Back again

I’m back to writing this blog after a hiatus of about 8 months. Part of the reason for the break was the busy construction schedule, but the main reason was the fact that I felt that adding a blog to website reporting and facebook updates seemed….well, a little redundant. Recently, however, I’ve spoken with people who indicated that not only did they read the blog, but that it came right up near the top of Google results when typing in ‘green garage detroit.’ Interesting. In addition, they mentioned that for many people, when they want to know the latest that’s happening somewhere, they look for the blog as the best information source. I was curious, so I opened my blog today, dusted aside the cobwebs, looked at the stats, and found that a surprising number of people are still reading it even though the last post is from July 11 of last year. I guess it’s got staying power.

Since we’re moving from construction mode to business mode, this is probably a good time to get this narrative resurrected. Let me update you on the most recent work. First, the floor is officially done! It took 6 months of work, most of which involved leveling the sleepers (the boards on which the final floor will rest).  Generally, in construction, floors will be leveled with a cement base. We bucked the trend and decided to skip the cement and hand level the sleepers, for a couple of reasons. First, cement has a high embodied energy component (it takes a lot of energy to make cement), and that’s not efficient (although the guys that did the hand leveling could make a good argument as to which method involved more energy). Second, and to be completely honest, we didn’t realize it would take so long to do hand leveling.

These are pretty complicated floors – our heating, cooling and electrical systems all reside under them. Here is a picture of the floor before the final wood planks were put down – the pex tubing will carry the water that will heat and cool the building.

Pex_tubing

On top of the tubing, we put down our wood floor, which is comprised of wood from fallen oak and ash trees from southeast Michigan and dried in a solar kiln in Troy. It was a happy day last week when the final planks were put in place. Eduardo had to lay down and celebrate!

Front_wall_reached_2
We’re also getting the showers tiled. The floor tiles have 60% recycled content. The wall tiles have only 40% recycled content, but we are going to add tiles we received as ‘seconds’ from the Michigan Design Center as accent pieces. Here’s Juan doing tile work last Friday.

Juan_shower_tile

We are enjoying visitors from everywhere, many of whom have been following the progress of the Green Garage from a distance. I gave a tour to the Mowle family on Friday – they are in town from Ontario and added a tour of our building to their vacation schedule. I’m begining to find that Kevin’s wall is our #1 photo op spot!

Mowle_family_by_wall

Next week we’ll be continuing work on heating and cooling and bathrooms. We’ll also be constructing the wall that will cover the tanks in the annex (reminder: the tanks store the water that will heat or cool the building). Also, happily, we have a meeting with the people that will be coming in to do the first clean of the building (the first clean has to happen before the painting can begin).

For you blog readers, I promise it won’t take me 8 months to write the next post! I’ll get something out at least once a week.

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