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Building Progress 7: December 2011

December 2, 2011
Taking advantage of good weather to start exterior painting...

Bart is finishing application of water-based epoxy on 1st floor concrete floor.

Maple block on stair treads.

December 6, 2011
Get a preview glimpse of the 2nd floor living space in the west unit of TrekHaus with this quick panoramic image put together by PSU's Christophe Parroco using the Photosynth app for iPhone.

A few technical glitches stitching the photos together, but still a cool view of the space as construction nears completion.  Just some final trim and detail work to do before it is move-in ready.  Cork flooring in this west unit.  Solid strand woven bamboo flooring in the east unit.

Have some fun navigating this panoramic image with your mouse or touch.  Not much to see on the ceiling, but you can navigate down the stairs and see into the front entry.  If you try hard enough, you can even catch a glimpse of our camera man.

December 7, 2011
Cleaning up front yard and getting ready to lay permeable pavers on driveways.

Sliding bamboo door added to 1st floor back bedroom.

December 8, 2011
Beautiful day to work on painting exterior trim...

Pervious driveway pavers going in...

Walkway pavers to front porch...

Sand being swept into cracks between pavers...

Ed Schmid working on the driveways.  Ed's done all of the great concrete work on our project.

Arne East has been helping out with the front yard and driveways.

Concrete pad (behind the driveway) for shed and future electric charging station.

December 6 & 13, 2011: KATU-TV visits PSU and TrekHaus on December 6 (aired on December 13)
A special Green Living news segment on KATU- TV features TrekHaus collaboration with researchers and engineering students from the Green Building Research Lab at Portland State University.  KATU meets the research team at the lab to learn about passive house construction and the phase change material that has been integrated into the "test" side of the TrekHaus duplex to improve energy efficiency and thermal comfort...and then goes on a field trip to visit the TrekHaus site.

The students get a great hands-on opportunity to study and monitor building performance, and to learn about highly energy efficient passive house design.

To view PSU link, click here.

YouTube Video

December 23, 2011
Front door painted.  Ready to move into our unit this weekend!

Photo of our seriously energy efficient water heater.
The AirGenerate AirTap (ATI50) is a heat pump water heater
Lab tests say a new electric heat pump water heater (HPWH) is two to three times more energy efficient than a standard electric water heater.  The HPWH works like a refrigerator in reverse, extracting heat from room air to heat water.  The HPWH is noisier, so is better in a garage, workshop, or basement.  When operating, it will cool the room it is located in.  At TrekHaus, the cooler air from the HPWH will be counteracted by warm air from the nearby solar PV inverter (solar installation probably in spring).  If you don't need a new water heater, retrofit add-on HPWH versions are available that can be attached to an existing gas or electric water heater.
The AirTap HPWH by AirGenerate is first model to incorporate NEEA’s Northern Climate Specifications into its design.