The Woodka Remodel: Week Nine
Now that the outside renovation is winding down, the focus for week nine starts to shift more to indoors; a good thing, since the weather in Michigan during the Fall months can be predictable. Snow, wind, rain, sunshine….sometimes all within a matter of a few hours. The build team will soon enclose the structure with the new high-efficiency Andersen windows that have just been delivered, and get to work rebuilding the homes' interior.
Getting Ready for GeothermalBut not all of the outdoor work is done, however. New roofing and siding materials will have to be added now that the new expansion areas are compeleted and wrapped in TyVek HomeWrap. That work will happen in the coming weeks; the big outdoor job in week nine is the preliminary work being done in preparation for the new geothermal system that will heat and cool the home. This week, the horizontal trenching is being dug in the backyard, and the supply and return pipeline between the geothermal header pit area and the furnace room inside is being installed.
Geothermal heating and cooling is relatively new, but it relies on a natural energy source that has been around as long as the planet's been spinning; the heat of the Earth itself. A Geothermal system harnesses this energy to keep the homes' indoor air comfortable year-round. It's highly efficient and non-polluting. In fact, geothermal uses no fossil fuels or combustion of any kid, which eliminates any air pollution or greenhouse gases. Only a small amount of electricity is needed to circulate air throughout the home.
The geothermal process may sound complicated, but in fact is relatively simple physics. Instead of burning fuel for heat, or using electricity for cool air, geothermal systems simply move heat: from the earth into the home, and vice versa. The result is greatly reduced energy needs for heating or cooling. Traditional HVAC systems, even energy-efficient models, use a great deal of energy. Geothermal systems can create the same indoor air temperatures with energy reductions of over 50%. For a brief explanation on the entire geothermal process, please read our article on the topic by clicking HERE.
The new Woodka renovation, even though much larger than the original house, will use much less energy to heat and cool it, in part to the new insulation, doors and windows, and especially the geothermal system.
New insulation is also being installed this week. The new areas on the north side of the home are being filled with super-efficient expanding spray foam insulation. The spaces under the newly erected front tower are being filled with blown-in cellulose insulation. Both types of insulation will help make these new areas super airtight, reducing energy loads.
Let There Be (Efficient) Light!A lighting designer spent some time in the Woodka this week, creating a lighting plan for the main level of the house; the new dining, living, kitchen, stairwell, and front foyer will all feature a brand-new lighting scheme designed to accent them all with very energy-efficient, state-of-the-art LED lights. Downstairs, the lakeside game room is also going to take advantage of brand new LED lighting.
Electricians also arrived this week to begin installing the wiring necessary for the new lighting design, as well as ensuring that all of the homes' wiring is up to code.