ACC Green Home

ACCgreenhomeAustin Community College (ACC) is developing a new associate degree program in green building construction technologies with the support of Austin Energy Green Building, the Home Builder’s Association of Greater Austin (HBA), Barley and Pfeiffer Architects and BASF. Members of the local design/build community are providing mentoring and resources to build a modular home during the current spring semester. The “Budding Green” project includes passive solar design and high performance materials/construction techniques. This month the AEGB Professional Development Seminar participants will visit the ACC Round Rock campus to see the project’s features and progress. The partners will discuss how higher education programs help address the workforce challenges of the building industry.

Design and Planning

The project was directed by Miki Cook, Green Building and Sustainability Consultant – AEGB and Chair of Education – HBA Austin and Alex Pettitt, Owner-Spring Builders and Vice President of Education – HBA Austin. They defined the project goals for education, resource efficiency, and high-performance materials and systems. The team at Barley and Pfeiffer Architects, Alan Barley, Peter Pfeiffer and Matt Hart, created the design, contributed proprietary high-performance consultation and produced construction documents/specifications. Steve Conrad with Conrad engineering designed the floor assembly. MLAW provided structural engineering.

More info on the project available here.

Construction Blog Update:  

Week 1: Donnie Thurman launched the class on January 13th with an orientation, safety and security policies, a tour of the facilities and an overview of equipment, tools, and safety resources. Miki Cook provided a brief overview of the project schedule, sponsor and mentor participation.  Billy Doer, PSW Real Estate, acting as project scheduler, and B.J. Brooks, David Weekley Homes, serving as project manager, were introduced.  Peter Pfeiffer presented on the sustainable aspects of the building design and materials specifications.  His building science knowledge and years of expertise in designing for hot, humid climates provided a sound basis for the students to understand the materials and systems used in the construction. Matt Hart, who detailed the plans and created the specification handbook, contributed to the discussion.

Week 2: Holiday – lumber drop scheduled for later in the week

Week 3: David Sappington helped the class to get the floor assembly framed in the midst of challenging weather delays.  BMC provided deep discounts on lumber and other materials. Weyerhaeuser donated the engineered materials (sheathing, decking, and subfloor) via McCoy’s, along with their Timberstrand LSL headers. CASA Mechanical (Plumbing) installed the floor drains in the midst of a winter storm so that the insulation of the floor assembly could be scheduled (which was delayed until the weather cleared).

Week 4: Hinkle Insulation installed the BASF donated closed cell spray foam under the floor assembly in the narrow window of opportunity between the winter weather systems that continued to impact the schedule.

Week 5: McCoy’s Building Supply donated the lumber for the wall assemblies and Weyerhaeuser donated the engineered materials. Buffalo Framing mentored the class in framing the detailed assemblies of the Barley & Pfeiffer design. Roof trusses were delivered at a significant cost reduction through TexTruss.  The weather cooperated for some framing progress.  “Lessons learned” were delivered to the class this week by Alex Pettitt.  At the top of the list was the “most valuable attribute of a project manager: the ability to land on your feet every time you get knocked down, quickly assess the situation and act decisively to get it back on track quickly.”

Week 6: Everyone in town was busy rebounding from the recent ice storms.  BJ Brooks got the schedule back on track by having BMC’s frame crew build the exterior walls and set the trusses.

Week 7: BMC’s crews finished the interior wall framing and set the pocket door frame, built the interior partition wall and light shelf.  Executive Cabinets (E-1 certified) measurements were taken and ordered through Treehouse.

Week 8: Weather delay – class cancelled due to ice on campus

Week 9: Spring Break (no class)

Week 10: Milgard thermally-broken windows and doors were installed. A missing window created difficulties.

Week 11: Sappington Construction started work on the roof and cornice framing. Star R Foam delivered the BASF donated Neopor insulated sheathing, All-Tex Supply provided the rubberized membranes and adhesives, Dupont Tyvek Weatherization Partners supplied the Commercial D house wrap and flashings, and Faulkner & Associates delivered the EnerShield liquid applied air barrier product and provided mentoring on the application procedure.

Week 12: More materials were ordered due to cornice complications. The rainscreen was completed on two walls and rigid foam sheathing installed on three walls. The window replacement has not been resolved. Reclaimed Space donated a 3’ X 8’ door, which turned out to be 37” wide. Frame details were assessed to see if the door would fill the missing window opening. Liquid applied air barrier assembly is completed on the other two exterior walls.

Week 13: Casa Plumbing, In-Charge Electric, and Stan’s A/C and Heating worked on mechanical rough.  Robert Maddon and Mitsubishi donated the mini-split system. Panasonic donated the bath exhaust fan units. Ferguson donated the DreamLine shower unit, which at 32”, was difficult to source and was back ordered.

Week 14: The 3’1” door did not fit the 3’ opening with the custom metal door pans that Kidd Roofing supplied. It was also too tall which would have required cutting into the header. McCoy’s Millwork department in Georgetown made a door to fit the opening in a few days. Meanwhile, mechanical roughs were completed. Shower pan arrived. Spray foam installation was scheduled and drywall ordered.

Week 15: The construction waste bin and jobsite signage are on site and being managed courtesy of Construction Waste Management of Texas. Windows and exterior atrium door assembly are on the way from Milgard via BMC.