Posts Tagged Structural Insulated Panel

Affordability, Energy Efficiency Showcased in Scott Homes Tour of Homes

The Scott Homes and Northwest Energy Team Spring 2013 Tour of Homes is this Sunday, May 5 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

For more details, like where and what, sign up for our Tour of Homes emails. After the event, we will not email you any more. Promise.

BergfordHouseThe Bergford House
This is a (gorgeous!) 1925 kit built Craftsman farm house. Up until last spring it was drafty and damp and a bear to heat. The Bergfords started with some very simple, low-cost upgrades to make their home more comfortable like air sealing and insulation in the roof. Then they gradually added more “involved” upgrades that addressed their home’s needs and behaviors, like ductless heat pumps and vents with humidistats.

Check out the details here!

BeckyExteriorEditThe Teacher’s Cottage
We talk to a lot of people looking to downsize. And we talk to a lot of soon-to-be-retirees whose investments were dented by recent market failures. The Teacher’s Cottage is an example of affordable downsizing in an extremely energy efficient home.

In addition to the usual technologies we use to when we build our custom homes — structural insulated panels (SIP), ductless heat pumps (DHP) and heat recovery ventilators (HRV) — we designed the 1160 square foot home for additions and upgrades in the future. The owner wanted to build with the money she had on hand so we made space in her home’s design for things like a garage and a more luxurious bath.

Read further for more details!

FarmHouseTwilightThe Farm House
Winner of ENERGY STAR’s Home of the Year “Most Cost Effective”! This is a great house built at an affordable price for a military family of five. The owners had lived in an extremely energy efficient home before so they knew the value and benefits. Their new home has a thoughtful design embraces the family’s daily activities and provides space to celebrate holidays, special occasions and the odd surprise life like to throw at us.

This home serves as an excellent model of what can be done to balance good energy efficient performance with a smaller budget. The Farm House owners call their house “The Little House That Could” because of its size, its color and its wonderful performance.

See more about this award-winning home!

DSC_5945The Inspiration Home
Winner of ENERGY STAR’s Home of the Year “Best Demonstration Project”! Last year we opened this home as a showcase to demonstrate how energy efficiency technologies can support a home rather than just be something to brag about.

In addition to all the solar panels and SIPs and amazing windows, it is a really attractive home built with a Universal Design floor plan. Don’t let all the fancy Craftsman touches like coffered ceilings and breakfast nooks and built-in’s fool you. This house is designed to be lived in by as many people of as many abilities as possible. If you have a friend or a family member who likes to tour homes but has trouble with steps or doorways, bring them just for the fun of it.

We’ve written a lot about the Inspiration Home. If you want all the details, type “Inspiration Home” in the Search box in the middle upper right.

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Teacher’s Cottage: Sweet living in a down-sized home

BiondiExteriorEditRemember when the Stock Market crashed and retirees lost a ton of their retirement investments? Yeah. That’s what happened to Becky.

Becky’s had this sweet piece of property for several years now.  When her kids moved up to Western Washington, she visited and fell in love (who wouldn’t?). She has a view of the water and the island and the mountain and lots of trees.

When Becky had to retire she came up to live. There was an oooold trailer that came with the lot and that had to do for a while. However, she was spending $300 – $600 per month to heat the place. You don’t have to be a teacher to see that was a chunk of money that could be put to better use. It was time to build, even if it wasn’t the “dream retirement house.”

“I checked out several builders and liked the quality and workmanship of Scott Homes. Obviously the idea of very low electric bills appealed to me. And at this stage in my life, I see the point of sustainability and reducing my footprint.

“The big question was whether Scott Bergford would build me a good home for my now tiny budget. I wanted to build with the money I had on hand. Whatever I couldn’t afford right then, I wanted to plan for the time when I could.”

Of course it worked out fine. Becky got what she needed and Scott Homes incorporated the groundwork for her future plans within the walls of her home.

