Project Complete!

All but a few small finishing touches, and this project is done!..  and it marks our 3rd completed this year with 2 to go.  It still amazes me that we can go from nothing to a completed home in 10 weeks!  Thanks to all the great volunteers, and there were a lot of them, that helped make this home possible for the Deik family.  The partner family receiving the home, Dave and Stacie Deik, are a great family and well deserving of taking ownership of this home!  This house was very special when compared to previous projects, due to all the innovative building envelope details and the primary mini-split mechanical heating and cooling system.

To highlight the features that are unique to this Habitat home:

  • Frost Protected Shallow Foundation built with Reward ICF blocks
  • 6″ of High Density foam under thermally broken slab
  • 10-1/2″ Exterior Walls (2×6 + 4″ of exterior foam)
  • Furring strips and Rain Screen for cladding ventilation and attachment
  • 18″ Energy Heal trusses (and the first Hab home with a cathedral ceiling)
  • ERV ducted independently from conditioning ductwork
  • Ducted and non-ducted Mini-Split whole house heating/ cooling system
  • Exhaust vent in garage to outdoors with motion activation

Exterior – 6/25/12

Exterior – 6/25/12

Landscaping – 6/26/12

Exterior – 6/25/12

Exterior – 6/25/12

Mechanical Room – 6/25/12

Rheem Marathon Electric DHW

Rheem Marathon Electric DHW

RenewAire Energy Recovery Ventilator

Garage Ventilation – Motion Activated


Kitchen – 6/25/12

Kitchen – 6/25/12

Rear Door Coat Locker – 6/25/12

Family Room – 6/25/12

Hallway – 6/25/12 (LED Lighting)

10-1/2″ wall cavity! Be-a-u-tiful !!

Mini-Split Control Center

Ducted Mini-Split supply (1 per/ bedroom)

ERV Supply diffuser (1 per/ bedroom)

Bathroom – 6/25/12

ERV Return air (1 per/ bathroom & kitchen)

ERV Return air (1 per/ bathroom & kitchen)

Stackable Washer/Dryer Combo


Insulation & Air Sealing

OK….  This is slightly complicated, but I’m going to try and cover all the steps we use to perform air sealing and insulation in one.  My preferred method of air sealing is using the OSB sheathing on the exterior wall and ceiling drywall above as my air barrier.  This said, it is important to seal all connections between floor plates, vertical stud to sheathing connections and wall partitions/penetration in the ceiling.  The best way to approach this is by drawing an imaginary line all around the perimeter of the home and seal all known areas of leakage in this plane.  My system is a bit redundant, because I also use an airtight drywall approach when installing drywall (continuous perimeter adhesive application around walls, windows & doors) as drywall is being installed.

Air Leakage Diagram – Building Science Corp

Air Sealing Detail OSB – Building Science Corp

Sealing begins with using a high quality silicone or acoustical caulk along all bottom plate, king & jack studs, and double top plate.  I then ‘picture frame’ the stud cavities with closed cell spray foam.  Finally all the partitions and penatrations in  the attic are sealed with closed cell foam to give me a continuous air barrier on all six sides of the home.

Bottom Plate Cault & CC foam cavity

Electrical Outlets sealed

Wall cavity sealed – Picture framed Closed Cell foam

Cathedral wall air sealing

JM Spider 1.8# blown fiberglass

Bath Fan & Attic Baffles – Air Sealing

Ceiling Light fixture – Air Sealing

Ceiling Wall partitions – Air Sealing

Indoor Air Quality starts at Rough-in!

As part of our indoor air quality focus, we begin with quality ventilation exhaust fans in both the bath and garage….  Garage???…  Yes, the garage.  An attached garage can be the single highest concentration of polluted air in the entire home.  What most people don’t realize is that the air pressure inside your attached garage is generally higher then the air pressure inside your home, so when you open the door between the garage and home, a vacuum occurs and pulls very poor air from the garage directly into the space you will be breathing from!….  Walk around the inside of your garage and see what you have in there…  paint cans, fertilizers, gas cans, lawn mowers, vehicles (off gasing occurs even after you shut a car off), etc.  Not the quality of air you want your family breathing!

How do you fix?….  Install a high quality bath fan, with either a motion sensor or directly connect to your garage door opener, that will activate when you enter and run for 15+ minutes after activating.  This will reverse the air pressure from the house to the garage..    It is also important at this stage of the build to properly air seal the common wall between the house and garage so that garage air does not infiltrate the home through gaps & cracks.

Garage ventilation – 5/15/12

Garage Exhaust fan – 5/10/12

Garage Wall air seal & Insulate – 5/10/12