We have a final design

With two revisions from WUFI and some Therm modeling, we have a    final design.  We will be submitting to PHIUS for pre certification soon and expect very little revisions needed from that review.  Once we get pre-certified, we will then be able to submit plans to the County for permitting.

  1. CLT construction
  2. RockWool insulation.  10″ walls, 21″ roof, 6″ under slab
  3. Prosoco Cat5, Fast Flash and Joint and Seam liquid WRB and AB
  4. 11kw solar array
  5. Rammed earth knee wall under solar array
  6. Minotair ERV
  7. Earth tube
  8. Triple pane windows
  9. Triple pane entry door and two custom Passive doors
  10. Rain screen cladding system
  11. Incorporate some Biophilic designs
  12. Capture 100% rainwater runoff for domestic use

= PHIUS + and Source Zero certified

= Zero Energy building


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Sanden Hot Water Heat Pump using C02 Refrigerant

We are excited to announce that we have decided on the hot water system for this project.  The Sanden hot water heat pump uses C02 as it’s refrigerant.  Normal refrigerant R410 is listed as having a GWP (Global warming potential) factor of 2,000 while C02  is 1 – that’s “ONE”.


The Sanden system has a COP (coefficient of Performance) rating of 5 while most others are in the 2’s which makes this unit over twice as efficient in it’s energy use.  To be Energy Star rated, electric water heaters are required to have a EF (Energy Factor) of 2.2 with the Sanden being 3.84.   The New Gen3 model extends the distance between the tank and heat pump to 50′ as well as an extended operating temperature range of -20F to 175F.  While noise was not necessarily high on our deciding factors these units operate at 37dB which is considered Whisper quite.


Bottom line – can’t wait to get this unit installed.




The Practice of Biophilic Design

Biophilia – The inherent human inclination to seek connections with nature.  Biophilic design as it relates to building design incorporates natural materials, natural light, vegetation, nature views and other experiences of the natural world into the modern built environment.

Have you ever worked in a room, without windows, only artificial light and forced air – and felt tired or even depressed?  If you have than you know why biophilic design is important.


Studies have shown that our ability to directly access nature can alleviate feelings of stress, promote recovery from mental fatigue, enable better focus, mental stamina, and productivity.

For this reason, we plan to incorporate this concept in our building design.  Here is a great PDF that goes into detail about the subject.



Building Design

We are getting closer to a building design for our location.  After considering many different building envelope designs, we are moving toward either standard 2×6 stud with 4″ of continuous insulation with rain screen or CLT’s

2×6 has its advantages in that any framer can build this and our mission is to demonstrate how easily it is to build building with a 90% reduction of energy demand but CLT’s on the other hand are very cool,  fast, sequester so much carbon, are inherently stronger, more fire resistant and more air tight.  As our design narrows down, we will do a cost comparison between the two systems to help decide.

About CLT’s.

Compared with steel or concrete, CLT, also known as mass timber, is cheaper, easier to assemble, and more fire resistant, thanks to the way wood chars. It’s also more sustainable. Wood is renewable like any crop, and it’s a carbon sink, sequestering the carbon dioxide it absorbed during growth even after it’s been turned into lumber.  Pound-for-pound, wood is as strong as steel and extremely durable.  Taking wood buildings to the next level

Our plan is to build approximately 1,000 square feet of office showroom.  We will also be designing to meet Passive Certification  and will take into account BioPhilic design.  Our goal is to have a building that would help demonstrate one type of sustainable construction that can be built at market rate. One that will also provide a reduction of energy requirements of up to 90% as well as producing better indoor air quality and human comfort.

Going to be a very busy Summer

For the last few years we have been trying to make our present location work – and it has – sorta.   But……we have found a new location that we are very excited about and will handle our needs for many years to come so it’s time to move.  OK so it’s not quite time to move.  We do have a contract to purchase our new location and we are 30 days into our 60 day due diligence.  We also have secured a contract of sale for our present location – subject to our due diligence being acceptable.  So, not only will we have to be out of our present location in about 60 days, find a temporary location, secure financing (lots of fun there), assemble a team to design our new location office/showroom/warehouse, get it through pre passive certification, then go build it.  As I said – It’s Going To Be A Very Busy Summer (and fall).  Stay tuned………….