Archive for August, 2010

Installing the Solar Mounts on Our Upper Flat Roof

Friday, August 27th, 2010

The installation team from Akeena Solar arrived at the job site this morning to install the mounting system on our upper flat roof.  Also, they pulled the ‘fish’ through the conduit to the storage space below the pantry.

At the same time, the two-person team from 88HVAC continued to connect the HDPE in the concrete piers on the West side of the house while Izzy backfilled and compacted the soil over the natural gas and electric conduit.

The week ended on a very positive note.

Installing the Solar Mounts on Our Upper Flat Roof

We worked with Akeena Solar to design our solar system so it would generate as much electricity as possible.  The East/West axis of our house is positioned within 13 degrees of due East/West and, on our upper flat roof alone, we have 624 square feet available for solar panels.  These factors meet two of the four requirements under LEED-H ID 1.5 Building Orientation for Solar Design.

For our latitude, the solar photovoltaic panels should be at approximately 23 degree tilt to optimize the generation of electricity.  Although we could have designed the system to have a single plane of panels then it would have been taller.  In addition, solar photovoltaic panels require periodic cleaning to maximize the production of electricity.

Since we had some space, but not sufficient space, on the roof to include walkway space between the four arrays of panels, we ‘terraced’ the arrays.  Terracing the arrays provides space between each array (row) of panels while reducing the shading of the panels by the array in front of it.

A non-terraced set of four arrays of solar panels would be taller than a terraced set and not allow easy access for cleaning the solar photovoltaic panels.

A non-terraced set of four arrays of solar panels would be taller than a terraced set and not allow easy access for cleaning the solar photovoltaic panels.

Terracing the set of four arrays lowers the overall height but requires more area for the panels.  The wider the spacing between each array lowers the height of each subsequent array (the shading angle is 23 degrees for our latitude).

Terracing the set of four arrays lowers the overall height but requires more area for the panels. The wider the spacing between each array lowers the height of each subsequent array (the shading angle is 23 degrees for our latitude).

With the terracing, we required a frame for each array of eight panels.  These frames must be raised off the upper flat roof by mounts and these mounts will penetrate the roof membrane.  And, the conduit going from each array to the ‘combiner box’ must penetrate the roof membrane.

Detailed design on the mounts and frame for the arrays on the upper flat roof.

Detailed design on the mounts and frame for the arrays on the upper flat roof.

Duk Lee of Akeena Solar completed the detailed design of the layout and the frames (Sheet PV-1 and Sheet PV-2).  The onsite team was given the task to build the system.  The first step in building the system was to install the mounts on the upper flat roof and run the conduit on the lower flat roof that will be under the tapered insulation. 

Of course, the electrical and structural components of the system need to be inspected by the City of Monte Sereno …

The installation team from Akeena arrived on site as scheduled this morning.  They took care to park on Winchester Boulevard so their vehicles did not use any of the precious parking space on Via Sereno.  After an orientation and brief tour of the project, they set to work laying out the solar mounts.  Later in the morning, Duk Lee arrived to verify the layout was as designed.  As well, Ben Caschera, the installation manager with Akeena Solar came to the project site to see how his team was doing.

There were some difficulties with the ‘fish tape’ going through the dedicated conduit that will carry the DC and AC from the roof to the East Mechanical room.  No problem.  The installation team used a shop vacuum to pull a nylon string attached to a small plastic ‘balloon’ through the conduit.  Within minutes, the fish tape was then in place.

At the end of the day, Don Henderson, the senior person on the installation team, called for an inspection for Monday afternoon with the City of Monte Sereno.  After ensuring the site was clean and secure, Don called it a week.

Backfilling and Compacting the Trench for Natural Gas and Electricity

Izzy completed the backfilling and compacting of our trench this afternoon.  Completing the backfilling created a significant amount of real estate at the front of the property.  Also, it made the site much safer and easier to get around.  Izzy’s next task was to put the 4 inch pipe in place around the perimeter of the house that will take 100% of the water from the roof to our underground cistern.  He got a good start on this today and will finish it by Wednesday.

