A New Model Built in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont
The Northeast Kingdom is the northeast corner of the U.S. state of Vermont, comprising Essex, Orleans and Caledonia Counties and having a population of 62,438. In Vermont, the written term "NEK" is often used. The term "Northeast Kingdom" is attributed to the late George D. Aiken, former Governor of Vermont and a U.S. Senator, who first used the term in a 1949 speech. The area is often referred to by Vermonters simply as "The Kingdom." From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Green Mountain 3848 (38' deep by 48' long) is a new model that evolved from the Enertia® Southern Pines model.
This beautiful home will be built in Northern Vermont in the idyllic, but challenging area known as the Northeast Kingdom. This homeowners have enjoyed camping, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing on this property for years and are now fulfilling their dream of building their dream home - an Enertia® home.
The site is beautiful, both at the macro level and the micro level. In every season this is a photographer's paradise. This is Fall, and the building process is about to begin. The birch tree below is a special favorite.
The challenge of this site is the famous Vermont "ledge" which often requires blasting. The Enertia advance team, after walking the site, thinks that the lay of the land will allow the construction of the foundation and basement with little or no blasting. So, the next step (below) is to clear a minimal portion of the property for the house site and get a better picture of the structure of the hillside.
Because the building site is sloped, minimal clearing will be required. In a solar home, a Southern exposure to the sun is required, but when the land slopes downward, fewer trees are likely to block the sun.
Clearing and grading a driveway is essential so that materials, equipment and workers can drive to the site. The driveway follows the lay of the land and is designed for minimal disturbance to the property and a pleasant entry drive for the homeowner and visitors. Plenty of BIG trees undisturbed.
Once the home site is cleared, the homeowner takes another look at determining "North/South." The theory is that a shadow cast at noons point to "true North." This shadow is the longest and most obvious on December 21, but in late October the shadow is clear. This method is better than a compass because in different areas magnetic North (which a compass detects) is not the same as true North.
Once the site is ready, the excavator digs out the foundation for the basement. Strings are used to layout the locations for the footers. Dimensions are checked and rechecked.
The forms for the footers are built, following the string guidelines. Rebar in staked within the forms to add strength to the concrete that will be poured there. 2x4 stakes are driven beside the forms, and spacers are nailed across the top to prevent spreading of the forms from the weight and pressure of the concrete.
The concrete truck gets as close as possible and uses chutes to cover the rest of the distance. The crew distributes the concrete and trowels it to a smooth surface on top. Everyone will be exhausted at the end of the day. The footers and pads are important because they will support the entire structure.
The form truck brings with the forms for pouring the basement walls. The forms are put in place and braced inside and outside. Without bracing the walls might collapse from the pressure of the concrete when it is first poured. Rebar is set in place to strengthen the concrete and to provide a tie from the wooden outer band (coming later) to the concrete wall.
The long wall on in this image has some protrusions. Those are "pilasters" that will support the inner North timber wall, while allowing the important flow of air between the two north walls of the home when it is completed. Notice that it is SNOWING! After all, it is Northern Vermont in November!
Now the basement walls are being poured. The crew uses a concrete vibrator to shake the poured concrete so that it spreads out to all areas inside the form without creating air pockets that would weaken the structure.
After as little as 12 hours, the wall forms can be removed. Little clips that held the forms in place will be knocked off later. The piles of closed-cell styrofoam insulation will be applied to the outside of the foundation after the concrete is sprayed with rubber-based waterproofing.
The footers for the garage have also been poured. The contractor for the foundation for this Green Mountain home is Brian Perry & Sons!
Rubber-based waterproofing is sprayed onto the outside of the foundation walls (orange). Then the exterior foundation insulation is pressed into waterproofing before it dries. Sand is piled up outside the foundation and will be pushed in to keep the insulation in place and for improved drainage around the foundation.
Here the blueboard insulation has been installed over the orange waterproofing. Drainage and plumbing rough-in are installed. A lot of the backfilling has been completed. This beautiful foundation is almost finished.
The pilasters in the North wall support the North inner timber wall, and the square pads on the floor are bases for the steel support columns to come.
At the start of this project, the homeowner used the "watch and shadow" method to determine a North-South line on the property. The intent was to have the East and West foundation walls be parallel to that line. As you can see here, the difference in the final result is almost negligible.
During the foundation excavation, this GIANT rock was uncovered. Now it is a very unique landmark for the driveway entrance.