PATH - A Public Private Partnership for Advancing Housing Technology
Concept Home Omaha
[IMAGE: Crew installs foundation components. Photo taken by Chuck Amoura.]Firm Foundation
In the PATH Concept Home, the basement is equipped with Wellcraft's egress system (provided by Tapco) and waterproofed by Cosella-Dorken's waterproof membrane, providing a safe and comfortable functioning living space.
These products are seamlessly integrated with American Polysteel's innovative ICF System to create a flexible environment to be used as an office, recreation room, bedroom--whatever the homeowner decides.
The increased coordination between the builder and supplier, along with using standardized materials, simplified the installation process while enhancing the Concept Home's overall design.
[IMAGE: Installer Setting a Prefabricated ICF Panel on Footer] Basement in Two Days!
The Concept Home basement foundation, featuring a pre-fabricated ICF panel system from
American Polysteel, was set, poured, and completed in 1 day. The hole for the foundation was excavated on a Wednesday, footers poured on Thursday, and on Friday the foundation walls were set and poured by the Brighton Construction crew. The PATH Concept Home features both design features and technologies, like the pre-fabricated ICF foundation panels, that expedite the construction process in the field and result in high quality and efficient homes.
Floors in an hour. Walls in a day.
[IMAGE: Brighton Construction installs panelized floor system. Photo by Rob Yagid courtesy of Fine Homebuilding.]Bringing quality precision to "rough" framing. Minimizing construction site waste such that you can't find even a scrap of wood to scrape the mud off your shoes. Creating entire building envelopes in a few days, not a few weeks.
These lofty goals for homebuilding were realized as the Concept Home was framed with prefabricated floor systems and wall panels from Millard Lumber and iLevel in just a few days.
Panelized walls and floors stem from the Concept Home's goal of
improved production processes for homes.
Key benefits of factory-built floors and walls include:
Improved quality and precision. Forming panels on set platforms, using automated machinery for cuts, and keeping lumber and workers in controlled, dry conditions all help to create high quality and well built panels with precise dimensions.
Optimized materials use. Factories employ software to design floor and wall panels that make the most efficient use of materials so that the cutoffs from one job can be used on another. The overall waste factor in the factory of the Millard/iLevel pilot program is less than 1%.
Faster on-site construction. Faster on-site construction. Panels are delivered in the order of construction, so floors and walls are placed, section-by-section, in short order. Framing that would normally take many days or even weeks is reduced to a few days. This means fewer weather-related schedule delays, reduced chance of material theft, and a house that is quickly dry and under cover. These benefits can translate into reduced construction costs for builders and buyers alike.
We've got it covered [IMAGE: Metal roof and Tyvek house wrap. Photo by Brighton Construction.]
With metal, to be precise. Follansbee installed the metal roof provided by the Metal Roofing Alliance that is durable and pre-painted with UV reflective paint to help prevent energy loss.
Coated with UV protection and filled with argon gas, Milgard's double-hung windows cut heating and cooling costs.
Roughed-In and Ready (to Finish)
[IMAGE: Duct joint sealed with mastic. Photo courtesy of Newport Partners.]The heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) system was roughed-in within a few weeks. The system is right-sized to meet, not exceed, the true heating and cooling needs of the house. Duct leakage--another energy thief--was reigned in by sealing all gaps and joints with durable, long-lasting mastic.
When a building shell is airtight, the house needs a constant supply of fresh air to provide adequate ventilation. That's why the Concept Home, which was to be air sealed with soy-based expanding foam insulation, relies on a semi-balanced ventilation system that automatically introduces fresh air to the home. The ASHRAE 62.2- compliant system depends on full-time exhaust airflow from highly efficient and quiet bath fans, which supply air into the home with a simple, user-friendly controller from Honeywell.
Comfort means good IAQ as well as temperature control. The HVAC system features a high efficiency air filter to remove particulates, exhaust fans in the garage that draw contaminants to the outside whenever the garage door is operated, and whisper quiet fans for moisture removal from bathrooms.