Connecting the Ground Loops

Justin and Michael from 88HVAC were on site again today.  They connected two ground loops in each concrete pier on the West side of the house.  Next week they will test the ground loops in each concrete pier for adequate flow and pressure.  If that test is OK, then they will connect the concrete piers and bring the complete ground loop inside the house to the West Mechanical room.

Overall, we’re continuing to make progress.  And progress is good.

Starting to lay out where the mounts will be located on the upper flat roof.  The cool night resulting in very heavy condensation on the newly Tyveked roof.

Starting to lay out where the mounts will be located on the upper flat roof. The cool night resulting in very heavy condensation on the newly Tyveked roof.

Izzy was backfilling and compacting the trench for the natural gas and underground electric conduit.

Izzy was backfilling and compacting the trench for the natural gas and underground electric conduit.

The team from Akeena Solar installs the mounts on the upper flat roof.  It was a beautiful, blue-sky California day (again).

The team from Akeena Solar installs the mounts on the upper flat roof. It was a beautiful, blue-sky California day (again).

The acorn nuts can now be covered with the tapered foam insulation such that the member will not be damaged over time.

The acorn nuts can now be covered with the tapered foam insulation such that the member will not be damaged over time.

Don Henderson, from Akeena Solar, on the upper flat roof.

Don Henderson, from Akeena Solar, in an animated telephone conversation on our upper flat roof.

Conduit that will take the AC lines from the North gable roof to the East Mechanical room.

Conduit that will take the AC lines from the North gable roof to the East Mechanical room.

Don reviews progress.

Don reviews progress.

The solar mounts are looking good!  The tapered insulation will cover the solar mounts.

The solar mounts are looking good! The tapered insulation will cover the solar mounts.

Don Henderson calls it a day.  And a week.  The team from Akeena Solar will be back on Monday to finish the last items and then the City of Monte Sereno will inspect the progress on Monday afternoon.

Don Henderson calls it a day. And a week. The team from Akeena Solar will be back on Monday to finish the last items and then the City of Monte Sereno will inspect the progress on Monday afternoon.

Other than the location for the new electric service box, the trench with the natural gas and electric is backfilled and compacted.  The pile of dirt is much smaller now!

Other than the location for the new electric service box, the trench with the natural gas and electric is backfilled and compacted. The pile of dirt is much smaller now!

After taking the flag down, Bryan smiled and took one last picture of the solar mounts on the upper flat roof.

After taking the flag down, Bryan smiled and took one last picture of the solar mounts on the upper flat roof.

‘Laying In’ Our Natural Gas Connection with PG&E

Tuesday, August 24th, 2010

After two failed inspections, we passed our natural gas inspection on Wednesday, 08/18/10, so we could have the PG&E team connect our natural gas line to the main going up Via Sereno.  Today was [another] a big day.  After the natural gas was connected, Bryan ensured the natural gas lines were covered with 6 inches of sand.

Also, the team from Earth Bound Homes completed the chase for our solar AC and DC connections, installed a waterproof membrane at the connection to the gable roof and pony walls, and put Tyvek on the inside gable of two of our three gable roofs.

Laying In Our Natural Gas Connection

The two-person team from PG&E arrived at 8:45 am this morning.  Bill (the welder) and Larry worked safely and quickly to lay in our natural gas connection.  This was an interesting process to watch.

First, Larry did the ‘tail gate planning’, where he identified the closest emergency hospital (Good Samaritan Hospital off Los Gatos Boulevard) and noted the site-specific conditions.  For our project, these conditions included the potential of water below grade and the 15,000 volt underground electric cables within 18 inches of the natural gas main.  Larry documented these conditions on the tail gate board.

Then, they set to work.  All appropriate safety equipment was in place, including a fire extinguisher.  Then, Bill welded the vertical connection onto the live natural gas main.  This was a bit tense for Bryan to watch (yeah, welding a pipe containing natural gas at 57 PSI).  Meanwhile, Larry got the natural gas riser with 1/2 inch connection line and cut it to the approximate length, and they pressure-tested the assembly.

After Bill completed the welding, the connection has to cool before they could continue (approximately 20 minutes).  This allowed time to clean up the area, and place the riser assembly in the trench.

