Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Not Alone in the Doghouse. . .

Structures Building Company and Herlong & Associates have teamed up as the dynamic duo for a fun challenge. A doghouse designed by Herlong & Associates will be built by Structures to be raffled off for local non-profits at the Daniel Island Park Day festival. Last year Structures walked away with 1st place for our playhouse, stay tuned to see how “Snoopy’s Shack” turns out, better yet, buy some raffle tickets for a chance to take a beautiful doghouse home. . . all for a great cause!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Charleston Green Fair

This coming Sunday, September 28th, Charleston will host their 1st Annual Green Fair. This fun and educational event will be great for all ages and a perfect outing for the family. The fair will take place in Marion Square from 12-6pm and the event is FREE.

The purpose of the event is to introduce products, services and new technologies available to us in the Lowcountry. As you wander through over 75 booths, some of the topics and resources will include, Energy/Transportation, Health/Wellness and Green Building. Along with great educational resources, you can enjoy the delicious food vendors including Home Team Barbecue, Aluette, Taco Boy, Monza, The Glass Onion and Good Food Catering. What kind of fun things will you be able to do as a family? A demonstration by the South Carolina Aquarium and Children's museum, Puppet shows and a rock climbing wall.

What a great opportunity to support and enjoy "green" education and entertainment!

Monday, September 15, 2008

From the Ground Up

Congratulations to the Fischer family on the start of their new home in I'On! The past few weeks have started to reveal some of the hard work that has gone on behind the scenes in the design/build process. We feel very privileged to be adding them as the newest addition to our extended family!

Monday, September 8, 2008

A Glance at Aaron's "Feat"

The SBC camera ends up in the oddest places to capture the most unusual sights. . . this was no exception. When the call came in from one of our incredible trade contractors about a leak, without delay, Service Manager, Aaron Austin was on his way to solve the problem. Crutches and cast from his recent injury led him up the huge staircase to the attic access. When we came to the access door, which could only be entered by an 8' ladder, Sales and Marketing Coordinator, Deborah Way made her way up to see if she could find the cause of the leak. As she climbed, she noticed the ladder shifted. Surprised, she turned around to see Aaron was somehow climbing up behind her. After laughing and asking him what he was doing, there was no question that regardless of the cast on his leg, he was going to find the cause of the leak and get it fixed asap. And that he did.
Aaron constantly looks for ways to take customer service the the next rung on the ladder.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Built Wrong from the Start

While recently reading Energy-Smart Homes by Fine Homebuilding, I came across an article written by Joseph Lstiburek, discussing the Top 10 Blunders that Rot Your House, Waste Your Money, and Make You Sick. I thought his explanation on vented crawlspaces would be a great resource to pass along, here's what he had to say.

"Vented crawlspaces are moist enough to grow mushrooms. In the old days, we didn't insulate crawlspace floors, and we didn't air-condition houses. Crawlspaces (especially the floor framing)were warmed by the houses themselves. Now that we insulate floors, crawlspaces are within a degree or two of ground temperature. During most of the summer, this temperature is below the dew point of the outside air, even up north.

Venting a crawlspace allows moist outside air to condense on cool crawlspace surfaces. Consequently, the ventilation air is wetting the crawlspace rather than drying it. It's like opening a basement window in July: The walls sweat. And wet walls become moldy walls quickly.

The whole point of venting a crawlspace is to remove moisture. If we could import hot, dry air from Tucson to ventilate moist crawlspaces in Tupelo, venting crawlspaces would be a great idea. But for Tupelo air to ventilate Tupelo crawlspaces, the air needs to be dry enough to pick up moisture, and it needs energy (heat) to evaporate the moisture. This isn't going to happen, and here's why: Tupelo air isn't hot and dry. Neither is Toledo air, Tallahassee air, nor Toronto air.

A crawlspace is just a mini-basement and should be treated as such. (It's like a basement for a troll.) You should condition the air in your mini-basement. Make it part of the house because, despite what you might think, it already is. Heat it in the winter and cool it in the summer with a supply duct or grille (but ask your fire inspector about this). Don't insulate the floor; insulate the perimeter, and install a continuous ground cover to keep out moisture."

To read more, pick up Energy-Smart Homes, Winter 2008 Edition or visit Fine Homebuilding. Joseph Lstiburek, Ph.D., P.Eng., is principal of Building Science Corp. in Westford, Mass.