[IMAGE: Crew installs insulative vinyl siding on front porch. Photo courtesy of Newport Partners.]Exterior Beauty
Autumn red Alside Siding gives the PATH Concept Home just the right amount of distinction--and enhances energy efficiency to boot. The clapboard-style vinyl siding is supported with Progressive Foam Technologies' fullback thermal support system, providing added insulation and durability. An above-grade ICF parchment/waterproofing system was also applied. This system provides visual beauty and protection to the ICF foundation system, while solving a common challenge of ICF foundations---how to protect the foam against weed trimmers and other hazards.
What's Behind Wall #1?
[IMAGE: Mechanical core. PEX water tubing (red & blue), radon mitigation stack (white), and spray foam insulation sealing gaps between floors. Back side of core shows paperless drywall from Georgia Pacific, used for its mold resistance.]Less than you would think. Consolidating the HVAC, vent stacks and plumbing into one area-- the mechanical core--facilitates more straightforward floor plan changes because mechanical systems are not hidden in walls throughout the house. A centralized system also speeds installation--supply runs are shorter and fewer materials are required.
Other technologies are already in place to make changes easy. Wireless switches control lights through radio waves instead of wires. A busy Mom can turn on the coffee maker downstairs while getting ready for work in the master bath, or a tired Dad can use a master switch by the nightstand to turn off lights downstairs. These changes take a few minutes to set up and require no wiring or contractors.
[IMAGE: Window trim came pre-assembled and three windows were trimmed in only five minutes. This process usually takes 45 minutes per window.]For electronics still hard-wired like computers and television, the home has WireTracks' channels behind the baseboards. These removable channels conceal cables behind the baseboard, enabling easy addition or changes to wiring used for audio, video, and data. Pop off the molding and lay in the new cable--no drilling, wire fishing, or raceways required.
WindsorONE provided the craftsman-style baseboards and pre-assembled window trim. Three windows were trimmed in less than 5 minutes. Normally this process takes 45 minutes per window, not to mention bringing all trim materials to the site and dealing with construction waste--which is minimized using factory fabrication. Innovation at its finest--exactly what you've come to expect of the Concept Home.
[IMAGE: Seisco tankless hot water heater fits into small places and heats water quickly and efficiently rather than constantly. Photo courtesy of Karin Kirkland.] On the Concept Home floor plans you will notice the home has a centralized mechanical core and all bathrooms and the laundry room are "stacked" adjacent to this core, reducing the necessity to run pipes, wires and ducts throughout the home. This floor plan facilitates the Concept Home's state-of-the-art plumbing system.
[IMAGE: The PEX manifold system in the basement allows for quick shut-off to specific water lines. Photo courtesy of Karin Kirkland.] The Seisco tankless water heater produces hot water on-demand, so no energy is wasted keeping water in a large storage tank hot. The PEX tubing was literally pulled from the basement to the upstairs fixtures, saving on installation time. The "home run" lines have no joints and ensure that hot water arrives quickly. Plus, the Mana-bloc system allows control of each water line independently. Maintenance or remodeling won't mean shutting off water for the entire home. Installation and updates are also simplified by quick-connect fittings from BrassCraft.
[IMAGE: The grey water reuse system circulates cleaned water from sinks and showers back to non-potable uses such as flushing toilets, irrigation, and clothes-washing.] Water from the lavatory sinks and showers are cleaned and recycled by the
Hansgrohe Pontos Grey Water system. Following filtration and sterilization, the recycled water is used for clothes washing, irrigation, and supply water to toilets. Besides saving water, the Pontos system uses no chemicals to clean the water, making it a truly green product. And since the Concept Home has a lot of "firsts," it shouldn't be surprising that this is the first U.S. installation of a Pontos unit!
Content updated on 7/20/2007
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