House Raising Underway

July 17th, 2007 by Peter Schmelzer

SIPS Home in Northfield MN

One of the great things about Structural Insulated Panel construction is that things go up quickly once the panels arrive on site. Yesterday only half of the exterior walls shown in this shot were up. This evening, the exterior shell is finished and awaiting interior bearing walls. Shortly, you’ll see floor trusses above and the second floor walls on top of that.

This home is located on Second Street in Northfield, on one of the lots that had previously housed the Northfield Hospital. We worked hard to make the design responsive to the existing homes on the block, yet be a modern home with a sense of itself and its time. Where the front foundations lie, a gracious front porch will provide contact with neighbors on the sidewalk. A hipped roof will mimic the historic four-square homes of Northfield while providing daylight to the central stairs.

Energy efficiency was high on our clients’ wish list. To that end, we located the garage to the northwest to provide some wind break; focused a large portion of the windows south for solar gain; calculated the overhangs to provide shade in the summer and light in the winter; utilized Insulated Concrete Forms for the basement walls; used Structural Insulated Panels on the upper walls; specified a whole-house fan to reduce air-conditioning needs and a air-source heat pump instead of natural gas furnace.

Stay tuned for more as the home is built.

Also, you might check Northfield Construction’s blog, where more photos will likely be posted as well.

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