Posts Tagged ‘Randall Whitehead’

Update on Our Lighting

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012

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.







Focusing on Completing Our Solar Photovoltaic Panel Installation

Friday, September 2nd, 2011

There are multiple components to our renovation/new construction project, all of which are tightly integrated in the overall program and design, and all of which are moving forward in parallel.

One of the components is the installation of our solar photovoltaic panels.  Our original plan, which we noted in our posting on September 19, 2009 (Why Are We Installing Solar Photovoltaic Panels?), was to have 32-175 watt photovoltaic panels in Phase 1.  After the change of law announced on October 13, 2009, we changed our strategy (see Pouring Rain and New Solar Generation Laws in California) so we could take advantage of the ability to generate more electricity that we could use.

We registered under the NSHP rebate program, and have a reservation for a 5.04 kW system.  When Bryan was driving to Merced on Tuesday, August 30, (see Picking Up Our Ladder and Looking at Artemide Lights) he learned that our reservation could be increased to 7.5 kW but the change had to be completed, and submitted, by Monday, September 12, 2012.  This deadline, which is now looming, has created a laser focus on completing the installation of our photovoltaic system, which will include 48-215 watt solar panels, set out in six individual arrays.

The expanded system will have a ‘nameplate’ rating of 10.32 kW (48 x 215 watts) and will generate approximately 90% of that (9.29 kW).  However, the limit under the NSHP is 7.5 kW.

Bryan put together a list of the key tasks that must be completed in order to complete the installation, have it inspected by the City of Monte Sereno, and have it verified by an independant HERS Rater.  He reviewed the list with Bryan McFarland of Reals Goods Solar, who is managing the installation of our solar photovoltaic system, and also discussed the procedures with both Dana Farquhar of Real Goods Solar and our HERS Rater, Darrel Kelly of Builders Energy Services, Inc.

The list is as follows:

  • Complete unistrut frames on:
    North gable
    Upper Flat roof
  • Install Enphase inverters on:
    North gable – 8 inverters
    Upper Flat roof – 32 inverters
  • Mount load centers:
    Under North gable
    On Upper Flat roof unistrut frame (2 load centers)
  • Pull conductors from:
    East gable to load center under North gable
    Load center under North gable to load centers on Upper Flat roof
    Load centers on Upper Flat roof through to East Mechanical room
  • Complete connections to electric panels
    Install 30 amp double pole breaker in 400 amp panel, going to load center on Upper Flat roof
    Install 30 amp double pole breaker in 200 amp panel, going to load center on Upper Flat roof
  • Complete network connections
    Install receptacle to the left of 200 amp panel in the East Mechanical room
    Install Enphase Envoy unit above receptacle
    Provide network access to Envoy unit
  • Install Sanyo 215 watt photovoltaic panels on:
    East gable (one array of 8 panels)
    North gable (one array of 8 panels)
    Upper Flat roof (four arrays of 8 panels each, or 32 panels)
  • Complete all labels and signage relating to solar
  • Test solar installation
    Connect network to Internet
    Register each of the individual panels with Enphase (about 45 minutes) and verify solar production/generation
  • Inspections and certification
    Schedule inspection by the City of Monte Sereno for Friday, 09/09/11 between 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm
    Schedule inspection by HERS rater (Darrel Kelly) for Saturday, 09/10/11 from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm
  • Submit completion certification to NSHP on 09/12/11

Quite a list!  We’ll see how our plan unfolds …

Starting the Day

Since the 60 mil TPO membrane roof was completed last fall, we had a leak (when Earth Bound Homes was verifying the chases were clear in the SIPs), and then made several penetrations for our plumbing vents.  In addition, we had to make two penetrations for solar mounts and then just last week we made four penetrations for the conduit going to the Upper Flat roof.

So … Al Courtney of Statewide Roofing sent three of his top installers over first thing this morning so they could make the necessary repairs to the TPO membrane roof.

With the penetrations for the solar mounts and conduit secured, the team from Real Goods Solar can work unimpeded.

We’re on track to meet the September 12, 2012 deadline.

The team from Statewide Roofing arrived first thing this morning to complete the repairs to the 60 mil TPO membrane roof.

The drain over the South East part of the Garage had to be replaced due to the hole that Earth Bound Homes made when verifying the electrical chases in the SIPs were clear. We discovered the leak during the heavy rains on December 31, 2010.

Plumbing vents on the North East corner of the house.

Plumbing vent on the West side of the house, over the Master Bathroom.

Solar mounts that straddle the ridge of the North gable.

The back side of the frames that straddle the ridge of the North gable.

New TPO membrane over one of the four penetrations of conduit on the Upper Flat roof.

Completed conduit under the Upper Flat roof. Note the reclaimed Redwood under the SIP roof.

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.