What Becky got:

  • Universal design floor plan
  • A master bedroom and a guest room
  • Windows and deck optimized for her view
  • Open floor plan
  • 1160 square feet with plenty of storage
  • 6″ structural insulated panel (SIP) walls
  • Heavily insulated roof and floors
  • Ductless heat pump to heat and cool the whole home
  • Heat recovery ventilator to keep the air fresh and healthy
  • Low E, well insulated windows

Becky’s home is part of the Scott Homes and Northwest Energy Team Spring 2013 Tour of Homes. The tour will be Sunday, May 5 from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. You can sign up to get more information via email. Once the tour is over, we stop emailing you. Honest.

By the way, Becky just moved in and wants you to understand that the landscaping is a little rough. We’ve told her that you know what it’s like and you’re very understanding. Because you are. :)

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Inspiration Home in Spring: See it on the Scott Homes 2013 Tour of Homes

DSC_5945The Inspiration Home will be open one more time for just one day. Sunday, May 5, from 11 a.m. — 4 p.m. Scott Homes was recently awarded ENERGY STAR’s 2012 Home of the Year “Best Demonstration Project” award. And, yes, we’re pretty proud of that. Coincidentally, we had a tour of homes planned this spring anyway. It all works out quite nicely.

If you missed the Inspiration Home last year, or if you want to talk to the owners and see if it’s living up to it’s potential, sign up for information on Scott Homes Spring 2013 Tour of Homes.

If you haven’t heard about the Inspiration Home, here’s the skinny: The Inspiration Home has every thing — energy efficient technology and finish — we could reasonably cram into one house. We wanted people to be inspired (get it? “Inspiration Home”?)

On the system side (dry information maybe, but pretty sweet when you get the monthly bills):

  • Ductless Heat Pump (DHP), one of the most efficient heat sources on the market
  • Heat Recovery Ventilator (HRV) to keep the home’s air fresh and healthy
  • Walls and roof of Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs) for insulation, strength, longevity and reduction of waste
  • Solar hot water heater to reduce energy consumption
  • Starter Solar Panel Kit which can be easily expanded as needed
  • Triple pane windows
  • Raingardens — our goal is to have as little run-off as possible
  • Water-proofing system (NOT “damp-proof”) around basement

We also loaded the Inspiration Home up with our signature Craftsman touches. We could have added more interior details but that would have been going for Baroque.

  • Vaulted entry with custom twisted willow chandelier
  • Coffered ceilings (being in the Northwest, we thought we were getting coffee and asked for lots and lots [Oh, I've got a million of them])
  • Built ins surrounding gas fireplace
  • Re-purposed brick on the fireplace
  • Trex deck built for a lifetime right off the kitchen (BBQ heaven!)
  • Custom-built kitchen shelves
  • Re-purposed Craftsman buffet for the kitchen island
  • Custom built-in breakfast nook with the sweetest windows ever
  • Radiant heat floor in master bathroom
  • Lots and lots of storage
  • Very thoughtful ADA and multi-generational design

And, of course, there are lots of pictures to drool over.

While you’re here, take a few minutes to see all the fabulous partners who made building this home possible. Without their advice, design and products, well … we wouldn’t be calling it the Inspiration Home, I guess.

See you there!

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Investing in an Organized Builder: Cleanliness


There are several signs indicating a professional builder’s business acumen, organizational skills, and other capabilities that help ensure ultimate satisfaction with your new home. Today we’re touching on cleanliness.

First impressions. A clean and organized job site often reflects a builder’s overall organizational competency and respect for the materials. An organized job site is safer and more efficient.

Worker safety is always a factor. Maintaining a site where workers Read the rest of this entry »

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Gearing up for the 2012 OMB Big Home and Garden Show

We love home shows! They are a marvelous chance to show you what we’ve been up to the last couple months. At Scott Homes, we’ve learned so much this past year about better, more cost-effective ways to build with SIPs. (Always improving, always moving forward.)

On the Northwest Energy Team (NET) side of the business, we’ll be featuring a working ductless heat pump. All of you who learned about it during the Inspiration Home open house can bring your friends and show them you weren’t making it up. Ductless heat pumps really are quiet and efficient!