Bill tested the natural gas connection to the gas riser, which was ok.  Then, he cut into the live natural gas line, which allowed gas to flow into the gas riser.  Larry opened the valve slowly, to avoid triggering the emergency shut off valve, and allowed some gas to flow through the line.  This cleared any debris (dirt, sand, etc.) from the line.  Then, Larry closed the valve.

With the connection working, Bill then primed the main line and connection and tested all the joints with soapy water.  Ensuring there were no leaks, Bill wrapped the natural gas line and all metallic connections with the special tape (to avoid corrosion).

After loading up their tools and equipment, Bill and Larry gave Bryan the final instructions on covering the new natural gas line with six inches of sand, and then they left the job site.

It was 10:15 am.

Preparing to Install the Solar Mounts

Since we have a membrane roof on the flat roofs, we have to have all the penetrations completed.  With our 48 solar photovoltaic panels, we must have the mounts for the frames completed and in place as soon as we put down our Tyvek wrap over the flat roof.  This will allow Akeena Solar to install (with us), the brackets for the 32 solar photovoltaic panels (in 4 arrays of 8 panels each) on the upper flat roof.

Also, we need to have the conduits in place for the AC (from the 16 panels with Enphase micro-inverters on each individual panel) and the DC (from the 32 panels on the upper flat roof), all of which go through the SIP roof to the rigid conduit in the concrete wall that will take the electric cables to the East Mechanical room.

We’ve scheduled the installation of the solar mounts by Akeena Solar on the upper flat roof and the conduits going to the SIP roof for Friday.  Thus, the team from Earth Bound Homes has to have the Tyvek and other components in place so Akeena can do their work.

It’s all good.

The two-person team from PG&E just arrived.  Bill and Larry will do the natural gas lay-in to the exposed natural gas main.

The two-person team from PG&E just arrived. Bill and Larry will do the natural gas lay-in to the exposed natural gas main.

Bill starts welding the vertical connection to the natural gas line.  This made Bryan a bit nervous, as welding a live natural gas line with 57 PSI just didnt seem prudent.

Bill starts welding the vertical connection to the natural gas line. This made Bryan a bit nervous, as welding a live natural gas line with 57 PSI just didn't seem prudent.

Bryan, with more courage, took a closer photo of Bill completing the weld to the live natural gas line.

Bryan, with more courage, took a closer photo of Bill completing the weld to the live natural gas line.

Bill and Larry leaving the site at 10:15 am.  It was a quick 90 minutes for them to complete the natural gas lay-in.

Bill and Larry leaving the site at 10:15 am. It was a quick 90 minutes for them to complete the natural gas lay-in.

The completed connection.  Bill was very careful to ensure that all of the nicks in the natural gas line covering were removed and wrapped with new material.  There wont be any corrosion with this connection.

The completed connection. Bill was very careful to ensure that all of the nicks in the natural gas line covering were removed and wrapped with new material. There won't be any corrosion with this connection.

After Bill and Larry left, Bryan ensured the natural gas main and our connection were covered with at least 6 inches of sand.  We hope Izzy will be available in the morning to help backfill and compact the trench to grade.

After Bill and Larry left, Bryan ensured the natural gas main and our connection were covered with at least 6 inches of sand. We hope Izzy will be available in the morning to help backfill and compact the trench to grade.

 

Our solar chase for the conduit from the gable and flat roofs, and to take the AC and DC lines to the East Mechanical room.

Our solar chase for the conduit from the gable and flat roofs, and to take the AC and DC lines to the East Mechanical room.

Our Tyvek covering the South side of the North gable.

Our Tyvek covering the South side of the North gable.

Looking North, at the West side of the East gable.

Looking North, at the West side of the East gable.

Bryan was most proud of the natural gas lay-in today, and took photos from the roof.

Bryan was most proud of the natural gas lay-in today, and took photos from the roof.

The connection to the cistern can be completed now.

The connection to the cistern can be completed now.

Verifying Our Insulation Performance and Value

Friday, August 20th, 2010

We are getting closer to putting the tapered insulation down on our flat roofs so we can put the membrane on and get water tight.  Before doing so, we verified that the SIP roof has no ‘voids’ in the insulation where the individual pieces come together. 

