Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Construction Begins!

Digging for the foundation began last Friday (November 16) and it was cold and very very wet. Alan Gibson, our site builder, along with the excavation crew dug in the mud to prepare the footings.
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Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Wednesday November 14, 2007

The blog is up! With a wiki site and a basecamp to our credit, and produdction mere months away, our blog is now up and running and ready to tell the world about the project we are undertaking here in Maine.

Here's what has been happening lately:

Tedd Benson spoke at the Maine USGBC monthly breakfast program, Green Eggs, and gave an interesting presentation titled A Higher Standard of Design and Construction through Open Building and Element Prefabrication. The talk was well attended and well received and Tedd spent some time before and after meeting with us here at the office to discuss progress on the BrightBuilt Barn.

On the production front, folks at Bensonwood and here at KTA are working away at final drawings. The building will go into production at the Bensonwood shop by January, if not sooner and be delivered to the site in February for assembly in March. Phil, Alan and Mary Collins met on site yesterday to stake the site and talk about some details.

In short, the project now has a life of its own and is moving forward!
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Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Staking the Site

In early November, Phil Kaplan (Architect), Ann Kearsley (Landscape Architect), and Keith and Mary (clients) spent a morning staking the site to determine the final location of the building.(photographs courtesy of Ann Kearsley Design)
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Friday, November 2, 2007

Process: The Charette

On March 9, 2007, Kaplan Thompson Architects facilitated a charette in Portland to bring all key players in the project together to begin to talk about ideas and issues.

(A charette is an i ntense collaboration where stakeholders in a given project come together for a brief period of time to flush out ideas and decisions about a project that may otherwise take a great deal of time to work through. They can be anywhere from a few hours to a few days and are typically tightly run to work through a maximum amount of information in a minumum amount of time.)

Representatives from each of the primary team members attended and in a day, the group hashed out some of the major goals and decisions that would have to be made to move the project forward. Some sample topics of discussion were:

  • Outbuiling typologies - why the barn, and what does it connote?
  • The relationship of the barn to the exisitng house - physically, and can the barn serve as an "outboard" motor for the main house
  • Foundation systems for a disentangled house - prefab framed floor system versus slab on grade
  • How to achieve net zero status and what we can learn from Passivhaus?
  • How can this building draw on the vernacular yet be replicable for other climates?

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Thursday, November 1, 2007

The Facts - Site, Program, Team

The project site is a 50 acre parcel of south gacing land in Rockport which is in mid-coast Maine. There is an existing house on the site occupied by the client and his wife. The land is largely wooded but the area around the house is cleared - hilly and full of ledge.

The barn is to house a painting studio for her and a shop and office for him. In addition, a small kitchenette and bathroom are included.

Kaplan Thompson Architects - Portland, ME
Kaplan Thompson Architects is the primary architect of the project, responsible for the overall design of the project and for facilitating the collaborative nature of the project.

Key participants:
Phil Kaplan - Principal
Jesse Thompson - Principal
Robin Tannenbaum - Architectural Designer
Michael Wilcox - Architectural Designer

Bensonwood Woodworking - Walpole, NH
Bensonwood Woodworking is producing the major components of the building at their facility in New Hampshire. Best known as a timber framing company that specializes in energy efficient buildings and high quality construction, Bensonwood is applying their efficient means of panelized production to the BrightBuilt Barn. The entire building will be produced in sections in NH and trucked to the site where it will be assembled.

Key Participants:
Tedd Benson - Founder and visionary
Lovell Parsons - Project Manager
Chris Carbonne - Project Engineer

Gibson Design/Build - Rockport, ME
Alan Gibson of Gibson Design/Build is the on-site builder for the project. Alan has many years of experience as an energy efficient builder in mid-coast Maine.

Petersen Engineering - Portsmouth, NH

Energy Works - Liberty, ME and Portland, ME

Fore Solutions - Portland, ME

Ann Kearsely Design - Landscape Architecture and Urban Design
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