Friday, February 18, 2011

Energy Audit of a Shelter Home - Part I

By Gaius Hennin, P.E.
Shelter recently hosted a class taught by Aaron Despres from Energy Solutions For Maine and Up-Country Building Inspectors, Inc. Aaron is a native of Harpswell, Maine and holds a Masters degree in Geology. He is certified as a Building Analyst Professional by the Building Performance Institute, #4380 * ASHI Associate, # 248862 * Member of MeCHIPS

In addition to the class, Aaron performed an energy audit of the Tipton home, which we've mentioned previously on our blog. (You can also read about the Tipton's home and their goal of building a near net-zero home on their blog, Simple Living, where they describe the process of designing and building their home as well as the energy performance of the house.)

Shelter Design Build was responsible for the shell of the Tipton's home including the timber frame and structural insulated panel enclosure (from R-Control), Marvin doors and windows, and McElroy hidden fastener metal roof.

In this first installment, we'll describe Aaron's class, and in a later post, we'll share the results of Aaron's energy audit of the Tipton home.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Past Students. Current Projects: Virginia Woodshop and Recording Studio

Shelter students come from all walks of life, but they are always interesting, thoughtful, and enthusiastic. Very often we’re asked what students at Shelter are capable of doing after taking our classes, so from time to time on the ShelterBuild blog, we profile Shelter Institute alumni and the various projects they've completed.

Gaius and the crew recently traveled to Virginia to help Gene and Chris assemble and raise a timber frame on their property in the Shenandoah Valley. Gene took the Design Build class in 1978 and the Purely Post & Beam class in 2004 and 2007. Building a timber frame has been a dream ever since. We interviewed Gene after the crew left to ask, among many things, how he finally realized his dream after thirty years of planning.

Tell me a little bit about the building project.  
We are building a two-story woodshop and recording studio across the driveway from our home in the Shenandoah Valley. Each level is ~ 1100 sqft. of workspace. We used two steel beams on the first floor to eliminate 2 posts to open up the working space for larger projects. Equipment in the shop will include 2 table saws, jointer, planer, shaper, band saw, lathe—essentially capable of building almost any type of project. The second level includes an open recording area ("live" room) with roof peak at 18', a fully equipped control room, vocal booths and a lounge area.