Thursday, October 23, 2008

Breaking Ground!

It has been a while since our last update, but we are pleased to say that construction of 2 of the 4 green cottage homes has begun this past week! Sonne Ledge is under construction in Edgecomb and Windance Farm is under construction in Boothbay. Our intent is to provide updates throughout construction, highlighting some of the green building techniques and how costs compare to traditional construction.

As design plans have progressed, each home has gone through design changes to fit the specific needs and aesthetic desires of the owners. Check out this rough massing model of Sonne Ledge:

While the floor plans remain largely the same, the exterior has been stream-lined to promote natural ventilation. Windows were placed high to enhance the stack effect, drawing air through the home.

“Hey-Di K-11”

In this photograph, “Hey’Di K-11" has been applied to the top of the concrete footing at Sonne Ledge. Traditional foundation construction typically involves waterproofing of the exterior wall. While this prevents moisture from entering the basement through the sidewalls, it provides no protection for ‘wicking’ of moisture up from the ground, through the footing, into the foundation wall, and ultimately into the wood of the home. Hey’Di K-11, through a crystallization process, grows and fills the capillaries in the concrete creating a waterproof barrier between the footing and the wall.

In addition to waterproofing the exterior foundation walls, another Knickerbocker Group standard practice is the use of foundation drainage panels, similar to the sample shown below (with the gray painted board simulating the foundation):

This system provides protection of the foundation as well as positive drainage and insulation. The board (or grid, depending on brand) acts as a drainage medium, allowing moisture and water to drain vertically down to the footer drain, and preventing hydrostatic pressure from building up on the foundation walls. The insulation also keeps foundation wall temperatures closer to the air temperature of the basement, which helps reduce interior condensation. Reduced condensation ensures less humid, more comfortable basement space and helps deter mold and mildew.

Coming Soon…

Next week, an insulated concrete form (ICF) foundation is going in at the Sonne Ledge site. In addition to action photos of the install and a description of some of the benefits of ICFs, we will put together a comparison of the concrete vs. ICF construction cost estimates.