November 11 - 17, 2007

  • The plumbing inspection passed this week.
  • We will go for our heating, ventilation, and air conditioning inspection this week.
  • That inspection should pass and we will call in for our framing inspection.
  • Insulation should happen the Monday after Thanksgiving.
  • The city attorney stopped by on Saturday to take a tour of our house.

    Our front porch railing is all but done. We tore out the awful back porch steps and will have new ones this week and also railings for that too.

    Our house sits up really high.

    The sidewalk has it's forms done and inspected and is ready to be put in this coming week. Our downspout connectors are now fully connected and will run under the sidewalk.

    It may not be a big deal for some, but our house is now hooked up to the grid. Our sump pump is no longer connected to a house 75 feet away with an extension cord which is constantly being cut. This had required constant monitoring every time it rained.

    We now have operable outlets on every floor which means we can connect to our own house for our tools and most importantly, our radio.

The landscaping can go forward at any time.

October 21 - November 11, 2007
We have passed our electrical inspection and the plumbing and heating inspections just have one small item each before they pass. This week, those issues will get taken care of and we can go for a structural inspection.

The landscapers have started and the house is ready for the inspections to pass so we can start to insulate and then drywall.

As part of our green build, we have been using our lumber in a very efficient manner. We have followed the Building Science Corporation advanced framing techniques. Below shows what is typically done in residential construction.

To put in an outlet for the refrigerator, our electrician put in a massive amount of wood to hold up a receptacle box.
See the picture below to see how could have done the same task with less wood and less time.

Here is our fix. Besides wasting less wood, we now have more room in the wall for insulation.
September 9 - October 20, 2007
As we almost come to a point where we will be no longer be doing anything with sixteen penny nails, 2 x 6 lumber and using our saws, we want to say thank you to Contract Lumber for supporting ten years of high school students working to end poverty housing in America.

There has been a lot of interest in our house and we have given several tours.
  • The Ohio Solar Tour with Green Energy Ohio.
  • Associates of the American Instituted of Architects (AIA, Columbus chapter).
  • Building Industries Association (B.I.A.) of Columbus.
  • Sustainable Worthington
    We have a beautiful urban city street in Columbus, Ohio where we build as this view looking south shows.

    This is a view looking north.

    Our rough electrical work is now finished with the plumbing to finished the week of October 21.

    This is a view of our kitchen.

    Interior of downstairs bathroom.

    Our ground to the reinforcing bar was cut off at some time so we had to dig down, chip away the footer so the electricians could tie into the steel to make the correct ground. This inspection passed.

    Close up of the mechanical ground clamp to the piece of reinforcing bar in the footer. e would not have had to t

    Nice early morning view of our house in the fall.

Weeks from August 20 - September 8, 2007
Because of the uniqueness of our house, Mayor Coleman made a special hour-long appearance at our site.The event was sponsored by the Columbus Housing Partnership (, Green Energy Ohio (, and Home B.A.S.E.

  • The solar panels have been installed, both photovoltaic (electric) and solar thermal (fluid to heat the domestic hot water).
  • The photovoltaic panels were provided and installed by the Third Sun Solar and Wind.
  • The solar thermal panels and system were provided and installed by Solar Usage Now.
  • The front porch railing has been almost completely painted by Will.
  • The gutters have been installed.
  • Dave Miller has been instrumental in finishing the last tiny bits of framing. A section of the upstairs wall that had badly bowed studs was pulled into line along with adding studs for efficient drywall hanging, trim , and electrical box installation.
  • The roof was completely finished on the garage and main portion of the house. Only the porch roofs remain to be finished.

Mayor Coleman inside of our house addressing fifty people and news media about the importance of sustainability and Columbus' commitment to become a leader in being a sustainable city.

Geoff Greenfield with Mayor Coleman on site. Scotte Elliott, the third person to the right of the mayor in the picture (white shirt beard) was responsible for initiating the idea of having solar thermal on our house.

Solar cells being installed.

Our house with the solar thermal (left) and the photovoltaic panels (right) installed.

Ground view of house.

Solar photovoltaic panels.

Solar thermal panels.

Electrical inverter which converts the Direct Current, D.C. , from the solar panels to Alternating Current for home use.

Solar thermal pre-heat tank that is heated by the solar thermal system to provide up to 70% of the hot water for the house.

Will painting the top of the porch railing black.

Gable returns are finished on our house.

Week of August 13 - 18, 2007

Thank you Contract Lumber for our porch which Will B. is painting.

Dave Miller installed cabinet blocking for the kitchen cabinets and blocking for the time on the first floor.

