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Posts Tagged ‘green building’

I was admiring the artistic way these rafter tails wrap around the corner at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley when I noticed the dark sky protection measures they implemented very economically with cut off black plastic waste bins. (and look at that black sky!) I recently updated my education on dark sky protection. I already knew that bright exterior lights are annoying to neighbors and that it would be nicer to see more stars at night, but I learned a few more reasons to avoid light pollution. So many nocturnal animals have their normal patterns disrupted by bright night time lights. Birds and insects in particular. I have a new love for curtains on windows to keep the interior lights from lighting up the outdoors. I had considered curtains mainly for privacy and keeping the sunshine out, but hadn’t worried about all the light that can spill out of a house when lights are on at night. Because LED lights use so little electricity the Earth’s light pollution problem is getting worse. It doesn’t cost very much to leave exterior lights on all night and this sometimes seems simpler than fancy lighting controls. Now I will be thinking of the nocturnal creatures as I plan my architectural lighting.

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I’ll just share the McBride Construction Photos of the sandy colored concrete sills on the strawbale:

www.instagram.com/p/COfuDyWH_s_/

photo (& sill) by John McBride

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Hydraulic lime plaster is similar to cement stucco, but with lime rather than portland cement. It is more flexible and more vapor permeable than cement stucco, but it takes more skill and curing time. It also requires warmer temperatures. While making portland cement requires a lot of energy and the chemical reaction releases large quantities of CO2 into the atmosphere, Manufacturing lime takes energy, but when lime plaster carbonates (hardens) much of the CO2 released during the manufacture is reabsorbed. (From Essential Natural Plasters, Henry & Therrien) According to Strawbale Building Details (Published by CASBA – California Strawbale Building Association)The strawbales themselves sequester 26 pounds of carbon each, preventing the formation of 95 pounds of CO2)

Mixing the natural hydraulic lime, plaster sand & water
Spraying the plaster
Burlap shades to protect the plastered walls from direct sun (It cures better if kept moist and cool)

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Radiused corners!
Thick walls will be used for a window seat and a deep desk
Big windows to the south

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We couldn’t have a bale raising party due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but it is a small building. Its going to be very cozy.

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I’ll post more about this one soon…with some interior shots. This will house the homeowners while they remodel the main house, then it will be an art studio and guest quarters. Someday it will probably house renters. It exceeds all the green building and energy efficiency codes. Construction by McBride Construction.

Rainscreen fibercement siding and big doors
Wall hung toilet tank – not the most exciting photo, but a nice feature.

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W.T. Kirkman lantern style light (Near Flathead Lake MT)
Vine porch curtain (North Hampton MA)

Cranbrook House Dining room light that can shine up and down or both. (Probably a custom design by Eliel Saarinen) Bloomfield Hills, Michigan

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The painted ridge beam went in this week. You can see, if you look closely, another castle post to complement the beam.

We also did a preliminary blower door test to check for airtightness and passed with flying colors

And finally we had a ceremonial sage burning inside the building last night…to bring the good sprits and chase away the bad. Due to the airtightness, the building was still smokey in the morning after the ceremony! (The ventilation system is not yet operational and no windows were open)

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I have been sorting through old pictures today and found some nice pictures of architectural plants that I collected.

Glorious Springtime Wisteria

Vine Curtain

Nice Wall Vines with Wire (I think this one is gone…so maybe not such a good example)

Unintentional Deciduous Living Roof at the Post Office

This bit of fence, with a neat row of cactuses along it, reminded me of the cactus fence at frida kahlo's house in Mexico City

This bit of fence, with a neat row of cactuses along it, reminded me of the cactus fence at frida kahlo’s house in Mexico City

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trellises, vegetable beds, and roses and vines starting to climb

trellises, vegetable beds, and roses and vines starting to climb

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