06 January 2010

Why Our Green House is Blue

The sheathing went on the walls today. R is using Structural Insulated Sheathing (SIS) instead of wood. SIS saves trees and adds some insulation value to the walls (R-3). Plus it's easier to work with, and I have to think lighter building materials put less stress on the foundation.

The construction fence also went up today, as you can see at the bottom of the picture above.

SIS is cool.

Other green building materials already in place include finger-jointed studs. These studs look like a cheap patchwork of useless, ratty scraps of wood, but in fact they are stronger and will remain straighter than solid wood studs (and consequently, they actually cost more).

All of this talk about green building has made us more conscious of making earth-friendly choices in the rest of our lives. Now that we live in a real house, we have regular city garbage and recycling service. Our recycling bin is at least twice as big as our garbage can (the smallest the city will give us), and it takes us a while to fill both (and since we take all organic matter to the house to compost, the garbage doesn't get stinky). Between our manual garage door being a pain to open and the general goal of not creating waste, it's become a game to see how long we can go without taking out the garbage. We are pleased to report that tomorrow's pickup is our first since October!

In case you're wondering, we don't separate our recycling because the city has "single stream" recycling. They're still working out the kinks, but basically everything gets sorted at the recycling center, so we just throw everything into one bin. It's so easy! The hardest part is remembering that the recycling doesn't go in the green bin.

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