This is the water distribution system which was donated by Curnayn Sales Inc., (440) 846- 1280. This manifold is called a Manabloc and used a non PVC piping system. Each faucet is connected directly to the Manabloc.

The gable returns on the back of the garage are finished.

Weeks from July 30 - August 11, 2007

  • The front and back steps were put in.
  • Cynthia, the interior designer for the project, has been been getting the interior together by researching and selecting such things as lighting, island placement, cabinet finishes, and plumbing fixtures etc. She and her husband John (an architect) came out to site to verify the measurement for our cabinetry.
  • The framing around the stairs was completed.
  • The piping to the rain garden was redone and the site was cleaned with the materials to be recycled.

    Front steps being finished.

    The wall that sits to the right beside the staircase and that will hold the spindle wall was framed in.

    The house, garage, and site was cleaned. Ninety percent or more of what is in the dumpster will be recycled.
    L to R: Will (HB'07), Scott (HB'06), and Andy Miller (intern/student teacher January to May '07) Not shown is Tom E. (HB '07)

    Advanced Framing Technique:
    Trusses, wall studs, and floor joists are stacked so that only a single top plate is used saving wood.

  • Source:

    The stairwell to the second floor was furred out with 2 x 2's so that the drywall will make "clean" flat plane up to the ceiling of the second floor.

Sarah Demetroff frames in the basement stair opening for drywall.

Dave Miller fixed a spot where two walls met upstairs so that door casing would fit and not have to be ripped to a smaller width.

The drain pipe to the water garden is redone to provide the correct height of this inlet to the garden.
L to R: Tom, Megan, and Craig Bickle

Weeks of July 16 -July 28, 2007

The great news is that our stairs are installed. We can't thank Contract Lumber and Framing enough
They provided the stairs and Roy who guided the entire process and worked a lot harder on the day the stairs were installed than he thought he'd have to.
And thank you "D" for setting things up.

Our finished stairs.

L to R: Nathan, Roy, Jessica, and Cody.

Nathan who worked for the entire day with us installing the stairs and helped with the hour long cleanup.

The other big item that has been happening for the last two weeks is that the drainage pipes from the downspouts to the street and to the rain garden have been trenched and mostly put in. This would ordinarily be an easy task but with the complex routing of the pipes to a rain garden and cistern, it has taken time.

Megan installing the sump drain to the street.

Vinnie getting ready to put the trencher to work for the last bit of trench for Megan.

Craig, who has been with us since the beginning, is loading the trencher onto the trailer at the end of an entire hot day of trenching.

Tom and Craig, lay in pipe to the rain garden. It rained "buckets" the previous day. Our basement is still high and dry though.

Photograph of the outflow pipe from our overflow cistern connected to the pipe which will take the excess water to the street.

Week of July 9 - July 14, 2007

The metal roof is now on the main house. It was donated by Dimensional Metals

Finished siding.

Franklin Adhesives Caulk
was donated and specifically used for this pre-finished fiber-cement siding and it's performance and color match was spectacular.

64 sheets of donated Georgia Pacific drywall was donated. Here 34 sheets are being boomed into the house to go into the basement before the stairs are installed. The stairs will be provided by The Contract Lumber Company
Anne, Megan, Sarah, and Dave M. cut the opening to the basement.

Thank you Josh Lloyd for working with Georgia Pacific to obtain Dens Armor Plus for our basement. This drywall has a fiberglass exterior instead of paper on the outside thus depriving mold of a food source.

Loading drywall into the basement.

Anne ... well... ask her next time you see her on what she is doing. The board is attached to the floor by one threaded fastener.

We had a problem in our dry cistern overflow pit for our sustainable rain garden design. We solved the problem with a poured wall and technical help from Brad Nardolson of the Righter Company The catch basin is lined with filter fabric and both the earth and rock are brought up together in4"-6" lifts.
Above, Sarah, Mr. Link, and will put in the first load of stone.

We had to fill in the catch basin to a depth of six feet, one wheelbarrow at a time. You can see how deep the basin is.
That's Sarah, Phil, and Mr. Link.

Vinnie, and Mr. Link fill in and tamp the earth while Phil and Will seal the inside of the catch basin.

All of the day's work was done with pick, shovel, and wheelbarrow.

Megan, Mr. Link, Tom (behind) Scott(behind) Vinnie, and Will with the filled catch basin.
The perforated pipe sticking up allows the homeowner to monitor the water in the catch basin.

Progress on our roof #1.

Progress on our roof # 2 and digging out and putting earth into the wheelbarrow for the catch basin.

Progress on our roof # 3. The other side of the roof was finished the next day.

Scott bending metal for the roof.