Wednesday, 14 November 2012

The morphing of Passive House Casa Tortuga

Just a small 11,000 lb hoe ram (not me...the machine!).
This is my uncle David, owner/operator of the tiny,
ultra-quiet (not!) machine.
The activity at Turtle Falls has been brisk this week. The distinctive sound of the hoe ram on solid granite has been echoing throughout the land. It has been a good week of meeting the nearby neighbours. There's the curious neighbours wondering what the racket is all about. There's the helpful neighbours taking away the felled trees. They are happy to get the free firewood and/or pine logs. We're totally happy they're taking it away for free. We are certainly not going to need it as we will not be having a wood burning appliance in this passive house. I suppose this is one way to ease into the bribing the neighbours with free firewood. And, since the amount of rock we need removed will only be the equivalent of 3½ days of hammering we shouldn't lose all those newly-made neighbour friends. Some excavations in this area can require several weeks or months of hammering. We got to live through the months-long hammering for a house down the way last summer. It's the type of sound you just really can't get into the Zen of. Your brain starts to rattle along at the same tempo after a while. Your ears ring when the machines have all finally been quieted at the end of the day. It's all good least from our perspective. We can't speak for the neighbours. We'll just beg forgiveness daily, now to completion.

The co-operative effort of taking down the big oak tree. These are our neighbours, lumberjacks Peter and Alistair. It sure was nice having the machine's assistance to assure the tree landed where wanted, rather than on Priscilla.

Making sure the rock is gone from all areas where footings need to be when the house is oriented to true south.

One machine is good. Two is better! One hammering, one clearing.

While all the hammering is happening at Turtle Falls, architect Chris and Homesol have been working with the Passive House Planning Package (PHPP) to finalize the details for the house. There has been a major change in the look of the exterior of the house from the first version I posted earlier, but the floor plan remains the same. As I was writing this paragraph architect Chris called to discuss further design changes to the exterior. It's interesting to watch the changes morph the house from one form to another. We have certainly gone from one end of the spectrum, with a flat roof ultra modern look, to the other end with this version that looks more bungalow-like. Some changes were expected to happen in order to accommodate for roof overhang necessary to tame the summer sun streaming through the south windows. Ras was happy to lose the higher roof projection to gain the wrap-around deck. After talking with Chris it seems there will be much more morphing to come. Changes to the garage and it's roofline are forthcoming. So, for now...this is where we're at.

The latest version of the south east elevation with the lowered roofline, extended overhangs and decking.

Copyright © 2012 Vert Design, Chris Straka

More to come, no doubt. Too exciting!




Marie said...

The roof and wrap around decking looks great - hope they don't change it. It is always fasinating to watch a hole being dug - why is that?

Anonymous said...

Wow and wow. Agree wih Marie's comment. Find it's also true of any major construction on your own property. Heck I even loved watching our driveway be put in. Love the look of the most recent rendering. Being from Ottawa am sure they know about snow on flatter roofs :) Wrap around deck!!
Hugs fro Campbelville