Archive for July, 2011

Taking Delivery of Our 2011 Nissan Leaf

Saturday, July 30th, 2011

Although our 2011 Nissan LEAF arrived last Saturday, we took delivery of it today.  Bryan took photos of the LEAF on Wednesday afternoon.  We couldn’t take delivery until the charging station was installed yesterday.

Our sales representative, Wilson Bui, had the LEAF ready and waiting in the parking lot at Premier Nissan of San Jose.  It was fully charged and waiting for us, with only 8 miles on the odometer.

Since Jo-Anne was in Kelowna, Canada after spending three weeks in Boston,  Wendy Reyna picked up Bryan and dropped him off at Premier Nissan.  Wilson Bui gave Bryan a thorough orientation and demonstration of the features of the Nissan LEAF before allowing him to leave the dealership.

Bryan was able to buzz around Los Gatos and learn about the LEAF.  Then, of course, it was over to the job site where our Blink charger is located so Bryan could test the charging system and ‘top off’ the charge.

Although Nissan recommends charging the batteries to 80%, we are charging to 100% while the house is under constuction.  Then, we will dial back to 80% charging.

The LEAF is very cool.  After the carpool stickers arrive, it will be way cool!

After a very thorough orientation and demonstration of the LEAFs controls and features, our sales representative, Wilson Bui, allowed Bryan to drive our new 2011 Nisson off the dealership at Premier Nissan of San Jose.

 

Our 2011 Nissan LEAF, plugged in at our job site.

 

The first charge for our Nissan LEAF, using the Blink charging station that the EV Project provided to us.

 

The Blink charging station is connected to the Internet. It gets updated statistics on the EV Project, which is shown on this screen.

 

 

Installing Our Electric Vehicle Charging Station

Friday, July 29th, 2011

As part of our house project, we decided to purchase electric vehicles.  Having an electric vehicle requires a charging station.  Currently, the Department of Energy is sponsoring the ‘EV Project.’ 

The EV Project is to drive the adoption of electric vehicles.  In order to drive the adoption, there must be a broad deployment of charging stations, both at the private and public levels. 

Through the purchase of our Nissan LEAF, we agreed to participate in the EV Project.  For agreeing to participate, we will receive an electric vehicle charging station and this will provide data to the EV Project.  The charging station must be connected to the Internet.

Our electric vehicle charging station was installed today.  It is connected to the Internet and we will be able to charge our Nissan LEAF in our driveway after we receive it tomorrow.

Way cool …

The Blink charging station is mounted at the back of the garage wall for configuration and testing purposes. We have a wired connection to the Internet (not wireless).

 

One of the owners of a house on Via Sereno replaced their original Eichler exterior light. It looks good - we need to have Jerry Ditto review it ...

 

 

 

Working with Randall Whitehead Lighting

Thursday, July 28th, 2011

We engaged Randall Whitehead Lighting Solutions to design our lighting. Eric Westphal of Schneider Electric and Jim Lamberty of TLA-Advantage recommended Randall when they were at our project site in April.

Randall has an office in San Francisco and Bryan worked with Randall from 2:00 to 5:00 pm.  Given the heavy traffic from San Francisco to San Jose, Bryan decided to visit a couple stores and before driving back after the commuter lanes opened at 7:00 pm.

During the session, Randall recommended that we look at some of the lights on display at Room & Board in San Francisco.  It was a great way to get a feel for some lights rather than sitting in traffic.

Noguchi lamps, similar to these, would be striking in the Atrium as they would 'connect' the two levels.

 

These Noguchi lamps are of significant size and work extremely well in this space. They would work in our Atrium.

 

Randall recommends that we have three large pendants over the island in the Kitchen. These pendants show the scale that Randall is recommending.

 

Aside from the lighting, we like the idea of having benches at the foot of each bed throughout the house. Our benches will have sides so we can store linens and other items in each bench.

 

Randall asked us to consider a light such as this over our table in the Dining Room. We are thinking of a similar light, which would be the same length but thinner and not as tall.

 

In the Snack Area, Randall recommended that we have a craft table for Nik and Kate. The problem with having a table in the Snack Area is that the space is not very wide. The solution? Use a bench on one side of the table so it could be pushed completely out of the way. A lamp, such as that shown in this display, could work well over the table.

 

While we may not have these exact pieces, we like the colors and shapes of these couches.

 

This couch has an interesting shape ...

 

We will need a couple desk lamps. Bryan likes this desk lamp.

 

Bryan noticed the camera and wi-fi receiver/transmitter in the store. Note there is no electric outlet nearby as these components are using Power over Ethernet.

 

Looking at Our New Nissan LEAF in the Showroom

Wednesday, July 27th, 2011

Our new Nissan LEAF, which we registered to order on July 31, 2010, arrived at Premier Nissan of San Jose this week.

