Decisions, decisions, decisions…

By Karen Miles, Land Use/ Facilities Manager

Backfillingaround FOundationLots of things to report on in this Blogpost! Decisions, decisions, decisions. The project architects have given the AFF staff materials and color options for the floors, walls, exterior siding, roofing, windows and (wait for it) bathroom stalls. So many decisions; but we think that what we finally came up with will be wonderful here at Hard Bargain Farm Environmental Center. We kept in mind the natural color palette for our area. Now, we just have to wait for the project to come along to the point where they can be seen.

Have you ever heard of FSC certified lumber? It stands for Forestry Stewardship Council Certification and is the best indicator in the United States that the wood used for construction is harvested sustainably. Responsible forest management includes:

  • Protecting fragile ecosystems
  • Respecting native cultures and economies
  • Preventing illegal logging
  • Restricting clear-cutting (removing all trees in a tract) and pesticide use
  • Monitoring the “chain of custody,” or ensuring that the wood in the product you’re looking at really came from the forest that was certified.

All of the lumber in a Living Building must be FSC certified and come from local sources, if possible.

We are working with the local electric energy provider, SMECO, to ensure that their electric lines can handle the excess power that is generated by the solar arrays that will be installed on-site. As luck would have it, they are in the process of installing a three phase line in the area and will be more than adequate for this purpose. Modifications in engineering plans have been made for the specified equipment to be changed from single phase to three phase lines.

ReadyingSlab The concrete pouring is coming to a close next week with the slab-on-grade pour. This means the flooring for the kitchen and mechanical equipment rooms will be poured. The kitchen will have a colorant (La Crescenta Brown) used. The waterproofing has been applied to the exterior underground walls and backfilling is in process. For the first time in about six months, one can see the natural lay of the land again.

Once the floors have been poured, the next steps are installation of the expanded metal trusses and Glulam beams (laminated wood). We will begin to see the building take shape more with each addition. It is very exciting to be a continuing part of this process. Stay tuned for the next installment.