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This website documents the construction and performance of our "green built" home in Middleton, WI. Acker Builders completed construction on November 16, 2009. On this site you can find real-time solar panel output, photos during and after construction, and a description of the techniques used to improve indoor air quality and maximize energy efficiency.

Solar Panels

The roof, continued

Posted Thu, 08/27/2009 - 22:15 by kpbadger

The progress on the roof continues, with the plywood nearly complete and the waterproofing material covering most of the area. Here are some exterior shots.

To the front of the house, they added the cover over the front porch. We are still awaiting the continuation of the triangle from the roof peak down over the garage (compare to plan) but we suspect this will be among the last things to go on because it is decorative, not structural.

Here are some pictures taken inside. It was cloudy today and approaching dusk, so the illumination from the flashbulb isn't the greatest on these... sorry.

Here's a picture of our house and car.

More of the roof

Posted Tue, 08/25/2009 - 22:05 by kpbadger

More of the roof is on today... here are the pictures.

According to Matt, the windows are scheduled for installation next Monday. We have confirmed our first Energy Star visit with Laura for next Wednesday.

Raising the roof with an energy heel

Posted Tue, 08/25/2009 - 08:16 by kpbadger

The house is now starting to take shape as the roof goes on.

The house framing does not display all the exciting, "sexy" green measures that will ultimately be included in the house. Today we see something much simpler -- the energy heel:

An energy heel (raised heel) lifts the roof -- in our case by about 6 inches -- so that we can get extra insulation in the attic. Instead of being pinched off where the roofline meets the outside wall, this extra space lets us get full height insulation above the exterior wall. This eliminates a cold spot that would otherwise develop around the perimeter of the home. We have contracted for spray foam insulation in this area to ensure complete coverage with no air leakage.

The cost to us for the energy heel: $0. We saw this on our Green Built Home checklist and asked, and Wayne Acker said, "sure." And this is pretty typical; any truss company can raise the heel at minimal or no cost. The only other cost consideration is an extra lap of siding.

Further reading about raised heel roof trusses:

Room-by-room tour

Posted Sun, 08/23/2009 - 14:21 by kpbadger

Now that the walls for the second floor are all framed, it was finally time to break out the wide-angle lens for a room-by-room tour.

Master Bedroom

Office / Bedroom #4

Guest Bedroom

Back Bedroom

Back Bedroom Closet

Upstairs Bathroom

Master Bath

Master Closet

Laundry Room

Upstairs Hall

View out the back

View out the front

Top level outline

Posted Thu, 08/20/2009 - 21:28 by kpbadger

This is a combined update for yesterday and today due to some travel.

Yesterday, we met with Matt at the house to discuss the landing on the stairs. The headroom clearance, the way things were in now, would be 6 feet 4 inches walking down the stairs from the top level to the main level. Although this would comply with code, Matt was concerned about the appearance. We accepted Matt's suggestion to put a step in the landing, which drops the stairs by 8 inches thereby creating more substantial headroom.

Today, we visited the house after the workers (and the rain) had left. The exterior walls of the upper level are now on, and the interior is beginning to take shape.