BRES Building Blog

Chapter 14 – Steady progress is a good reason to celebrate June birthdays

Posted by on Jul 3, 2013 in My Journey Home Blog | Comments Off on Chapter 14 – Steady progress is a good reason to celebrate June birthdays

Chapter 14 – Steady progress is a good reason to celebrate June birthdays

Working with a company like Blue Ridge Energy Systems is one way to gain another family.  These guys become friends and you celebrate big and little events with them.  In this case, we’re celebrating all the June birthdays for the crew and their family members.  The feast included shrimp cocktail, guacamole and chips, grilled steak and chicken with corn on the cob and a big tossed salad. Homemade ice cream and birthday cake topped it off.  The highlight of the evening was the old time music performed by the Cecil Thompkins band.  You...

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Chapter 13 – Summer vacations and more rain!

Posted by on Jun 19, 2013 in My Journey Home Blog | Comments Off on Chapter 13 – Summer vacations and more rain!

Chapter 13 – Summer vacations and more rain!

Fortunately for the crew at Blue Ridge Energy Systems, summer vacation time has rolled around.  Some of the crew enjoyed the Outer Banks with sailing, cookouts on the beach, and bicycling.  (Can you believe the rain followed them there in the form of tropical storm Andrea?!)  Other vacation destinations included a Bahamas cruise and camping.  The guys work really hard all year long so they deserve this break, but I confess I have been rather impatient without them all on the job site!! Nevertheless, there is progress to report.  First, we...

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Chapter 12 – Managing stormwater and eliminating erosion without gutters

Posted by on Jun 5, 2013 in My Journey Home Blog | Comments Off on Chapter 12 – Managing stormwater and eliminating erosion without gutters

Chapter 12 – Managing stormwater and eliminating erosion without gutters

Framing continues!  All four sections are up and the entire house is now under roof!  That is indeed a milestone to celebrate.  The steel beam and post for the covered porch is in! You can now see the structure of the sawtooth and butterfly roof lines.  You can now look out windows that frame my hardwood/rhododendron forest. In addition to framing, the week has been dedicated to getting the house in the dry.  That means getting the Blue Ridge Energy Systems designed roof drains and its associated plumbing installed.  First step was to build...

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Chapter 11 – Framing With Energy Efficiency in Mind

Posted by on May 22, 2013 in My Journey Home Blog | Comments Off on Chapter 11 – Framing With Energy Efficiency in Mind

Chapter 11 – Framing With Energy Efficiency in Mind

May 7 was a most amazing day!  The framing crew, led by Jammie Metcalf and including Bryan Noel, Matt Sugg, Sydney Crawford, Randy Redrick and Blake Barker, arrived at the job site along with some sunshine! Lots of framing lumber, roof trusses, and ZIP system wall and roof sheathing had already been delivered and were in strategically placed piles.  (It’s rather like the tooth fairy came overnight when I saw all the materials. And who and when did someone calculate all this stuff and plan its delivery?  No easy task!)  I was eager to...

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Chapter 10 – Stormwater Management With a “Naturally Better” Solution

Posted by on May 8, 2013 in My Journey Home Blog | Comments Off on Chapter 10 – Stormwater Management With a “Naturally Better” Solution

Chapter 10 – Stormwater Management With a “Naturally Better” Solution

How do you spell relief?!   Really, we’ve had continuous cold and rain despite the calendar telling me it’s May!  On May 4th I actually had to wear three layers of clothing, including fleece, and my ski hat to stay warm enough while on the job site!!  Maybe it’s all about what you put out to the universe because over the last week we’ve been thinking about and talking about rain and its potentially negative impact on a home and the environment.  What we have been focused on is stormwater management.  I think the quote...

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Chapter 9 – How sustainable is your lifestyle?

Posted by on Apr 25, 2013 in My Journey Home Blog | Comments Off on Chapter 9 – How sustainable is your lifestyle?

Chapter 9 – How sustainable is your lifestyle?

The good news is that I have about two weeks before the framing crew begins.  So, we are taking care of minor details on my site:  putting in the well pump, stuccoing the foundation to conceal the foam insulation, grading around the house site and spreading wood chips to make a dry and safe work area for the crew. Although the work has briefly stopped, I haven’t stopped reflecting on what it means to be “green.”  April 22, 2013 was the 43rd anniversary of Earth Day. The words from their website echo in my ears: “For...

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Chapter 8 – Do you know how to prevent thermal bridging?

Posted by on Apr 19, 2013 in My Journey Home Blog | Comments Off on Chapter 8 – Do you know how to prevent thermal bridging?

Chapter 8 – Do you know how to prevent thermal bridging?

Weather, weather, and more bad weather!  That translates to delays, delays, and more delays.  However, that doesn’t mean progress is altogether stymied!!  There is plenty to do between bouts of wet weather. The amenities at Greenwood are important to me, so I decided to “adopt” two neighborhood projects.  Hiking trails have been a promised part of the community but until now no work has been done.  Guess what Robin, Randy and I did one weekend?  We cleared the old logging road to the top of the mountain behind Greenwood! Let...

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Chapter 7 – Preparing the site to maximize the solar potential

Posted by on Apr 5, 2013 in My Journey Home Blog | 2 comments

Chapter 7 – Preparing the site to maximize the solar potential

The weather has definitely not been our friend!  Blue Ridge Energy Systems pushed on, however and the site is cleared.  Jamie Shelton used a solar dome tool to help select the trees to be removed.  The dome allows the standing trees to create a shadow on a screen.  The built in table displays the calendar  and number of hours during which solar energy can be generated.  We took down trees to maximize energy creation from the photovoltaic panels that will be installed on the garage roof.  The good news is that some of the hickory, maple, and...

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Chapter 6 – Design: The strange pull of what you really love

Posted by on Mar 26, 2013 in My Journey Home Blog | Comments Off on Chapter 6 – Design: The strange pull of what you really love

Chapter 6 –  Design: The strange pull of what you really love

Today’s story will not involve a science lesson, but rather one of the heart.  This quote by Rumi has been a guiding principal throughout my life and one I profoundly trust:  Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love.  It will not lead you astray. Surrounding myself with beauty has always been a passion of mine.  Whether it is accomplished through gardening, art collecting, or simply setting a dinner table, I’ve always cherished beauty.  And color is a primary influence on the choices I make.  Needless to say,...

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Chapter 5 – Is It Stucco?

Posted by on Mar 19, 2013 in My Journey Home Blog | Comments Off on Chapter 5 – Is It Stucco?

Chapter 5 – Is It Stucco?

I love quotes, and a dear friend of mine, Cheryl Craigie, has published a book on Kindle titled “Instant Inspiration:  Quotes on Writing and the Writing Life.”   I encourage you to download the book because the quotes apply to much more than writing.  For this chapter of My Journey Home, an Oliver Wendell Holmes quote from her book explains what an encounter with Blue Ridge Energy Systems is all about:  “A mind stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions.” This is particularly true when it comes to the seemingly...

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