In anticipation of the next step, becoming weather tight, Bryan picked up the first of 72 boxes of windows so we could confirm the window preparation requirements.  Since we will be seeing Carole Murray tomorrow, it is important to show that we’re progressing and getting the windows out of her warehouse!  Also today, Bryan continued working with Izzy on ensuring the HDPE coming out of each concrete pier can be joined to create our ground loop.

At the end of the day, Gino Attanasio from White Cap dropped off two more 10-lb containers of expanding foam for us to use in tightening up our building envelope.

Picking Up Our First Window

We have 72 boxes of sliding glass doors and windows at Murray Window and Door.  We can’t install the sliding doors and windows until we are weather tight.  Well, we probably could install them but we are choosing not to.

In anticipation of the first clerestory window installation, we picked up one of the 16 windows.  This will allow us to identify exactly how the windows will ‘fit’ and how we will need to attach the windows.  While we have shop drawings, it is always good to have the actual item on hand to avoid potential problems.

After hoisting the window up and onto the roof, we were able to see exactly how the clerestory windows will fit.  This was important as we may have a conflict with the nail fins and edge trim in each of the four corners where the two clerestory windows come together.

Using Thermal Imaging to Verify Our Insulation Value

In our house, the SIP panels are connected on the roof with either wooden I beams or 6×12 splines.  In either case, there is a possibility of leaving ‘voids’ in the EPS foam at these locations.  If a void is left then the insulation value of the roof is compromised.  Voids will reduce the insulation value much more than thermal bridges, which is another problem that we want to avoid.

Today, we took the opportunity to engage Lorna Fear, with Visual Cue Thermal Imaging, to spend a couple hours going through our project to verify that we didn’t have any voids between our SIPs.  Bryan and Lorna worked together, with Bryan explaining how the SIP construction worked and Lorna reviewing the thermal images and identifying where potential problems could be.  Lorna is an expert at interpreting the thermal images and ‘seeing’ where there are inconsistencies in the building envelope.

The thermal imaging identifies different surface temperatures and displays those differences with different colors.  Since heat goes from hot to cold, a surface temperature that is colder than surrounding surfaces may indicate that the energy is being drawn into the building, through a less-insulated condition than the surrounding area.  However, surfaces may also reflect thermal energy, thus showing very ‘hot’ surfaces that may hide other problems.

Given her experience, Lorna can identify where potential problems may occur with our insulation.  Bryan asked Lorna to identify all potential problems locations as we can deal with ‘false positives’ at this stage.  If we miss a problem, it could be there for the life of the building.

Removing Concrete for Our Ground Loop

Bryan spent the afternoon with Izzy chipping away at the top of 6 of the 12 concrete piers on the West side of the house.  Ken Martin, from Silicon Valley Mechanical, fine-tuned the design of the geothermal ground loop so there are two ground loops on the West side that include six concrete piers in each ground loop.

Connecting the individual loops in each pier requires two 90 degree fittings and a short length of HDPE.  Then, the piers need to be connected to each other in a daisy chain manner, with a supply and return for each pier.  For the physical connection, Matt Jung (88HVAC) identified that we need a one-inch space for the cold ring and then another 4 inches to weld the fittings on.  Thus, there must be at least five inches of clear space on the top of each concrete pier where the connections will be located.

All of the piers need to be checked for sufficient space and, where additional space is required, the concrete must be removed.  Removing concrete is noisy, difficult and time-consuming (just ask Bryan). 

Picking up the first of 72 boxes from Murray Window and Door.  Bryan was smiling as he picked up the first box, especially since we will be seeing Carole Murray on Saturday afternoon at Black Ridge Vineyards.

Picking up the first of 72 boxes from Murray Window and Door. Bryan was smiling as he picked up the first box, especially since we will be seeing Carole Murray on Saturday afternoon at Black Ridge Vineyards.

We have the window on the roof, and unpackaged it so we could see exactly how it fit and what the potential issues would be when installing it (and its 15 other clerestory windows).

We have the window on the roof, and unpackaged it so we could see exactly how it fit and what the potential issues would be when installing it (and the other 15 clerestory windows).

 

Lorna, using her Fluke infrared thermal imaging camera, reviewing the South side of the South Gable over the Master Suite.

Lorna, using her Fluke infrared thermal imaging camera, reviewing the South side of the South Gable over the Master Suite.

