marketing-types were thinkin’ overtime on that one!).

Revision Energy of Portland is our renewable energy consultant/contractor (you can find their contact info on the “team” page).  363HOUSE will be featured in Revision’s June email newsletter.

 

shower drain

i know, such an exciting post title!  (please refer to the previous post “hiatus completus” for photo of the shower and context for below).

so, what’s cool about this drain is not just it’s sublime (sophisticated?) aesthetics, but it’s important function.  obviously, it’s primary function is to drain water from the shower.  but, it’s design and location will provide drainage with minimal negative impacts re: wheelchair.  this linear drain allows the shower floor to slope toward the rear wall thus minimizing the potential for water to find its way out of the shower proper.  the floor slope is mono-pitch vs. multi-pitch (with requisite “valleys”), more commonly provided with a “typical” central floor drain (usually square or round) .  therefore, jessica’s shower chair will be more stable (less likely to roll around).  and, it looks cool!

this shower drain is KERDI-LINE manufactured by schluter.  a variety of covers are available, including one that accepts tile.  the cover is easily removed for cleaning.

schluter KERDI-LINE, linear floor drain at jessica's shower.

schluter KERDI-LINE, linear floor drain at jessica’s shower.

 

wood floor

yes, we are moving forward again.  the “restart” has been a little slower than i had hoped.  causes for our standstill are many – my absence for two weeks; cabinetwork budget issues required a few weeks to remedy; delivery and acclimation of wood flooring; delivery of interior doors and trim, to name a few.  the good news is now we have most of the parts needed for interior fit out to move along in a ready manner.  so, here we go!

the flooring at the second floor has always been planned to be wood. but, the species and finish type was only recently decided.  jessica had been planning on using bamboo flooring.  it has some appealing sustainable qualities – namely, bamboo is a rapidly renewable resource.  however, i’ve had longstanding misgivings about bamboo flooring. these include: it’s not wood, it’s plant fiber – the bamboo fibers are “sliced and diced” and then glued together under heat and pressure to create a wood-llike product – what is the glue?, how much energy is required for that “heat and pressure”?; bamboo is mostly harvested in southeast Asia where it is then processed into flooring, then shipped halfway around the world to land here in Maine; i question its ability to be refinished in the future (can it be sanded?); and, i’ve been told its very difficult to install (hardness of the glue!).  bamboo flooring’s upsides include the aforementioned renewability, popularity and hardness.  so, given my misgivings, i urged my client to consider a more local flooring resource – pre-finished maple flooring grown, harvested, milled and finished right here in maine.  granted, maple takes a lot longer to renew (vs. bamboo), but the product we used is a local resource (A LOT less than 500 miles from the jobsite); provides local Maine jobs; has a very low VOC finish; installation is familiar with commonly available tools and know-how; can be sanded and re-finished (longevity/durability); and, it looks good!  what’s not to like about all that, except for the renewable part, i suppose?  oh yeah, this locally sourced product is surprisingly affordable – about $8/sf to buy.

premium (no dark heartwood) maple flooring helps to bounce the abundant daylight to provide bright interiors, even on this cloudy day.  not sure about that demon trash can????

premium (no dark heartwood) maple flooring helps to bounce the abundant daylight to provide bright interiors, even on this cloudy day. not sure about that demon trash can????

manufacturer and contact info for Maine Traditions right on the box!

manufacturer and contact info for Maine Traditions right on the box!