Momentum becomes hard work

            Inertia gave way to momentum with the excavation of our site ( ).  Not surprisingly that momentum has led to some hard work.  I have built enough houses to have easily predicted this but this project has an unusual amount of engineering, which I assumed would make life easier. The Ideal Walls ( ) were set in a day and took care of the footing, the foundation and the waterproofed and insulated wall system in one fell swoop. That seemingly sudden productivity suggested that this would be an easy house. After all the next step was engineered roof trusses that would be delivered by truck and set by crane with just a little help from Claudia and I and two friends. 

             The illusion ended with the delivery truck being unable to maneuver our narrow road and small lot and having to dump the nearly 2 tons of roof trusses in the neighbors yard.  The unique challenges of building on a .1-acre infill lot started to get more respect. We spent a half a day with our excavator moving the trusses out of our neighbors yard and into position for the crane on our lot.  The Crane came and with 4 of us to guide them into place, set the spacers and nail them down I was sure we would have an easy day. Turns out the truss company sent 2 too many of one type ( CO4’s ). 



If I had noticed this earlier it would not have been a problem. I didn’t and the crane left. We had to slide two out of the way, slide two off the walls and lift two by hand up into place, which doubled the work and the time.  Those trusses weighed 189 pounds each and are 10 feet tall which makes for some awkward sliding and lifting. 

 That glitch remedied the rest of the roof work went well.



We then had the concrete floor poured.



We are now ready to backfill and gain some much needed level area around the house.

             A backdrop to this process has been the latest report from the IPCC that Climate Change is real and in large part caused by human influence. ( ) It is clearer and more urgent than ever that we have to address our carbon contributions to the atmosphere. Buildings are a major contributor due to the energy needed to operate them, over 40% of all energy consumed. This year houses started getting larger again but they are also getting more efficient.  Energy codes are getting stronger and zero energy homes are getting more popular. It is unclear how this plays out. With the shutdown of our government and the hoopla over the political wrangling and showmanship over our short term budget issues it is really hard to see the US government addressing the long term issue of climate change.  The IPCC report came and went in the usual short sighted news cycle way and was drowned out by the battle of our representatives who would rather shut things down than sort things out.  It is satisfying to work hard building an efficient house but depressing to watch our “leaders” posture and obstruct while the climate approaches tipping points.