Also in this last year, Dan and Mark learned a lot. They went through three days of intensive training on Mitsubishi Ductless Heat Pumps. This means that we are now certified Mitsubishi Diamond contractors. Which means you get highly trained installers and a 7 year warranty (instead of the usual 5 year warranty).

So come see us September 15th (9 – 6) and 16th (10 – 5) at St Martins University, Marcus Pavillion. Bring your questions. And, HEY! bring this coupon and get $2 off admission at the door.

PS: If you are wanting to ask Scott a specific question, leave a comment or send an email so we can be sure to have the information/brochure/link/website/contact/recipe/hydrangea species you are looking for.

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Inspiration Home FAQ’s

With one more weekend of the Inspiration Home Open House to go (Aug 25, 26, 10-4) I am finally getting around to answering the most common questions. So here we go:

What is the …
Kitchen counter top?
“Absolute Black Satin” granite. It’s got a more rustic finish and you do have to clean it properly (but not annoyingly) every couple weeks or so. From Granite Gallery in Tumwater. They do a beautiful job and are a JOY to work with.

Bathroom counter top?
Soapstone “smoke” from Granite Gallery.

Master bathroom floor?
I spent two weekends telling people the floor was slate. It’s porcelain tile. Sorry. It’s called “urban concrete” and Granite Gallery spent a loooong day cutting big 24″ x 24″ tiles down to 4″ x 12″. And it looks so nice. Read the rest of this entry »

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Show, Don’t Tell: Olympia’s Inspiration Home

Part of our job at Scott Homes, because we want to keep raising the bar, is research. We do a lot of it. Talking to other builders, manufacturers, building science experts and explorers is part of practically every home we build.

… Aaand you’re already nodding off; I can tell.

So how ’bout we show you what we do. All in one place, in one house, right here in Olympia. And it’s open to you this weekend … and the next two weekends after that. Check out the Inspiration Home page for times and workshops and such. The Salvation Army will also be there collecting voluntary donations all of which will be used to help folks right here in our town. Read the rest of this entry »

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DHPs Defined: Amazingly efficient ductless heat pumps

DHP stands for Ductless Heat Pump. And they are truly amazing.

DHPs, also known as mini-split heat pumps:

  • need 25-40% less energy than forced air or baseboard/space heaters, which means paying 25-40% less on your heating bill
  • operate efficiently down to -5°F (the ones we use, anyway)
  • are up to 25% more efficient than heating systems requiring ducts (forced air)
  • run very, very quietly. Very.
  • both heat and cool. The air conditioner is actually more efficient to run than the heater.

We love using DHPs in our homes because Read the rest of this entry »

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SIPs Defined

Technology changes everyday. And when you have technology, you have a whole new set of acronyms to learn. You know: DHP, SIP, HRV, IAQ …

Let’s start with the most important one for us: SIP

We build our homes, all our homes, with Structural Insulated Panels. SIP.

SIPs are basically a sandwich. OSB is the bread and EPS is the filling.

*Sigh.* Yeah. Okay. Two more acronyms for you.

OSB is Oriented Strand Board. OSB is made of woodchips from smaller trees. The chips are spread out so their layers overlap and then are bonded with waterproof and boil proof resins.  If you’ve ever seen the Mythbuster episode where they Read the rest of this entry »

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South Sound Green Tour This Weekend. It’s a Biggie!

The South Sound Green Tour is April 21st & 22nd. That’s this weekend. The sites are open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day.

Get the Scott Homes/Northwest Energy Team site map with driving directions.

(A small request: When you park at any of the green Tour sites, kindly consider those who are parked or will be parking, also. Or will be driving in or out. We like to keep the neighbors happy.)

Scott Homes has two (and a half) sites:

Inspiration Home
The next step in energy efficient homes. This home is under construction. It is a construction site. With construction stuff. AND it’s a great opportunity to see what goes on “behind the walls” of an extremely energy efficient home. Building science expert, Daimon Doyle will be there to answer questions.
Check out the flyer to get more information.

Long Lake Cabin
A sweet weekend retreat that we just finished. Webster Bergford, the designer and builder, will be there to talk about his work. The owners will be there, too! Read the Long Lake Cabin flyer for more details. Read the rest of this entry »

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