Lean Too

August 2012

Summertime at the Lean Too.

August 2012

Shades and shadows.

August 2012

Shades and shadows.

August 2012

Douglas Fir sunshade.

August 2012

The Lean Too in the summer. Grass is growing and the garden (to the right) has been planted.

July 2012

Featured in Houzz article: Houzz Tour: Energy-Efficient, ‘Lean’ House in Maine

January 2012

The Lean Too at dusk. Check out our project details page for photos by Darren Setlow Photography.

January 2012

The Lean Too.

January 2012

The dining and wonderful corner of the living room.

January 2012

Salvaged barn board is also accented under the kitchen island.

January 2012

Butcher block island counter top and maple cabinets by Youngs.

January 2012

A comfortable living room.

January 2012

View from the living room to the dining and kitchen. The floor is Maine-grown yellow birch and the accent wall at the kitchen is from a local barn.

January 2012

The Lean Too after a snowstorm.

January 2012

Late morning light.

January 2012

The living room corner and sunshade supports.

January 2012

Landing at the bottom of the stairs.

January 2012

It’s all about light.

January 2012

A cozy area to watch TV. The TV is behind the basement wall so it’s out of view from the kitchen and dining room. There are 2 very good options for hanging a TV in the Lean Too, one exposed to the kitchen/dining area and one hidden.

January 2012

Midcoast Energy explaining the mechanical system to Anne and showing her how to clean the filters on a regular basis.

January 2012

Midcoast Energy and Senecal Construction about to sit down and discuss the mechanical system. Midcoast needed to send back a defective air exchange system. The system is now working as advertised and we would like to compliment Midcoast Energy on their service and response to a problem.

January 2012

The large, frameless mirror helps to visually expand the size of the bathroom.

January 2012

Mom and Dad’s room gets the early morning sun and the eastern moonshine.

January 2012

Colden’s room.

January 2012

Basement door, closet door, closet door.

January 2012

Anne in the kitchen. Butcher block island with reclaimed barn board under the counter.

December 2011

View from the southwest. The exterior is just about complete, until the spring when the sitework will be finished.

December 2011

The mitered southwest corner of the sunshades.

December 2011

The mitered southwest corner of the sunshades.

December 2011

A good example of the sunshades allowing direct sun into to the windows in the winter time to take advantage of that free heat energy.

December 2011

A beautiful effect when the window is pushed to the corner…light bouncing off the wall.

December 2011

The loft is looking like a home office.

December 2011

Recycled barn board accent wall and soon to be coat hooks.

December 2011

It’s moving day!

December 2011

Recycled barn board accent wall.

December 2011

Mudroom entrance with a recycled barn board accent wall.

December 2011

Looking up to the loft.

December 2011

Matt and Anne punch listing the interior.

December 2011

Late morning light in December.

December 2011

View from the living room looking up to the loft.

December 2011

Cathy visiting the site checking out progress. There are no special effects here, the camera was briefly fooled by the light.

December 2011

View from the second floor hall looking down the stairs through the cable rail.

December 2011

View from the loft looking through the cable railing system.

December 2011

The butcher block island top is a nice warm touch to the kitchen.

December 2011

The butcher block island counter top has been installed. It needs to be cut to size.

December 2011

Unfinished maple cabinets to be painted later. The cabinet above the microwave was to be a intake vent but was moved to an alternate location. A new maple panel is on order.

December 2011

Second floor bathroom is complete except for the mirror.

December 2011

Siding is done. Sunshades to go up soon.

December 2011

The final push. Punch list is scheduled for this weekend.

December 2011

The cube. This insulated box takes stale air from the bathrooms and kitchen and captures 75 to 80% of the heat energy before it is exhausted to the exterior.

December 2011

Ceramic tile in the bathroom is complete, waiting for the sink installation and the mirror.

December 2011

Side entry roof.

December 2011

Sheetrock returns at all windows with a simple, but clean, window sill.

December 2011

Basement and closet doors opposite the dining room.

December 2011

Second floor bathroom ceramic tile and east window.

December 2011

Master bedroom, southeast corner, paint trim and carpet.

December 2011

Late afternoon light at Lean Too.

December 2011

Entry roof waiting for metal and the shouldering sunshades.

December 2011

Detail of the entry roof. The notches are for the sunshades which will be soon be installed.

December 2011

Entry roof overhang made with Douglas Fir brackets and real board sheathing. The up/down light fixture provides light for the entry as well as bouncing lighting off the wood.

