I realize it’s been a week since we last posted. There’s good stuff to show–progress on site–but mostly we’ve been busy waiting for our building permit. We’re building the house from SIPS, or structural insulated panels. SIPS have some fantastic qualities. They’re strong (much stronger than a typical framed wall), provide amazing energy efficiency (we’ll be a bit north of R-50 for the roof), and because the panels are manufactured off site, in theory the house will go together very quickly (4-5 days from the beginning of installation until the walls and roof are complete.

But alas, not all is perfect. Although things are going relatively well, because the panels are pre-fabricated, all of the engineering and layout needs to be dialed before we pull the proverbial trigger. So, Matt has undertaken a heroic amount of coordination between engineers and R-Control. The short version of how this works, is Matt sends over our final building plans. Then R-Control’s panel layout engineer converts this into a SIPS layout (see the screen capture below). Then a structural engineer and panel engineer examine this work, in conjunction with Matt and to a lesser extent our builder, Carrie. Then the feedback loop begins. It’s all healthy, but time consuming.

So our final “permit set” is now with the county, and we’re waiting for our building permit to be approved, which we need before we pour concrete and fill the forms that are being finished up. Ordinarily we might have waited to start form work until we had the permit in hand, but we’re racing winter.

Last night I ran into a friend that runs a big architectural firm. He asked how construction was going and I showed him the picture below on my phone. His response? “That’s a big footing. Are you building a bridge?”

No, just some giant concrete walls. In the background you can see Misha and his fantastic crew of “concrete guys.” Amazing work they’re doing, and they show a huge amount of pride in the job they’re doing. Great stuff.