Thursday, March 20, 2008



One of the key objectives of this project is the open source collaboration.


Our tool of choice for communicating and discussing the project's issues is Adobe Acrobat Connect. Adobe Acrobat Connect is web conferencing program that allows professionals from multiple companies anywhere in the country to log into a web-based conference via their computer. It requires no software downloads and has a toll free number one can call to join the meeting. We have found it extremely helpful because it allows all participants to view the same thing at the same time. Not only do we know we are looking an d talking about the same details we can mark up the screen, circling and highlighting specific details of the image showing exactly what we are describing over the phone. We even have the ability to pass control of the screen amo ng the participants allowing multiple people to edit and draw on the image or d ocument we are discussing.


The latest issue at hand was trying to fit the requested 50mm duo-guard panel into Thermotech's windows. What appeared to be a seemingly simple solution was far from that because of the multiple parties involved and complexity of detailing. There were too many specific details needed from each company that if x changed at Duo-Guard it reverberated throughout all the other parties details. In short, the complexity forced a simultaneous collaboration among the differing companies. After a successful Adobe Acrobat connect between Thermotech’s David Sargent located in Canada, Bensonwood’s Lovell Parson located in New Hampshire, Duo-Guard’s Dave Miller in Michigan and KTA’s Phil Kaplan and Michael Wilcox located in Maine, we were able to resolve the latest issue of fitting the Nano-Gel pieces into the window’s glazing clip. It took ex ploring a few options and some back-and-forth between each company to finally get us to an overall duo-guard panel size of 46mm, which fits if Thermotech uses a custom “screw-in” clip.

solution details

Screen shot above of actual meeting discussing the connection and fitting issues on Adobe Acrobat Connect. There will be the following: structural tape laminating the pieces accounting for 1mm, (1) 25 mm piece w/ nano-gel, (1) 8 mm piece w/ nano-gel, (2) 6 mm pieces clear w.o./nano-gel that will sandwich the nano-gel filled pieces t ogether hiding the necessary seam down the center of the 25 mm & 8 mm piece that has to happen because their overall length of 123” will not fit in the machine that fills the Duo-Guard panels with the nano-gel. The R-va lues of each panel are as follows: 25mm w/nano-gel = R-Value 6.25, 8 mm w/nano-gel R-Value 2.56, (2) 6mm R-Value 1.70… TOTAL R-Value approx. = 12. This should not delay the process significantly. Although, it will take a little more time to get the Duo-Guard panels to Thermotech there is an option to expedite. If the panels are shipped individually and Thermotech laminates the panels together at their factory with the structural tape supplied by Duo-Guard it will save a considerable amount of time. We are waiting for Thermotech to confirm ownership of this step and Duo-Guard to cut, fill, and ship the remaining panels. As of now that is where we stand in the project
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Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Time to Tell the World!

With site delievery drawing near, we have been talking about ways to get the word out about this exciting project and along with our client, have decided to bring on a PR firm to help us reach out to media and other promotional outlets. After meeting with several well qualified firms, we knew we had found the right fit with the folks at Dwell Creative ( - a PR and Advertising firm based here in Portland with a focus on promoting socially and environmentally responsible businesses/products/ideas. Their clients are from around the country and the world, and we think it is very cool to now be one of them.

Our PR effort will be multi-pronged, pitching to local media as well as national, and to web based media as well as better known print publications. We are also just as interested in getting the word out to the mainstream press and readership, as we are in targeted industry publications - as Keith would say, the goal of this project is to create ripples - to let others learn from our successes and ..... less than successes, so that ultimately we can all get closert to changing the way we build and tackle the creation of a sustainable future.

We are also looking forward to several special events once the barn begins to go up: barn raising; ribbon cutting; first time the mood ring lights go on - all great opportunities to get folks out to see the project. Perhaps Keith will begin an annual open house day when the public is invited to come for educational tours about this house and the technologies it demonstrates. Sky's the limit!
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Thursday, March 6, 2008

Duo-Guard Obstacle

Duo-Guard panels too large to be filled with Nano-Gel insulation product raises a new obstacle. Unfortunately Duo-Guard was unaware of the size limitations on filling their panels with Nano-Gel. They send their panels to Cabot who fills them with the Nano-Gel and they can only fill panels up to 109" and our panels are 123". In order not to delay the project any further our only option is to have them divided. Whether we divide down the middle or off to the center is to be determined (see images). In any event the unit will remain one with a single vertical mullion and won't affect the wall framing or pan detailing. We don't prefer splitting the panels but we are not left with many choices. Although, the options our limited we may have one other opportunity to be further explored. Attached are the images showing what our options would look like.

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