Lorna uses her Fluke infrared thermal iimaging camera to review the upper flat SIP roof for voids.

Lorna uses her Fluke infrared thermal imaging camera to review the upper flat SIP roof for voids.

This is the thermal image with the surrounding image around it.  You can see the surface temperatures with the scale on the right hand side.

This is the thermal image with the surrounding image around it. You can see the surface temperatures with the scale on the right hand side.

Lorna using her Fluke infrared thermal iimaging camera, identified potenital locations where voids may be on the upper flat roof that need to be investigated.

Lorna using her Fluke infrared thermal imaging camera, identified potential locations where voids may be on the upper flat roof that need to be investigated.

On this thermal image you can see where the warm and cool locations are.  This therma image shows that there may be voids in the SIPs that need to be filled with expanding foam.

On this thermal image you can see where the warm and cool locations are. This thermal image shows that there may be voids between the SIPs that need to be filled with expanding foam.

Izzy and Bryan spent several hours removing concrete from the top of the concrete piers so the ground loops can be connected by 88HVAC.  Matt Jung of 88HVAC will be coming by the job site tomorrow (Sunday) to verify if additonal concrete needs to be removed.

Izzy and Bryan spent several hours removing concrete from the top of the concrete piers so the ground loops can be connected by 88HVAC. Matt Jung of 88HVAC will be coming by the job site on Sunday to verify if additional concrete needs to be removed.

Scheduling Our Trench Inspection with PG&E

Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010

We finished the trench work for our natural gas and electric service lines from PG&E today.  Bryan called for the first inspection and was fortunate to schedule the appointment for tomorrow (08/04/10).  However, our PG&E Project Manager, Nathan Lee, cautioned us that the next available ‘lay in’ was two weeks out.

Meeting with Allan Courtney

Bryan met with Allan Courtney of Statewide Roofing this morning at 9:00 am.  Al liked the progress and thought the insulated skylight curbs should be raised to allow better flashing.  Bryan agreed to raise the curbs by 1-1/4 inch while reducing the thickness of the plywood from 1/2 inch to 1/4 inch.  These two changes will increase the effective curb height by 1-1/2 inches.

Also, Al reviewed photos of some bathroom exhaust fans that vented through a flat roof and recommended that we place the fan vents directly on the tapered flat roof and simply flash to them.  That works with us.

Reviewing Preliminary Home Automation with Brandon Smith

After meeting with Al, Bryan met with Brandon Smith at the job site.  Brandon walked Bryan through the home automation design and Bryan provided feedback. 

Also, they discussed possible locations and mounting alternatives for a satellite dish and a weather station on the roof.  Given our membrane roof system and other components in our house, it is critical to anticipate and plan for future needs and requirements.  We will invest in the connectivity infrastructure now, when we can, so that we will be able to accommodate different systems in the future.

Brandon will updated the home automation design plans and return them to Bryan by Friday.  Then, they will be ready for Paul Fulton to review.

Picking Up Two Loads of Sand

To complete the trench for PG&E, we picked up two loads of sand in our Dodge RAM 1500.  We got the sand from Granite Rock on Snell Road in San Jose.

Izzy, the master trencher, distributed the sand in the trench and he and Michael Bennison were able to install 3-inch conduit from the PG&E box in the front yard to the conduit in the foundation, as requested by Nathan Lee.

After completing these activities, Bryan called the Inspection Desk at PG&E and requested a ‘Trench Inspection.’  PG&E was able to accommodate our schedule and will send an inspector tomorrow.  Only after passing the Trench Inspection will PG&E schedule a Lay-In for the natural gas.  According to our Project Manager, Nathan Lee, the next available Lay-In in two weeks (08/16/10).

Laying Out the Downspout Locations

Based on the shop drawings that Leo Richardson sent to Bryan, we mapped out the locations and verified the dimensions of the insulated skylight curbs on the roof.  Given the other requirements and some conflicts, Bryan adjusted the downspout locations by a few inches and then marked the downspout locations for Izzy to trench to.

Izzy completed the trench to one of the four downspouts on the West side of the house.

Scheduling a Meeting with Matt Jung for Wednesday, 08/04

We need to get all of our geothermal ground loops completed and tested, before we can close the trenches on the East and West sides of the house.

