Wednesday, April 27, 2011

SPARC Nears Completion

With the May 1st as the deadline for the SPARC to reach completion, a flurry of activity has surrounded the new house for the last several weeks.
The greenhouse has been added. Windows have been added to the south, west, and east walls to allow for maximum sunlight and a good aesthetic look. A wood floor was installed to give the greenhouse a patio/deck look.

Siding was added to the north, east, and west walls to add protection and to give the house a sharp look.

Water has been hooked up and (despite only a few leaks that were dealt with handily) works perfectly.

Carpet has been installed on the stairs and second level and gives it a nice warm feel.

Finally, a last blower door test was ensure of the passive nature of the house. Doug is using a thermal camera in the pic to scan for any leaks that may still be present.

Final touches and a cleaning are all that remains before the SPARC will be open for use.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The first fresh greens from our hoophouse.

Yum! We are starting the salad season early thanks to our hoophouse gardeners.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Polyester can do what?

On Thursday, Hug hosted regional builder Dan Anderson for a campus tour and meet & greet. Mr. Anderson was asked to visit the campus because of his work on a multi-layered window that would allow higher energy and heat retention. The basic design is to place several layers of a polyethylene terephthalate (PET) film that would automatically raise or lower inside the window pane. This would effectively allow sunshine in while retaining heat during cloud cover or at night.
With the HUG shop working on a “pocket window” that will have an automated system similar to the design Anderson is working on, a possible future collaboration is in the works.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Our Little Ladies Rebellion

For the past several weeks, our little ladies have begun to explore around their coop. This wasn't too much of a problem since snow was covering the ground, they would roost back inside their coop at night, and they wouldn't do too much damage to the neighboring plants.

However, now that garlic and rhubarb have been planted in the area, having our little ladies scratch up any insulation or seedlings was not allowed. Hay was used as an insulation to
prevent frost from creeping down to the seedlings.

Here we can see the damage the hungry ladies were causing.

Therefore we did our best to round up the rebels, gave them a little clipping, and set them back into the coop (which was a small ordeal with the raspberry bushes prickly, red and bare!)

Who knew that catching chickens was a two person activity?