December 2011

Douglas Fir bracket for the sun shades and entry roof.

December 2011

Wood floor end pieces.

December 2011

By upgrading from the slab-on-grade base package, a mechanical room in the basement was designed. The Rinnai wall-mounted boiler is pictured to the left. The gas-fired boiler heats water for domestic use and the heat coils that are in the Rinnai air handler unit (hanging from the ceiling). The air handler takes fresh outside air and mixes with interior air to increase the air temperature. Stale air from bathrooms and the kitchen is not used, however, 75 to 80% of the heat energy coming across the coils is used to pre-heat the cold outside air.

December 2011

Wood flooring being installed in the living/dining/kitchen. Locally grown and harvested Yellow Birch by Maine Traditions Hardwood Flooring, Katahdin Collection.

December 2011

Colden attending the site meeting with David and Matt.

December 2011

Site meeting, Anne and Matt.

December 2011

Wood flooring being installed.

November 2011

View of the loft. The wood flooring is about to be installed.

November 2011

Master bathroom wall tile.

November 2011

Southwestern view of the fiber cement clapboard siding and board and batten accent at the corner.

November 2011

Siding continues around the side. The northern side has been completed.

November 2011

The northern wall has an accent color.

November 2011

View from the loft. One coat of paint is on all the walls now.

November 2011

All the cabinets have been installed and the bases have been templated for the counter tops.

November 2011

Second floor hall. Notice the amount of light in the morning.

November 2011

North elevation fiber cement siding.

November 2011

Future Douglas Fir sun screens.

November 2011

Second floor bathroom ceramic tile.

November 2011

Mudroom and powder room floor has been tiled.

November 2011

View from the second floor corridor.

November 2011

Some of the board and batten accent siding has been installed.

November 2011

Meeting and showing the Lean Too house to an interested, like-minded couple.

November 2011

The kitchen cabinets being installed so the countertops can be templated.

November 2011

The access to the attic space is quite a deep well to keep the 16″ + of blown-in insulation to achieve a thermal value of R-60.

November 2011

View from the east and the morning sun. The upper windows are into the master bedroom.

November 2011

Siding continuing around the perimeter.

November 2011

Interior walls have been primed.

November 2011

Fiber cement panels being unpackaged. These will be installed under soffits and as board and batten panels.

November 2011

Fiber cement siding (Hardie Board) has begun. The proprietary Hardie Wrap provides a breathable area behind the fiber cement siding that allows it to dry from both sides, extending the life of the siding and color.

November 2011

The vent does double duty, both supplying and exhausting air.

November 2011

The Rinnai air handler bringing in fresh air to the house. By building such a tight house, we will need to recycle air throughout the home.

October 2011

David, Anne, and Colden meeting with Jeanne Handy, interior designer, working on choosing paint colors.

October 2011

Master bedroom, windows to the left face the morning sun.

October 2011

The Rinnai wall-mounted boiler.

October 2011

Work is about to happen on the exterior again. Sheetrock has been completed but heat is needed because the nights are getting cold.

October 2011

Basement walls being sheetrocked. Insulation in the basement is Roxul, a stone wool (volcanic rock) insulation that is moisture and fire resistant.

October 2011

The second floor ceiling will be insulated to R-60. The pink baffles will allow venting from the soffit vents to the ridge vents. The 3-foot overhang of the roof will allow at least 16 inches of insulation at the wall edge to maintain the R-60 insulation for the entire ceiling.

October 2011

Realtor, Mike Hamilton, stopping by to look at progress.

October 2011

The first-floor walls and ceilings have been sheetrocked.

October 2011

Each bedroom will have a supply of fresh air. This house will be constructed so tight that fresh air must be brought in mechanically. This ain’t your grandma’s house!

October 2011

Fresh air duct line from the basement to the second floor.

October 2011

Getting electricity to the site has been a chore working with CMP and Fairpoint. Trees are being cut to run the overhead lines.

October 2011

The basement bathroom needs to be pumped to the septic system.

October 2011

Anne displaying the carpet to be installed in the bedrooms on the second floor. The carpet is by Kraus Flooring, Green Choice Collection. Carpet has both recycled content backing and fiber, it is recyclable, and has CRI’s highest ranking indoor air quality rating. If you look closely, Anne is advertising the “Three Penny Taproom” in Montpelier, VT.

