Building Our Water Treatment System

Adam, having worked under the careful guidance of Edwin Tomas (Silicon Valley Mechanical), cut the copper fittings and built the components.  Then, he sweated the components together into separate assemblies.

Adam started by making a jig that would hold the components ...

 

Then started 'sweating' the pieces together to create the components ...

 

And, finally, sweated the components together and made the assembly.

 

The two assembies were joined and the complete system pressure tested to 100 PSI overnight. The system is in front of where it will be cut into the actual water supply. Note that we moved the potassium tank into the corner.

Treating Our Water

We want to have excellent water inside our house.  First, we need to get rid of the ‘scaling’ of the hard water that we have.  Second, we want the water purified so we can drink it.  Although our water in Monte Sereno is relatively pure, it is loaded with calcium carbonate, which leaves a white residue (scaling) everywhere.

We bought the equipment through Jerry Breen, who is a water ‘expert’ that lives in our community in Los Gatos.

After Jerry designed our system, we had the components delivered and now have to build the system.

First, the water is put through an activated charcoal filter, which eliminates organic materials and filters any sediments out of the water.  Then, the water goes through a potassium water softner, which eliminates the calcium carbonate that causes scaling.

Our water treatment system will be in the East Mechanical room and has the activated charcoal filter on the left, with the potassium water softener on the right. The bin in the middle is for holding the potassium cubes.

 

We will use the remaining copper fittings from our West Mechanical room ...

 

Here is the layout for one of the two components. (Don't worry, it will be easier to understand once built.)

 

Lighting Up the East Mechanical Room

We received the 3FLinda lights and were able to get them installed.  They look great!

Dan and Adam continued to work on the wall in the Wine Dining.  This will be a work of art that will be absolutely amazing.  While enjoying a glass of wine, it will be nice to reflect on how the wall was built and where the materials came from.

Way cool ..

These are the individual pieces of wood that are being used to construct the West wall in the Wine Dining room.

 

Dan and Adam have been working meticulously on the wall. Each strip is one inch wide and consists of five (5) pieces of wood. These pieces are held together with a spline, which is nailed into the wall with 22 gauge stainless steel brad nails.

The East Mechanical room is lit up with the 3FLinda lights.

The 3FLinda fixtures each have two T5-HO fluorescent bulbs. The temporary light is in the background.

  

View of the network equipment rack in the East Mechanical room. The shelfs under the rack are temporary.

 

 

Building the Finished Wall in the Wine Dining

We want to have the ‘Wine Dining’ room to be special.  When Jo-Anne learned that we could buy the wood from the wine tanks at Mirassou Winery on Aborn Road in San Jose, she said ‘Do it.’

Milling the wood and creating the wall has been extremely labor intensive and time consuming.  We think it will be worth it.

Our friend, Kostas Karachristos, recommended that we use RedGard as a waterproofing membrane, which we did.

The wall in the Wine Dining is starting to come together …

The wall in the Wine Dining is coated with RedGard, which is a liquid waterproofing membrane.

 

Dan (left) and Adam (right) are putting the very first column of wood in place. It is important to get the first column correct, as any errors will be amplified as there are more than 140 columns of wood that will become the wall.

 

Starting Our Lighting Control System

The lighting control system is a critical component in reducing our energy needs.  We’re installing Schneider Electric’s Clipsal C-Bus system, which is the most advanced and robust lighting control system that we could find.

Although the basic infrastructure has been in place for some time, Bryan started assembling the components and connecting the data network.  Oh, we’re also building a small data center …

East Mechanical Room

The East Mechanical room houses the electrical distribution panels for the East side of the house as well as the Network Gateway East, which is a 12U network rack and is on the backbone to the Network Gateway West.  The electricity generated from half of our photovoltaic system enter the 200 amp panel in the East Mechanical room, which is ‘live’ today.

East Storage Room

Three of the six lighting control panels are located in the East Storage room.  Bryan installed the network connection from the Ethernet to the C-Bus network in one of the three lighting control panels.

Each room that houses lighting control panels also includes a junction box for the C-Bus network.  These junction boxes allow multiple C-Bus connectors to be joined such that only one C-Bus network cable goes into each lighting control panel.

West Mechanical Room

The West Mechanical room houses the two electrical distribution panels on the West side of the house.  As well, all the geothermal and hydronic heating/cooling equipment will be located in the West Mechanical room.

Air Handler Room

The Air Handler Room, which is on the West side of the building, houses two more lighting control panels.  As well, it has a junction box for the C-Bus network backbone, which is connected to the C-Bus network junction boxes in the East Storage room and the Upper Laundry room.

Network Gateway West

We have two network gateways, which are connected on a high-speed backbone.  We installed a temporary 12U rack for the equipment that will, ultimately, comprise the Network Gateway West.

The temporary rack has a Motorola cable modem (for Comcast), a Luxul 2300 HBR router and a gigabit switch.  Bryan bought an APC PDU, which will become our permanent source of power from the 100 amp panel located in the West Mechanical room.

 

Three lighting control panels in the East Storage room. The initial panel is on the right, and has the network interface (Ethernet and C-Bus) and a 12-channel relay.

 

Close up of the initial lighting control panel. The Ethernet and C-Bus network cables are coming through the bottom of the panel.

 

We put the C-Bus network junction up high as it will only need to be accessible if there is a physical network failure. You can see that we are using pink CAT5e cable for the C-Bus network and yellow CAT5e as redundant cabling.

  

Most of our network cabling is run through flexible orange 'smurf' conduit although some of the cabling runs free outside the conduit.

 

The East Mechanical room is cleaned up and all the electric distribution panels are covered and secured. The 200 amp panel on the left is 'live' as half of our photovoltaic system is connected in this panel.

 

Update on Our Lighting

Today, we addressed the collars on the Lucifer lights around the exterior of the house.  Also, Bryan saw some interesting electric car charging stations over at the Netflix buildings on Winchester Boulevard.

Lucifer Lights

We’re putting in Lucifer lights in the roof overhangs around the perimeter of the house.  These lights are part of our comprehensive lighting plan, which Randall Whitehead designed for us.  We love the flush mount of Lucifer and the clean, minimalist look.

Each of the lights are in IC-rated housings.  The IC rating means that the housings can be in contact with the insulation.  Since the overhangs are outside our thermal envelope, we can recess the lights into the SIP roof.

We ordered the housings with 1-1/2 inch collars on the housings and it looks like these collars are too long.  Bill Anderson is our contact person at Lighting Advantage Lighting Technologies and he will ensure that we have the correct collars for our lights.  Since there are 29 recessed lights around the exterior that we have received and 34 recessed lights inside the house still to order, we can get the correct collars.

 

The Lucifer Lighting housing in the SIP. Note how the collar may be too long when the OSB replaced and the 5/8-inch reclaimed Redwood is in place.

 

Housing with the collar on ...

 

And, without the collar. We can get the correct size collars and simply replace the existing collars that are too long.