South Boston Project Comes to an End!

(see 8/1/2010 post for groundbreaking details)

This project started as a renovation of a small two-story row house in South Boston, but once gutted and revised it turned into an overhaul of the existing structure. The scope was revised due to the poor structural integrity of the building was revealed after the gutting of the building took place. Prior to demolition, the existing home was a two room 750 square ft dwelling and the new plans called for renovating and updating the existing structure. The scope included adding a third floor, installing a high-efficiency heating system, and radiant floor heat. The result was a four-story house with a 1,200 square ft living space with a furnished basement. The major difficulties of this project dealt with the cramped site and maintaining the integrity of the neighboring structures.

In this project, we utilized solar thermal collectors on the roof to collect heat and transfer it to the domestic hot water and radiant space heating system.  The radiant space heating circulates in PEX tubing that are embedded in the basement slab. We laid over 20″ of gravel for slab prep and drainage, then we installed 3 layers of 2″ polyiso rigid insulation over the gravel to ensure we lose close to no heat. The reason for the loop of radiant lines in the slab is to create a battery to store the surplus heat that is generated by the solar thermal collectors and supply heat when the sun has set for the day. In the end this was a significant savings vs. radiant panel materials, with the added benefit of a heat ballast.

During Construction

The building envelope was one of the our main focus of this project. We installed  Zip wall sheathing system to protect the home from the weather and to represent the first layer of sealing. Normally, the siding would be applied over this layer, however on this project we installed a layer of 2″ Tuff-R foam, with all the joints taped up to work as a second layer of protection against air infiltration. This layer was then a fixed with rough spruce strapping on the vertical, which created a drainage plain and breathable layer between the siding and rigid foam.

In addition, To keep tabs on our progress, we ran our blower door and infrared camera, to ensure tightness of the envelope and used numerous energy-efficient products.

The management for this project was shared between the owner of Boston Green Builder, Brian Butler and project manager Andy Kalafatas.

For more information about Boston Green Building visit: www.bostongreenbuilding.com


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