October 2011

Sample of the wood flooring to go on the first floor. Locally grown and harvested Yellow Birch by Maine Traditions Hardwood Flooring, Katahdin Collection. This engineered wood flooring is FSC Certified.

October 2011

Most of the windows have been installed.

October 2011

The electrical rough-in is almost complete.

October 2011

The windows are manufactured by Marvin, these fiberglass windows with wood interiors is their Integrity line. Good quality windows, fiberglass on the exterior is a very durable material.

October 2011

The windows have arrived are are beginning to be installed.

September 2011

The metal roof is almost complete.

September 2011

A coordination meeting with Midcoast Energy, installers of the heating and ventilating system. We have been working with Bob Hardina.

September 2011

Metal roof being installed. The color is galvalume and will change color as the sky changes based on the reflection. It is also a light colored roof so it will not absorb heat (however, R-60 roof insulation would prevent heat absorption anyway).

September 2011

Interior framing on the second floor. View from the hall towards the loft.

September 2011

Thank you to our visitors who attended our open house. We had some who were planning on building a SIP home for themselves, some who were interested in the Lean Too project, and a bunch of friends.

September 2011

Relaxing with a job meeting after the open house with Anne, David, Matt, and Steve Lunt.

September 2011

Not the best photo, but this large hawk watched over the open house all day. Yes, we made sure our little visitors playing outside were tied up.

September 2011

Our kitchen and bath cabinets, represented by Hammond Lumber, are made in New Hampshire with FSC certified Poplar by Young Furniture. These cabinets have solid wood frames and dovetail drawer boxes.

September 2011

Setting up for the open house.

September 2011

A home in the woods.

OPEN HOUSE TOMORROW—SEPTEMBER 17 10am to 1pm

This is your opportunity to see the Lean Too house under construction and meet the design and construction team. Senecal Construction, RE/MAX Riverside, Greg Day Lighting, Complete Home Evaluations, and David Matero Architecture will be on site to answer questions and review construction procedures. Lulwe Ridge is off Collinsbrook Road which is off the Durham Road in Brunswick. Hope to see you there.

September 2011

Getting ready for our open house tomorrow. Roof is on and the sun is out.

September 2011

Bedroom windows being shaded from the southern sun in September. A morning like today, David and Anne will appreciate the sunshine through the windows. We are experiencing a clean but cold Canadian air.

September 2011

The view from the loft looking down to the living room and across to the site facing south.

September 2011

This view will only be available for a short time. Standing at the loft looking through the eventual bedrooms.

September 2011

Interior framed walls are going up. These are the closets between the dining room and the stairs to the basement and second floor.

September 2011

Looking through the living room two-story space to the new roof trusses.

September 2011

The metal roof has been delivered. The roof will be a “Galvalume” color. The roof will take the color of the sky. The roof will look gray some days and blue on other days.

September 2011

Knife edge detail of the roof overhang on the north side.

September 2011

The roof is on! As you can see, the September sun is half shaded by the roof overhang at 10am.

September 2011

Trusses being installed. Yes, there is a gap there. Instead of adding 2 gable end trusses the truss company changed out 2 trusses for gable ends, leaving us 2 short. A quick redesign by Casco Bay Engineering utilizing on-site lumber allowed the roof to continue with 2 conventionally framed trusses.

September 2011

By this weekend the trusses and roof will be installed. Just in time for the open house! Saturday September 17 from 10am to 1pm, please join the design and construction team (cider provided by the David and Anne) as we show you some of the sustainable construction techniques being used on our first Lean Too house. If you scroll down this blog to August you can find a map to the site.

September 2011

Looking forward to this detail. Notice the knife edge detail at the truss ends.

September 2011

The trusses have arrived and are sitting on the second floor. They will begin to be installed today.

September 2011

Looking down on a window opening and at a butt joint between two panels. You can see the splice joint. You also see the obligatory nail coils for the nail gun.

September 2011

If you look closely, the second floor windows do not align with the first floor windows. The contractor noticed this in time and will adjust the opening on the second floor accordingly. A good catch by the contractor.

September 2011

From the corner of the living room you will be able to see through the dining room to the kitchen beyond.

September 2011

Looking at the south and west corner windows of the living room.

September 2011

The second floor panels have been installed. View from the south.

September 2011

View from the southwest showing the corner of the living room and loft space above.