We can’t pick it until Saturday, July 30 so our sales representative, Wilson Bui, put it in the showroom. Bryan dropped by and took some photos today.

Before going to Premier Nissan of San Jose, Bryan dropped by the Tesla dealership on Santana Row to take a look at their charging systems.  The Tesla charges at 70 amps, and with a 20% derating, the circuit has to be rated for 90 amps.  Our building official in the City of Monte Sereno wants to have a shut off switch for the wall mounted charger.  The photo of the charging station in the garage in Santa Row shows the shut off switch.

Our 2011 Nissan LEAF in the showroom at Premier Nissan of San Jose.

 

Profile of our new Nissan LEAF.

 

EPA rating of 99 miles per gallon ...

 

Rated at 96 to 110 miles on a full charge ...

 

One of the 70 amp charging stations in the garage behind Santa Row. Note the shut off switch for the charging station.

 

 

Seeing the Progress on Our Red Front Door

Friday, July 22nd, 2011

Nathan Merrill is going on vacation to Canada and he called Bryan to go with him to see the progress on our red front door.

It is spectacular!

We will have to take some thermal images of the red front door to see the insulation quality.  Nathan took great care in designing the frame so eliminate internal thermal bridging and we used Aerogel’s Spaceloft insulation inside the door.  Spaceloft is R-30 per inch and we used three sheets that were 0.4 inches thick.

Nathan discussing the red door and frame with the owner of the shop that did the powder coating.

 

The door was covered with protective paper so we peeled it back to see the door.

 

The red door looks spectacular!

 

Nathan inspects the door and is delighted with the quality of the powder coating finish.

 

Nathan, wanting to see more, peels the rest of the paper back from the door.

The frame for the red door was also powder coated (black). There will be a sidelight on each side of the eight foot red door.

 

Our red front door, looking absolutely spectacular! The person in the photo did the sanding and powder coating on the door and the frame.

 

 

Setting Up the Construction Cam

Saturday, July 16th, 2011

With the high speed internet to the job site, we can now get our ‘construction cam’ working.
Try clicking on the link below:


http://viasereno.viewnetcam.com/CgiStart?page=Single&Language=0

What do you think?

Low VOC Epoxy Paint in Mechanical Rooms

We put the second coat of low VOC epoxy paint on the floor in three locations on Thursday afternoon, and then the clear coat on yesterday.  It was dry today.

The mechanical rooms will look good with a bright, shiny floor.

Our construction cam, is a Panasonic BL-C210.  Indoor use only, light duty camera.

Our construction cam, is a Panasonic BL-C210. Indoor use only, light duty camera.

The beige epoxy paint looks much better than the gray epoxy paint.

The beige epoxy paint looks much better than the gray epoxy paint.

The sewage ejector is connected and ready for inspection.

The sewage ejector is connected and ready for inspection.

The electrical components are coming together nicely.  The cover for the transfer switch will hide most of the wires here.

The electrical components are coming together nicely. The cover for the transfer switch will hide most of the wires here.

Looking from the back of the East Mechanical room shows the better match on the floor colors.

Looking from the back of the East Mechanical room shows the better match on the floor colors.

The West Mechanical room looks good with the beige epoxy floor paint.

The West Mechanical room looks good with the beige epoxy floor paint.

Were insulating the two steel beams with Aerogels Spaceloft insulation.  After the first layer of 0.4 inch Spaceloft, we will use closed cell foam.  The layer of Spaceloft gives us R-12, and we will have two layers between the flange of the steel beam and the window frames.

Were insulating the two steel beams with Aerogels Spaceloft insulation. After the first layer of 0.4 inch Spaceloft, we will use closed cell foam. The layer of Spaceloft gives us R-12, and we will have two layers between the flange of the steel beam and the window frames.

We will be installing a generator in the back, as the City of Monte Sereno requires us to have an auxiliary back up power for our sump pumps.  Since the harness will be in 170 feet of conduit, we have to make our own cables.  This is one of the two harnesses that Bryan picked up on Thursday.

We will be installing a generator in the back, as the City of Monte Sereno requires us to have an auxiliary back up power for our sump pumps. Since the harness will be in 170 feet of conduit, we have to make our own cables. This is one of the two harnesses that Bryan picked up on Thursday.

And, here is the second wire harness.  Also included is the legend, on a sticker.  There are five wires in one harness and nine in the other.  We need two data cables, 170 feet long for each of these harnesses.

And, here is the second wire harness. Also included is the legend, on a sticker. There are five wires in one harness and nine in the other. We need two data cables, 170 feet long for each of these harnesses.

Based on advice from Bob Wise, we will be using smurf tubes in our soffits and other locations so we can run cables in the future to keep up with the latest in cable technologies.

Based on advice from Bob Wise, we will be using smurf tubes in our soffits and other locations so we can run cables in the future to keep up with the latest in cable technologies.