Ken Martin completed the design and now we need 88HVAC (Matt Jung) to be on site to connect the ground loops.  Bryan spoke with Matt this afternoon and Matt will be at the project site in the morning to review the details on connecting the HDPE in each of the concrete piers.  Connecting the HPDE will require using a concrete chipping hammer, which Izzy is the master of.

Completing the Fascia

While there were several meetings and lots going on below, the two-person team from Earth Bound Homes continued to work on completing the fascia.  Francisco and Carlos finished putting in the 2x material on the lower flat roof on the North and West sides of the house, and completing the fascia on the West end of the South Gable. 

After completing the roof tasks, Francisco and Carlos raised the door height framing so it would be at the bottom of the drop beams on the West side of the house.  And, they adjusted the stud spacing to accommodate the faucets in the Upper Powder Room and between the Master Shower and Kate’s Shower.

The first partial bucket of sand is loaded into our pickup truck at GraniteRocks Snell Avenue location.  This load was almost 1,900 lbs.

The first partial bucket of sand is loaded into our pickup truck at GraniteRock's Snell Avenue location. This load was almost 1,900 lbs.

Given the first load was a bit heavy, Bryan asked the excavator operator to go a bit lighter and give us 1,600 lbs.  He erred on the light side and gave us 1,460 lbs.

Given the first load was a bit heavy, Bryan asked the excavator operator to go a bit lighter and give us 1,600 lbs. He erred on the light side and gave us 1,460 lbs.

With the sand, we were able to backfill the trench and get the 3-inch electrical conduit in place.  Were ready for our Trench Inspection, which will be tomorrow (08/04/10).

With the sand, we were able to backfill the trench and get the 3-inch electrical conduit in place. We're ready for our Trench Inspection, which will be tomorrow (08/04/10).

Izzy, the Master Trencher, quickly dug the trench to the North West downspout on the West wall.  Three more to go on this side.

Izzy, the Master Trencher, quickly dug the trench to the North West downspout on the West wall. Three more to go on this side.

The fascia around the lower-, upper- and gable roofs is now complete.  All of the tasks have been completed relating to installing the tapered insulation (except for completing the mounts for the solar panels).

The fascia around the lower-, upper- and gable roofs is now complete. All of the tasks have been completed relating to installing the tapered insulation (except for completing the mounts for the solar panels).

Backfilling Our Trench to San Jose Water Company’s Meter

Monday, August 2nd, 2010

We have way too many trenches open on our job site so ‘closing’ one is an accomplishment (and worthy of a celebration!).  At the same time, the components that must be completed for our roof are being addressed and we’re closer to being weathertight – so we can install the windows.

Reviewing a Prototype for Our Front Door

We decided to engage a local craftsman, Nathan Merrill of American Ordamental Ironworks on Dell Avenue, to design, build and install our front door assembly. 

The front door assembly consists of the steel frame that will hold the glass and door itself.  Bryan met with Nathan and discussed the design, including the use of Soss hinges.  Soss hinges are invisible from both sides of the door, enabling a clean, uncluttered look to the entrance.

Nathan was not familiar with Soss hinges and was eager to work on a project with simple, clean lines.  Most of Nathan’s projects are for Tuscan-style homes with elaborate custom steel doors and railing systems.

After getting a Soss hinge, Nathan assembled a small piece of a door frame, complete with a 1-3/4 inch working door attached to the Soss hinge.  Nathan came by the job site to show it to Bryan, and get his feedback.

The door assembly is way cool and will be spectacular.

Picking Up Sand from Granite Rock

Pacific Gas & Electric have very strict requirements for placing their natural gas with electric lines underground. 

First, the utility lines must be 39 inches below grade and separated in a common trench by at least 18 inches.  There must be 2 inches of sand at the bottom of the trench under the conduit for the electrical service. 

Second, PG&E must inspect the electrical conduit and trench prior scheduling and dispatching a two-person crew to install the natural gas line to the house. 

Finally, when the two-person crew arrives at the job site, there must be sufficient sand stockpiled and manpower available to cover the natural gas line and electrical conduit with 6 inches of sand.  This requirement is to ensure the natural gas line is not exposed to sunlight where the ultraviolet rays will damage the line and be a potential weakness for failure.