September 2011

The largest beam on site. This beam at the mudroom is holding part of the main roof, part of the mudroom roof, wall and floor above.

September 2011

The second-floor opening for the loft has been framed.

September 2011

When possible, these joist hangers will allow joists and beams to be installed without beam pockets to maximize the insulation at the floor rim.

September 2011

Where headers are needed (in this case 3 2×10’s), 1/2″ insulation is installed between the wood so we get a total of 1″ of insulation above the windows and doors.

September 2011

Owners David and Anne talking to Matt Senecal.

September 2011

At the joint of SIP is a beam pocket already installed to make installation of the beam easier.

September 2011

Real progress of SIP installation now. The two-story panels are where the stairs and loft openings are.

September 2011

View from the kitchen window.

September 2011

The first floor, southeast walls have been installed.

OPEN HOUSE – SEPTEMBER 17 10am to 1pm

This is your opportunity to see the Lean Too house under construction and meet the design and construction team. Senecal Construction, RE/MAX Riverside, Complete Home Evaluations, and DayMatero studio will be on site to answer questions and review construction procedures. The SIP walls and roof will be installed by Saturday Sep. 17.

Come get some free information on sustainable construction.

August 2011

Irene was not much of a factor in our area, but it was better to be on the safe side. SIP’s continue to be installed after the weekend. By coordinating the window and door sizes before construction, the manufacturer cuts out the openings which greatly reduces construction waste.

August 2011

The first wall panels being installed. At about this time we are getting weather reports for the potential hurricane, Irene. With 65 mph winds forecasted, the GC has decided not to install the two story SIP’s. Although it will delay the install of the walls and roofs, having 20′ “sails” without sufficient bracing is too much of a risk.

August 2011

This beam is picking up the opening at the stair. Underneath, the stair beam will eventually cantilever to help the owners move large objects (like kayaks) in and out of the basement.

August 2011

The beam pocket in the SIP still maintains a thermal barrier.

August 2011

SIP box joists and spray insulation. Note the vapor retarder and insulation thermal break at the concrete slab to foundation intersection.

August 2011

The SIP box joist is done, next up is the installation of the hangers and floor joists. The plywood sheathing will be installed on top of the floor system and will cover the top of the SIP box joist.

August 2011

Occasionally, 1 1/2″ of insulation must be dug out by hand. Although we had shop drawings, we needed to order the panels before the final grade and concrete work was completed. There is a small amount of panel cutting that will be required at the basement level. Otherwise, from the basement up, panel adjustments should be minor, or none at all.

August 2011

The top plate is treated the same way, spray insulation is applied prior to the top plate being installed.

August 2011

The SIP’s come without the plate attached. Here you can see the end plate (needed for a structural corner), being installed after insulation is sprayed between the SIP insulation and 2×6.

August 2011

What’s normally termed a box joist, a SIP is resting on sill seal that is resting on the top of concrete foundation wall. This panel is the same dimension as the floor joists. The advantage here is that the thermal envelope is continuous, even at the ends of joists where many times in conventional framing this is a poorly insulated area.

August 2011

The wall panels come with grooves at the joints, called splines. Plywood will be slid into the grooves of each butting panel, like a tongue and groove system.

August 2011

Floor joists have arrived, too. Now the floors and walls will go up quickly. The only structure missing at this point are the roof trusses, scheduled for delivery next week. These engineered floor joists are also straighter and stronger than dimensional lumber, and use significantly less wood.

August 2011

Engineered beams have arrived. The floor joists clear span the width of the building, however, where we have designed openings in the floor for stairs and the loft, these beams need to carry the load. The largest beam is 7″ x 11 7/8″ where it has to carry floor, wall, and roof load. Engineered beams such as these are straighter and stronger than dimensional lumber.

August 2011

When floor joists are not bearing on the top of the concrete wall, Simpson joist top hangers are used. These hangers are nailed to the top plate of the panel so the joists can slide into the Simpson hanger.

August 2011

The SIP’s come plastic wrapped and labeled. There is a drawing that indicates what is in each bundle to assist the contractor in the order of panel construction.

August 2011

The SIP’s have arrived (on Saturday morning).

August 2011

This is a drawing of the south elevation SIP (structural insulated panels) shop drawing. David Matero and Casco Bay Engineering (structural engineers) reviewed and marked up these panel drawings. It is critical that window and door openings are coordinated with the panels because they are delivered with the openings already cut out. This will speed up construction and reduce site waste. Each panel is numbered so when it arrives on site they can be installed efficiently. The panel openings are only 1/4″ larger than the window manufacturer’s documented rough openings.

