Our Technique

For over 20 years

1_reed-dusk-living-webWe have been committed to sustainability, through an evolution of materials and building practices, knowing well in advance that it would be key to our success. Naturally, we continue to learn and evolve. From Scribe-Fit Log homes and Timber frame structures, ICF’s, Straw bale, SIPS, and Advanced “Smart” Framing practices, we have sought the perfect building solution. What we have concluded………there is not one “perfect” building solution, but rather an evolving and learning process. Every habitant, and every microclimate has it’s own needs. The Building process is a harmonious effort between Owner, Architect, Builder, and Nature. This collaborative effort is critical to the accomplishment of a Comfortable, Efficient, and Sustainable Home. Such a relationship is ideally formed at the conception of the project.Our goal is to provide you with comprehensive professional guidance, prior to, and throughout the construction of your unique home. Along with our in-house team of Craftsmen, our “on-board” Subcontractors have been selected according to their ability to work well as a team. Their uncompromising workmanship, dedication to understanding common goals, as well as researching and practicing cutting edge technology and building science principles in order to advance the common goal of sustainable building. This is vital to assure complete satisfaction of those who will inhabit the outstanding structures we build.

 

Traditional timber framing is the method of creating structures using heavy squared-off and carefully fitted and joined timbers with joints secured by large wooden pegs (larger versions of the mortise and tenon joints in furniture). It is commonplace in wooden buildings from the 19th century and earlier. The method comes from making things out of logs and tree trunks without modern high tech saws to cut lumber from the starting material stock framed by exposed timbers
Insulated Concrete Forms – a system of formwork for reinforced concrete that stays in place as a permanent interior and exterior substrate for walls, floors, and roofs. The forms are interlocking modular units that are dry-stacked (without mortar) and filled with concrete. The forms lock together somewhat like Lego bricks and serve to create a form for the structural walls or floors of a building. ICF construction has become commonplace for both low rise commercial and high performance residential construction as more stringent energy efficiency and natural disaster resistant building codes are adopted.
Straw-bale construction is a building method that uses bales of straw (commonly wheat, rice, rye and oats straw) as structural elements, building insulation, or both. This construction method is commonly used in natural building or “brown” construction projects. Research has shown that straw-bale construction is a sustainable method for building, from the standpoint of both materials and energy needed for heating and cooling.Advantages of straw-bale construction over conventional building systems include the renewable nature of straw, cost, easy availability, naturally fire-retardant and high insulation value. Disadvantages include susceptibility to rot, difficulty of obtaining insurance coverage, and high space requirements for the straw itself. Research has been done using moisture probes placed within the straw wall in which 7 of 8 locations had moisture contents of less than 20%. This is a moisture level that does not aid in the breakdown of the straw. However, proper construction of the straw-bale wall is important in keeping moisture levels down, just as in the construction of any type of building. Straw bale building typically consists of stacking rows of bales (often in running-bond) on a raised footing or foundation, with a moisture barrier or capillary break between the bales and their supporting platform. There are two types of straw-bales commonly used, those bound together with two strings and those with three. The three string bale is the larger in all three dimensions.[18] Bale walls can be tied together with pins of bamboo, rebar, or wood (internal to the bales or on their faces), or with surface wire meshes, and then stuccoed or plastered, either with a cement-based mix, lime-based formulation, or earth/clay render. The bales may actually provide the structural support for the building (“load-bearing” or “Nebraska-style” technique), as was the case in the original examples from the late 19th century. The plastered bale assembly also can be designed to provide lateral and shear support for wind and seismic loads.
Alternatively, bale buildings can have a structural frame of other materials, usually lumber or timber-frame, with bales simply serving as insulation and plaster substrate, (“infill” or “non-loadbearing” technique), which is most often required in northern regions and/or in wet climates
Structural Insulated Panels – a high performance building system for residential and light commercial construction. The panels consist of an insulating foam core sandwiched between two structural facings, typically oriented strand board (OSB). The board can be sheet metal, plywood, cement, magnesium oxide board (MgO) or oriented strand board (OSB) and the core either expanded polystyrene foam (EPS), extruded polystyrene foam (XPS), polyisocyanurate foam, polyurethane foam or composite honeycomb (HSC).
SIPs share the same structural properties as an I-beam or I-column. The rigid insulation core of the SIP acts as a web, while the sheathing fulfills the function of the flanges. SIPs combine several components of conventional building, such as studs and joists, insulation, vapor barrier and air barrier. They can be used for many different applications, such as exterior wall, roof, floor and foundation systems.
“Smart Framing” aims to minimize the amount of waste materials while maintaining structural integrity. The use of 24″ centers allows for more insulation and less thermal breaks in the structure.
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