On my second day in Maine, I toured seven energy-efficient buildings in various stages of construction. In last week’s blog, I reported on my visit to Richard Renner’s office and Jesse Thompson’s house. This blog picks up the story with a report on my visit to three sites: an ongoing deep-energy retrofit project, a new home in Falmouth, and an unusual co-housing project.
If you’re the type of reader who prefers pictures to words, you’re in luck: this week’s blog is loaded with photos.
Curious regional differences
After I returned home from my Maine visit, I pondered the similarities and differences between building practices in New England and building practices in the Pacific Northwest, where I visited several job sites in March 2011.
On both coasts, energy-efficient builders have embraced triple-glazed windows. But insulation practices are starkly different: in Washington state, all of the energy-conscious builders are using blown-in fiberglass insulation, while Maine builders are all choosing cellulose. I have no explanation whatsoever for this startling difference in insulation practices.
A post-and-beam house gets a deep-energy retrofit
Claudia King and Lindsey Tweed own an old post-and-beam house on a picturesque rural site in Falmouth, Maine. With diverse views in all directions — a large pasture, patches of woods, and a nearby pond — it’s easy to understand why someone would fall in love with the site and the existing house.
A team of professionals — including architect Phil Kaplan, energy consultant Marc Rosenbaum, and builder Dan Kolbert — have been collaborating on a deep-energy retrofit of the home. When I visited the site on the morning of June 8, 2011, workers were moving soil in preparation for a new driveway, building a stone retaining wall, and installing siding and exterior trim.
To improve the home’s energy performance, the siding and…