Weekly Update – Weeks ending January 27, 2012 and February 3, 2012

Note: The following Weekly Update combines two weeks.
Specific construction concerns & LBC:
Rainwater Collection System
These past two weeks were eventful for the Desert Rain project regarding the Water Petal. We
secured full approval for the Rainwater Collection system, including the Vintage metal roofing.
Morgan negotiated the path from both directions with conversations with our local building officials
and conversations with the Chief State Plumbing Inspector. After the local jurisdiction figured out
who had ultimate authority to issue approval, we received the green light. Morgan utilized the
resources of our local ombudsman to help work out the differing views on areas of responsibility.
ML followed up with specific data on the Vintage metal roofing that led to full approval of the
rainwater system.
Al is collecting input from lighting experts in the Portland area. It seems reasonable to consider
some outside knowledge and experience. It is important to have a lighting system that is energy
efficient and that works well with an efficient lighting control system. We are learning that lighting
control systems, in themselves, can pull a great deal of electricity. However, there are occupant
sensors that not only turn off the light when detecting that the room is empty, but also turn off the
energy-drawing sensor. The final lighting design and installation has to meet several rigorous
requirements beyond providing good lighting. It must not burden our overall energy budget. With
the excellent daylight potential in this house, the electric lighting loads should hold to a low level.
We need to be vigilant in keeping hidden energy loads out of the system.
Ongoing review and approval of construction materials continues. It is a time-intensive process but
seems to be moving forward in alignment with the construction process. We should be reaching a
point where the time required for material approvals begins to wane. There are still a number of
interior selections to be made and then vetted, for instance lighting controls and fixtures. It is
possible that within three months the materials review process would be nearly complete.
Desert Breeze
The Tozer design team has begun work on finalizing the design for the studio unit in the existing
garage. Called Desert Breeze, this portion may lag behind the rest of the project but probably not
by much time. It will provide another studio living space on the property and will be tied to the
energy, water, and waste systems already under construction on the site. Whole Water Systems is
investigating the impacts of this residence and will verify whether the cistern needs to be enlarged
to hold additional water from the Desert Breeze roof.
Public Discourse
Jason McLennan, author of the Living Building Challenge, visited Bend at the end of January and
held a public lecture at the Tower Theater. Almost 300 people attended and all seemed attentive
and receptive. The evening lecture was followed by a morning meeting with City officials. The
International Living Future Institute, headed by McLennan, has selected Bend to receive $50,000
of in-kind support for the City of Bend to investigate sustainable options for infrastructure
improvements. It appears that these City staff members are very willing to look at alternative
approaches, especially for waste water systems. This connection between Bend and ILFI may
benefit the Desert Rain project and our attempts to get full approval for the Constructed Wetland
Construction Update:
Construction is progressing on many fronts. The ADU and its garage are dried in. On the Main
House, the plumbing and the radiant are roughed in. Once inspections have been made, the floor
framing can proceed. Then wall framing will begin on the Main House. The cistern excavation is
continuing, although the work is progressing slowly due to the fractured basalt to be hammered