In the news…

Activity at the house is moving as quickly as humanly possible these days and while the crews have a nice break this Memorial Day weekend, Nancy and I are still going full-tilt as several things near completion—and that’s great news! More on that in subsequent posts…but there’s other ‘news’ being reported this weekend that we […]

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The kitchen takes shape

A week ago today, our cabinet bases arrived wrapped in old bedspreads and blankets. Jake Shetler and his driver/installers brought them from his Utica, Minnesota workshop on an open trailer. It was a big day.

Inside the house, Ryan King (the finish carpenter) moved saws, stacks of wood and a tangle […]

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Painting & tiling…it’s more than brushes and trowels!

As we begin the week, we are a few brush strokes away from completing the interior painting—and it’s looking good! And had it not been for the great preparation work the Newman Drywall crew did in recent weeks (see March 4, 24 and April 1 postings), I’m sure it would have been a bigger chore […]

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Dense-pack cellulose + sheetrock

In late October a crew from Expert Insulation filled and packed the outside six-inch cavity of our house walls with cellulose insulation. In January they came back to fill the attic with 30 inches of loose-fill cellulose. Just 10 days ago they were back again to pack the interior cavity of our exterior walls with […]

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Installing a unique insulated floor system

Through early December, we stepped into the house and into a hole. It was like being a child in a giant’s house, standing on tip-toe or jumping up to see out, with ceilings extra high.

The extra depth was there because we’ve chosen to install a 13-inch insulated subfloor system directly on the ground, over a six-inch layer of […]

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Bitter cold descends

Shortly after our last post, temps dropped drastically. Just in time—the day before, and as the deep freeze moved in—the roofers moved their scaffolding and backfill went in around the foundation. Excavator Stan Hongerholt set records for work accomplished in one day! Below, John and Stan made plans and John shoveled fill under the front […]

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Windows, step-by-step…

“Super-insulated houses require ultra-performing windows and doors.” That’s Passive House architect Christi Weber’s opening line regarding windows and doors on the “project overview” page of our Root River House site. “It would be pointless to work on the home’s envelope, only to cut a bunch of holes in it and fill them with low-quality, leaky […]

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Windows ‘n pavers ‘n roofing – oh, my!

Dorothy may have been taken by “lions and tigers and bears – oh my!” as she traveled the yellow brick road toward Oz, but we’re not building on the yellow brick road and this isn’t Kansas. Nonetheless, I had one of those moments Wednesday that had me feeling like Dorothy must have felt, twisting my […]

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The second floor rises

“By the end of this week our house walk-through will be a little less imaginary…” Nancy closed her post a week ago with that line—and she was right! By the time the weekend rolled around a good share of the first floor was framed and floor boards for part of the second […]

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Radon pipes, plumbing, and materials

We stopped to check on building materials early yesterday and were surprised to see Matt Swenson drive in. A morning rain muddied up the other job he’d planned, so he seized the moment to install radon pipes. This gave us a chance to talk through cistern installation, the kind of pump we’ll use to get […]

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Lanesboro, Minnesota
Climate Zone 6 (cold/moist)
Latitude: 43° 44' 18'' N
Longitude: 91° 54' 48'' W

House Size

Net Treated Floor Area: 1,514 SF
Gross Square Footage (House only): 2,210 SF

Building Envelope

Roof: R-99
Wall: R-61
Ground: R-53

Windows & Doors

Glazing: U-0.10 BTU / hour / sq. ft.
Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC): 0.48”
Frame: U-0.19 BTU / hour / sq. ft.

Modeled Performance

Specific Primary Energy Demand (Source Energy Demand): 12.1 kBTU / sq. ft. / year

Specific Space Heat Demand: 7.0 kBTU/sq. ft. / year

Peak Heating Load: 7,047 BTU / hour

Space Cooling Demand: 0.44 kBTU / sq. ft. / year

Peak Cooling Load: 3,625 BTU / hour

Pressure Test Goal: Whole House Air Changes Per Hour (ACH) = 0.4 ACH 50


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