Water & Plumbing

Small pleasures…gutters, downspouts, rain chains and diverters!

It took all of a week for Mother Nature to transition from a nearly perfect autumn ‘gutter-mounting’ day to today’s overcast rainy afternoon, but it’s really great to see rain water heading to the fields, the rain gardens and, eventually, to our cistern, just as we’d planned.

Most of us don’t really think much about […]

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Super systems, amazing people

We’re in the depths of the longest, coldest, snowiest winter southeast Minnesotans have seen for years. The photo below was taken on February 5. A few things have changed on the exterior of the house since then, but the view was much the same yesterday—white sky, blustery wind, and several more inches of soft, mounded white everywhere. […]

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Today the crisp smell of frost was in the air and activity at the house matched that energy!

Upstairs Jeff, JR and Troy got an early start placing sheathing. Chad and crew from Architectural Metal Systems installed scaffolding and started installing roof panels on the south side of the house by nine. Russell Larson, Larson […]

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Recycling our water

Recycling plastics, aluminum, newspaper and more is top-of-mind for most of us; recycling our water is not something we typically think about. But when you stop to realize that there exists a finite amount of water and we’re constantly consuming it, washing with it, and flushing it down our toilets, only to be used again […]

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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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Materials are piling up!

We’re getting closer! Materials have been arriving over the past week. Roof trusses are piled high and the 1000-gallon cistern is sitting on top of the garage slab, ready to be lowered into the cellar. Advanced Building Center (ABC), of Oronoco, is working closely with Vilen Construction to supply building materials for the framing. Both […]

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Burying the plumbing

STS Plumbing is back on site today to set and bury the rest of the plumbing lines needed under the house. Unlike houses built with a basement where you can conceivably access mechanical runs to the first floor, our house is being built on-grade (no basement or crawlspace), so there’s no ‘second chance’ for certain […]

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Backfilling, drain tile, and Nancy’s rock

A busy day today as our excavator, Stan, and crew returned to begin back-filling around the foundation. We’re lucky to have a ready supply of sand from a corner of our property that leads into an old sand/gravel pit—an area we’re ‘reclaiming’ into something that will more closely resemble its natural surroundings. Digging, hauling and […]

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Water, water, everywhere…

Water is top-of-mind this week. Today’s site visit reveals that work is underway on the community well that will eventually serve us and our future neighbors. It’ll be several weeks before connections will be made to the house, but it’s good to see drilling is scheduled to commence this week. In the distance, our building […]

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Placing the forms

It’s a quiet, cool, overcast morning as I arrive at the site around 8. Our ‘neighborhood’ wildlife have been up for hours, but still linger; songbirds singing, an owl ‘hooting’ across the valley, a deer or two strolling along the edge of the woods and into the nearby fields. It’s easy to imagine how the […]

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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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