Technology

We utilize many different types of technology in our buildings. From radiant floor heating to geo thermal HVAC and green roof technology.

Timber Frame

We use traditional building methods for timber frame construction including:

  • king post with webs and finials
  • shouldered mortise and tenon
  • brace mortise and tenon
  • collar tie and rafter
  • dovetail finial
  • rafter peak and ridge
  • tongue and fork

Straw

Straw bale homes are beautiful as the natural material lends itself to many architectural styles.

Straw Bales

Straw bales are made from a waste product. Once the edible part of the grain has been harvested (such as wheat or rice), the stalks often become a disposal problem for farmers. By bailing the straw, a new life is given to the material. The farmer makes some money by selling the bales and the homebuilder gains an excellent insulation and building material. Homes insulated with straw bale can have insulation values of R-30 to R-35 or more. The thicker the bale, the better the R-value.

Straw bale insulation is the most effective in climates where heating and/or cooling of the home is essential for comfort. Despite what might seem logical, properly constructed walls made from straw bales have proven to be more flame retardant than conventional wood-frame construction. This is because the bales are dense and tend to just smolder when the ignition source is removed.

Straw bales are 100% biodegradable—when the time comes. Straw bale homes can last over 100 years if properly maintained. At some point, all structures will eventually be replaced. When the time comes, the straw bales can be plowed back into the earth. Fiberglass, on the other hand, becomes a disposal problem.

ICF

Insulated concrete form (ICF) is a system of formwork for reinforced concrete usually made with a rigid thermal insulation that stays in place as a permanent interior and exterior substrate for walls, floors, and roofs.

Strength

ICF walls benefit from concrete’s inherent structural qualities, particularly important in regions affected by severe weather.

Lower Utility Bills

The combination of a continuous concrete wall plus the integral interior and exterior insulation provides superb energy efficiency.

Indoor Environmental Quality

ICF’s energy efficiency translates into more even, consistent temperatures throughout the home. Outdoor pollutants can be kept to a minimum – particularly important to allergy sufferers. A fresh air exchanger (strongly recommended) helps regulate humidity in the home for maximum comfort.

Soundproofing

With several inches of concrete sandwiched by foam insulation, ICF homes are typically quieter than neighboring homes built conventionally.

Geothermal Heating

Geothermal heating is the direct use of geothermal energy for heating applications. Humans have taken advantage of geothermal heat this way since the Paleolithic era. Geothermal energy originates from the heat retained within the Earth since the original formation of the planet, from radioactive decay of minerals, and from solar energy absorbed at the surface.