What goes on behind closed doors …
… is a lot of planning! And it most certainly does not stay behind closed doors when it comes to Desert Rain and Living Building Challenge.
The day started off with an early morning meeting on the home site for architectural designer Al Tozer, contractor Jim Fagan, and LBC/LEED consultant ML Vidas. They walked the site–which was abuzz with framing activity, as well as masonry and cistern work–as they discussed all aspects of the project. Building a home to meet Living Building Challenge 2.0 is radically different than building a standard home. What’s being done is new; groundbreaking both literally (I’m looking at you, 35,000-gallon cistern) and figuratively. It requires more time, more creativity, and more communication in all aspects. While there is a written standard, there is also a remarkable amount of details that must be dealt with at every step of the process, and for that there is no trail of crumbs to follow. “I have to remind myself and the team that this is all pioneering stuff. … That’s why having the team is so important. Jim and Kevin [of Timberline, or Jim] and I meet almost weekly,” ML told me last month.
After the on-site meeting between ML, Al and Jim, there was a meeting at the Timberline office that brought together Barb and Tom, Al, ML, and Jim, as well as Shawn Allen and Greg Anderson of Resource Conservation Technologies. Shawn and Greg are leading the team in the monitoring and control of the water and energy systems that are so vital to Desert Rain achieving net-zero water and net-zero energy. Detailed monitoring of systems is essential to the conservation and efficient use and management of water (rainwater harvesting) and energy (generated via solar panels) in Desert Rain. Real-time analytics will alert Barb and Tom to any energy “leak,” giving them the ability to quickly react and improve efficiency. Even if they’re away from home, they’ll be instantly notified of any inefficiency via a system-generated email or text, and with remote access they can explore and address the issue from wherever they may be.
More photos from today’s collaboration are below. If you’d like to learn more about Living Building Challenge—the standard that inspired and informs every aspect of this home—please join us on Thursday morning (4/19) at 7:30 for an LBC presentation in Bend. Email me via the “contact” form on the blog and we’ll add your name to the list of attendees.