Completing the Electrical Connection to the Street

PG&E finally had their contracting firm install the new concrete vault for the underground electric service.  This has been a nasty thorn in our side that, with the rains yesterday, has finally been addressed.

During the day, Bryan took a load of construction waste to Guadalupe landfill, then took our first load of various metals for recycling, picked up and delivered the custom drip caps and window sills for painting, and had an interesting conversation with the contract inspector with PG&E, Ron Childs.

Taking Our Construction Waste to Guadupe Landfill

Guadalupe Landfill charges for construction waste based on volume, and charges $30.65 per cubic yard (plus tax and other charges).  Bryan took 1.3 yards of waste to the landfill and was charged $50.29 today. 

Under the LEED for Homes program, Materials and Resources (MR 3.2), provides 3 points for reducing the amount of construction waste created or provides 3 points for diverting waste from landfills or incinerators.

We plan to (1) reduce the construction waste created at our job site, and then of the construction waste that we do create, (2) increase the rate of diversion from landfill sites.

To reduce the construction waste at the job site, we had most of our house built offsite and focused mainly on ‘assembly’ at the job site.  For example, we utilized hollow core concrete panels for the floor system between the existing ground floor and the lower level, and used SIPs (Structural Insulated Panels) for the roof assembly.  Any framing done at the job site utilized material efficient framing.

Of the waste that we did create, we have been segregating the waste by component so it can be recycled efficiently and easily.  For example, we segregate the clean lumber from general waste, the recyclable packaging materials from non-recyclable materials, and segregated all metals for recycling.  Any waste from the onsite workers is segregated into recyclable and non-recyclable (recyclable includes clean paper and beverage containers).

Essentially, the only construction wastes that we are creating that cannot be diverted from landfill sites are the non-recyclable packaging materials.  These non-recyclable packaging materials include the containers from caulking and construction adhesives, and mixed spray foam and cardboard from the sliding glass doors and windows that were manufactured in Los Angeles. 

Under MR 3.2, we must record and document the construction wastes that we are creating by weight, not volume.  Consequently, we need to know the weight of our truck when we enter a landfill or recycling facility and the weight when we leave the facility.

Bryan explained the need to document the vehicle weights to both the recycling and landfill operators so they let him take pictures of the scales and the vehicle weights.

Construction Waste and Diversion Rates

The table in MR 3.2 shows that for our project, the industry would create 4.0 lbs per sq ft of conditioned space, of which 100% would go to landfill sites.  To obtain the maximum number of points under MR 3.2, we need to create 0.5 lbs per sq ft of conditioned space or divert 88% of the waste from landfill sites.

At 4,730 conditioned square feet, we can create 2,340 lbs of construction waste. 

Alternatively, we must divert 88% of tthe construction waste from from landfill sites.  So if we generate the baseline amount of construction waste (18,920 lbs) then we must divert 88% of that and only the remainder of 2,460 lbs can go to landfill. 

Regardless, we get 3 points for only sending 2,340 to 2,460 lbs of construction waste to landfill or incineration.

We will generate very little construction waste that cannot be diverted from landfill sites.

Full truck on scales at Guadalupe landfill, weighing in at 5,140 lbs.

Full truck on scales at Guadalupe landfill, weighing in at 5,140 lbs.

Leaving Guadalupe landfill at 5,060 lbs for a net delivery of 80 lbs of construction waste going into the Guadalupe landifll site.

Leaving Guadalupe landfill at 5,060 lbs for a net delivery of 80 lbs of construction waste going into the Guadalupe landifll site.

Recycling containers at the Recyle Specialists in San Jose.

Recycling containers at the Recyle Specialists in San Jose.

Scale at the Recycle Specialists in San Jose.

Scale at the Recycle Specialists in San Jose.

Full weight of truck and scrap metal of 5,240 lbs.

Full weight of truck and scrap metal of 5,240 lbs.

Mixed scrap metal from our job site ready for recycling.

Mixed scrap metal from our job site ready for recycling.

Empty vehicle weight of 5,070 lbs, so we delivered 170 lbs of mixed metals for recycling.

Empty vehicle weight of 5,070 lbs, so we delivered 170 lbs of mixed metals for recycling.

Contract crew with underground concrete vault ready to install.

Contract crew with underground concrete vault ready to install.

Cutting the concrete vault for the conduit.

Cutting the concrete vault for the conduit.

Compacting the dirt around the underground concrete vault ...

Compacting the dirt around the underground concrete vault ...

Cover for underground concrete vault, now in place.  Done!

Cover for underground concrete vault, now in place. Done!

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