Specific construction concerns & LBC:
It is common during construction to have questions arise that require a site visit and a good look at
several options. Details, on both the interior and exterior, are being worked out between the
contractor James Fagan and the designer Al Tozer. Usually these do not involve any Living
Building Challenge concerns but revolve more around construction techniques and the finish
details. We continue with steady progress on several fronts.
For the Materials review, Vidas is still awaiting a final lighting plan and fixture selections. It is
anticipated that most, if not all, luminaire choices will already be compliant with LBC. The lighting
designer, Zach Suchara with Luma Lighting in Portland has worked on an LBC project.
Constructed Wetland Bioreactor
The approval process for the Constructed Wetland Bioreactor is in a holding pattern. Vidas is still
talking with several people outside the project who may have experience in other CWBs being
approved in other jurisdictions.
Energy & Lighting & Monitoring Systems
A meeting has been scheduled for Tuesday April 17 to review the capabilities of the CES panel
and begin itemizing all the components and circuits to be monitored and controlled.
Al, James, Kevin and ML met at the job site April 10 to walk through and discuss any design,
construction and LBC concerns. James and Al talked through flashing detail options for the
exterior stonework. We discussed how the salvaged stone on site could be incorporated into low,
dry stack landscaping stonewalls. James will work on some possible methods and people to help
with that. We also looked at the fascia flashing detail and confirmed the best method as proposed
by Craig Junker at River Roofing.
The formwork for the cistern walls was completely ready and the concrete pour was scheduled to
begin that morning.
James is working on a 2’x2’ sample of the polished concrete with the site-salvaged basalt as the
exposed aggregate. Cement Elegance needs the concrete to attain its full strength before
polishing; that curing takes at least 28 days. This sample would be a close representation of the
surface for the interior concrete floors but would not contain the anticipated coloring. It is not
feasible to color such a small sample.
We discussed the placement of control joints for the stucco, determining that placing them behind
the downspouts on the longer stretches of uninterrupted stucco would be best. There is no
requirement for control joints in the stucco but they can help prevent cracking.
Control joints in the concrete floor will be diamond cut. James and Al to work out the locations.
During framing, care has been taken to caulk all possible sources of air leakage throughout both
the Main house and the ADU. The garages will not be sealed as tightly except for the Mechanical
Room for the Rainwater Collection System.
On the Lighting side, we are still waiting for the final lighting plan and expect it very shortly. It will
be hand drafted, not drafted into CAD. This should be acceptable for the electrician. The difficulty
lies with changes in the floor plan or ceiling plan; the lighting plan cannot be easily updated to
include those changes. The general idea is for the electrician to do a walk-thru to finalize the
lighting & switching decisions and the electrical outlet locations.
Time was spent discussing how best to install the lighting planned for the top of the Miro wall. The
light fixtures are linear, have a very low profile, and will be inset into the top of the wall. We also
reviewed ideas for the art hanging system and how it will interface with the uplighting at the top of
We reviewed the change at the Media Room from barn doors to pocket doors. We considered
salvaged door hardware but realized that simple hardware that matches the door hardware
throughout the home is best.
We also examined several options for the joint between wood trim and the interior American Clay
plaster or traditional lime plaster. James will verify that Fry Reglet has a trim piece that will assist
the plaster installation and maintain the desired reveal at any joints with wood or dissimilar
materials. Fry Reglet components are made of extruded aluminum and have been vetted for LBC
For the ADU, we reviewed the laundry area and any required venting, confirming that there is
adequate space for everything.