Happy Monday!

First order of business for the group: shave things off to save our budget.  It’s a real house, and we have to face this financial reality.  As a grand, multifarious team, balancing all the desires, drivers and constraints of the project has been a great challenge throughout the development of the Empowerhouse project.  We want to do EVERYTHING! Passive house, Energy Efficiency, Habitat for Humanity, Deanwood, Sustainability/Greeness of materials, Design… Our intentions are certainly in the right place, but in terms of budget constraints, we must prioritize and balance these goals.

Items thrown into the pool for reconsideration: cladding material, exhibition decks, interior finish materials, planters/vegetation. Do we sacrifice deck size or go with pressure treated deck structure? The first compromises design, the second compromises environmental health due to material water run-off.  What about cedar siding rather than the timbersil?Do sedum trays at the PV arrays increase efficiency enough over time to justify the initial extra costs?  Given that this is a Habitat house, is custom cabinetry realistic?  Would Habitat really jump for the green material that is 3x the price of a comprable, although more toxic, alternative? What about just LESS toxic? (i.e. one cement board vs another: “You get high off this… you can DIE off that.” Well, Eric, if you want to put it that way…)  Etc. etc.

As a team we must all tighten our belts and get realistic.

On a happier/cuter note: We also learned that Otters mates hold hands while they sleep so they don’t float away and lose each other! Awwwww…. Thanks again, Eric Feuster

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