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Engineering, Coordination, and a Solid Foundation

March 8, 2017 | by Dave Sweet

I'd like to claim that successes I've had while designing and building our new eco-friendly home are due to my own expertise... but that wouldn't be true! I've built many homes of this type, and three requirements come to mind. The first is engineering, then consultation, and lastly a solid foundation.

I put engineering first because it's so important that all systems work together. In fact, towns often require diagrams and plans submitted by a qualified engineer. When my wife and I to put photovoltaic solar panels on our rooftop, I called on George Keithan of Consulting Engineering Services. His expertise included being able to place our home in the best location to take advantage of the sun's position. George also provided the planning to coordinate logistics and methods to ensure my building envelope was as tight as I had wanted.

Most homes are built by a series of contractors following each other, without much coordination. I was fortunate to have the opportunity to sit down with Rick Staub and Greg Echtman of Point One Architects, George Keithan, and fellow eco-friendly homebuilder Bill Zdon for a roundtable discussion to ensure every aspect of the process is aligned with the overall vision. The more information is shared between contractors the better!

Finally, just as engineering and coordination are the building blocks of a plan, the actual foundation is literally what everything else is built upon. Concrete is porous, so foundations - whether a slab or a full basement - must be planned and built to prevent air and water infiltration. Whether your foundation cracks or is otherwise flawed, the performance of all other systems are at risk and the integrity of your building envelope is threatened.

This blog was developed by Taco Comfort Solutions. All posts, sponsored and un-sponsored have been reviewed and approved by the Sustainable Community Media Editorial Team to ensure quality, relevance/usefulness and objectivity.


Topics: Building Green

Companies: Taco Comfort Solutions


Dave Sweet / My name’s Dave Sweet. I’m an eco-friendly homeowner and builder who’s been building his own homes since the 1980s, and I’ve had a great time doing it. Each time I’ve built a home, I’ve tried to include as many environmentally-friendly features as I can. This time, my goal is to use as little energy as possible while maximizing comfort for my wife, my daughters and I. This blog is about helping each other - whether you’re a homeowner or a contractor in the field. Ask questions, exchange ideas, share resources, and more! I encourage you to be a part of this community, and share your experiences.
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