So, we need to have over two cubic yards of sand at our job site to meet the PG&E requirements.  Bryan went to Granite Rock’s location off Snell Road for the first load of sand with his pickup truck.

PG&Es requirements make our trenching process somewhat complex.

PG&E's requirements make our trenching process somewhat complex.

Receiving Approval on Our Water Service

Bryan requested an inspection of our connection to San Jose Water at 7:50 am this morning and our Building Official, Howard Bell, arrived this afternoon at 3:45 pm.  After some discussion, Howard approved the connection.  Immediately thereafter, Bryan went to the rental shop and picked up a ‘jumping jack’ (compactor).

Izzy agreed to stay an extra hour and work with Bryan to backfill and compact the trench from the San Jose Water meter to the underground cistern.  Although the trench was only 20 inches deep at the meter, it was almost 40 inches deep at the cistern.  Backfilling this trench would use up a significant amount of stockpiled dirt and provided some much-needed real estate.

While Bryan was getting the compactor, Izzy put a couple inches of sand in the trench, covering the water supply pipe.

Installing the Fascia

Meanwhile, the two-person team from Earth Bound Homes completed installing the 2x material on the gable ends and on the South and East sides of the house.  Having the fascia in place must be completed prior to putting in the tapered foam crickets.

Shop Drawings for the Tapered Foam Crickets

Leo sent the shop drawings for the tapered foam crickets today at 12:30 pm.  We have to sign off on the shop drawings before Johns Manville will ship the tapered foam crickets.  Unfortunately for us, Al Courteney couldn’t make the scheduled meeting with Bryan at the job site so they will meet at 9:00 am tomorrow morning.

Signing off on the shop drawings will trigger the manufacturing and shipping process to our job site.

Everything is coming together …

Rendering of our front door, which will be in a steel frame with frosted glass around it.

Rendering of our front door, which will be in a steel frame with frosted glass around it.

Nathan Merrill, from American Ordamental Iron on Dell Avenue, showing the prototype of the door with the Soss hinge.  Our door will have three stainless steel Soss hinges.

Nathan Merrill, from American Ordamental Iron on Dell Avenue, showing the prototype of the door with the Soss hinge. Our door will have three stainless steel Soss hinges.

Izzy unloads the sand, which will be used at the bottom of the trenches.

Izzy unloads the sand, which will be used at the bottom of the trenches.

PG&E trench, 39 inches deep, waiting for the electrical conduit and 2 inches of sand.

PG&E trench, 39 inches deep, waiting for the electrical conduit and 2 inches of sand.

Trench for six-inch overflow pipe from underground cistern to the back of the storm drain on Winchester Boulevard.

Trench for six-inch overflow pipe from underground cistern to the back of the storm drain on Winchester Boulevard.

Franciso carrying the ladder with Carlos on the roof.

Franciso carrying the ladder with Carlos on the roof.

Close up of the completed fascia at the front of the house.  This will get wrapped with natural zinc.

Close up of the completed fascia at the front of the house. This will get wrapped with natural zinc.

Backfilled water trench.  Completing this trench opened up some real estate for us at the front of the house.  Way cool ...

Backfilled water trench. Completing this trench opened up some real estate for us at the front of the house. Way cool ...

Remaining trench around underground cistern.

Remaining trench around underground cistern.

Backfilled and compacted trench to San Jose Water Companys meter at the street.  Yippee!

Backfilled and compacted trench to San Jose Water Company's meter at the street. Yippee!

End of the day photo - South and East fascia were completed today.

End of the day photo - South and East fascia were completed today.

 

End of the day photo - there is still a lot of dirt available for backfilling trenches.  Note the small pile of sand, which is covered with a tarp.

End of the day photo - there is still a lot of dirt available for backfilling trenches. Note the small pile of sand, which is covered with a tarp.

End of the day photo - trenches at the the South East corner of the house.  There is lots going on here.

End of the day photo - trenches at the the South East corner of the house. There is lots going on here.

End of the day photo - open trench at the front of the house.

End of the day photo - open trench at the front of the house.

End of the day photo - completed fascia looks good.

End of the day photo - completed fascia looks good.