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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

More framing

Posted Tue, 08/11/2009 - 20:24 by kpbadger

Tonight's visit to the lot reveals more progress on the house, including the main story's floor and a garage wall.

The footings for the porch and grillin' deck were also poured today.

Tonight we also had the opportunity to meet our neighbors from two doors down, each way. It is exciting for everyone to see the progress and to watch everything take shape.

A sign from Energy Star

Posted Tue, 08/11/2009 - 20:04 by kpbadger

Today, I got an e-mail back from Focus on Energy, with information on how to get a sign for the lot. They were going to ship me one, but I went to their office to pick it up, to save unnecessary shipping. I really liked how, in their parking lot, the best spots were reserved for "Alternate Fuel Vehicles Only." I gladly parked there, and I'll have to see if we can get one of those signs for our own garage.

Anyway, we have proudly posted the sign at the jobsite:

A Look Ahead

Posted Tue, 08/11/2009 - 09:55 by mattacker

We have started framing on the home, its always exciting to see the home take form.  Here is a look at what should be happening the next couple weeks:

-The framing crew should be finishing up in 2 weeks, trusses roof and all.  Its always a hussle to get the roof on, and enclose the structure so it gets rained on as little as possible.

-Shingle the roof

-Soon we will begin the underground plumbing.  With that done and inspected, we will lay 2" foam to insulate the floor, per Kevin's request, and then pour the basement floor.

-Drill and pour footings for screened in porch and deck.

Thats about 2 weeks worth of work, with big emphasis on the framers actually building the structure. 

Basement framed

Posted Mon, 08/10/2009 - 21:33 by kpbadger

The basement walls and ceiling are now framed.

As promised, engineered wood "I" joists are used for the floors. This gains a point for item D.21 on the green built checklist.

There has also been work on the geothermal system. On Friday, a trench had been dug to the wells.

Today, the wells have been connected, and the piping run under the (future) basement floor. This avoids the need to run (and super-insulate) the pipes across the ceiling.


A look inside

Posted Wed, 08/05/2009 - 22:57 by kpbadger

The waterproofing of the walls was finished on Monday, and by Tuesday night, the back-filling was done around much of the foundation. Simply stepping over the rear foundation wall allowed the first inside look at the structure.

We are expecting the framing to begin as early as Thursday, or as late as next Monday.