August 2011

Finishing the slab. The blue membrane will eventually get sealed to the concrete wall. Rigid insulation is also turned up between the slab and wall as both a pour stop and insulated barrier.

August 2011

The basement slab pour. Note the blue vapor retarder directly under the concrete slab (and under this is rigid insulation). This membrane will assist in keeping water and radon vapor from entering through the concrete slab. There is perforated perimeter piping both inside and outside the footing.

August 2011

Anne sporting a new haircut.

August 2011

David and Matt Senecal reviewing the requisition.

August 2011

Underground plumbing inspection passed. The sump upper right is the sewage pump for the basement bathroom. The first and second floor waste lines are gravity flow so bathrooms can be used in a power outage. The footing to the left is support for the stair opening. Other than this post, the basement is a clear span space. More stone, vapor barrier and slab are scheduled for tomorrow.

August 2011

Leach field is complete except for the spreading of loam. The septic tank is scheduled to be buried later today.

July 2011

David Matero, Matt Senecal and the clients met at Hammond Lumber to review drawings and begin picking out materials and finishes. The most important decision was choosing a color of fiber cement siding, both the primary and secondary color. We also decided on a metal roofing color.

July 2011

Our first Lean Too clients, David and Anne (Prusak) Daniel and their son Colden before our meeting at Hammond Lumber in Brunswick.

July 2011

Concrete foundation has been poured. Getting ready for waterproofing. This is the view from the southwest, the walkout basement is to the north.

July 2011

The footings have been poured. View is from the northwest corner where the basement daylights to the exterior. An extra playroom/bedroom is in the basement, along with mechanical and storage.

July 2011

Pouring the concrete footings.

June 2011

Using a sun chart and compass, the construction team can orient the house due south. Depending on other circumstances (views, prevailing breezes, site constraints), the house can vary off this angle by a few degrees. In our case, we capitalized on a direct southern exposure.

June 2011

Matt Senecal, Senecal Construction Services, Scott Fraser, site contractor, and David Matero on site to preliminarily layout the house.

July 2011

The entrance to Lulwe Ridge off Collinsbrook Road in Brunswick, ME.

January 2010

A visit to the site in winter. The developer of the land cleared some of the buildable area to give people an idea of siting the house. Although we would prefer to site each house, this was done a couple of years ago.

January 2010

View from the northeast.

January 2010

View from the southeast showing the kitchen windows on the first floor and bedroom on the second floor. A first floor bedroom is possible in the future on this side so it captures the morning light.

January 2010

Building Sections – Sections cut through the house show the loft and two-story living room. More importantly, sun angles are shown to help design the correct sun shading devices and roof overhang.

January 2010

West Elevation – The sun shades on the first floor wrap to protect the west facing windows. A screen porch could be installed on this side of the house in the future.

January 2010

South Elevation – A metal roof will protect this house for many years, and the fiber cement siding mounted as a rain screen will also extend the life of the siding. The windows are a combination of stationary and casements because they are better performing than double-hung windows.

January 2010

Second Floor Plan – Two bedrooms and a bathroom make up the second floor. The loft could easily be converted to a third bedroom, if needed. All south facing windows are protected by a large overhanging roof.

January 2010

First Floor Plan – An open concept which is how most modern day families use their home. The kitchen, dining room, and living room all face south to take advantage of free solar gain. To shade the sun during the summer, each of the south facing windows and doors have sun shades. The living room is open to a loft above. On the north side of the plan is a powder room, mud room, and laundry.

January 2010

A generic site plan of a typical Lean Too site including the important considerations like solar orientation, native landscaping, and limited site clearing.

January 2010

Early in 2010, a team that included DayMatero studio, Senecal Construction Services, and Mike Hamilton from RE/MAX Riverside, approached the owner and developer of the Lulwe Ridge development off Collinsbrook Road in Brunswick, ME, with the concept of designing, marketing, and constructing energy efficient homes based on the LEED requirements. These nice, 2 +/- acre lots had some of the buildable areas cleared and a road constructed, but otherwise were not selling in a down economy. After much interest in the concept, over 220,000 hits on the realtor’s website, the first “Lean Too” house was sold this spring. Please enjoy this blog as we continually update the status of our first Lean Too house.