Monthly Archives: October 2011

Farewell to a local DIY resource

If you weren’t familiar with ReBuild Warehouse in the last 2 ½ years then you may have missed your opportunity to encounter a really great local resource. As of this past week ReBuild warehouse in Springfield VA has decided to close its doors due to recent financial pressures. Rebuild’s founder, Paul Hughes, opened the warehouse in 2009 as a non-profit organization that specializes in the sale of reused building materials. What makes ReBuild so unique is their mission train workers in construction trades as well as host community workshops, focusing on sustainable practices. The warehouse welcomes the quintessential DIY’er from someone working on building projects around the house to artisans looking for reused material. I have volunteered at ReBuild for the past year and I can’t say enough good things about this organization, and I’m really sorry to see the warehouse close its doors. The good news is that Paul is going to find a way to bring the warehouse back, and has committed to keep the workshops active as well as continue to train workers. They will not close their doors till the end of November so please stop by and have a conversation with one of their immensely helpful staff members or volunteers.


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Product to watch: Smart Drywall

National Gypsum ThermalCORE has a new product that I would considering using for the micro-studio project if it was commercially available at this time. The idea behind this product is that through a change in temperature, high or low, the core of the drywall changes. Inside the 1/2″ panel are beads of “high purity” paraffin wax that demonstrate a phase change with varying temperatures. How does this differ from standard drywall? Well for passive solar design standards it creates a thermal mass that helps to reduce temperature fluctuations, especially in the winter and summer months. Unfortunately this product is not available but when it does come on the market I will be sure to update you on it’s effectiveness.

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Baby Steps

If you’re just coming across this blog then welcome. The intent of the site first and foremost, is to document the process of designing and building a micro-studio space in an urban environment. Not only will this be a micro-studio, but the goal is for it to be built to conform to Passive House standards. There will be challenges of course: time, restrictive building codes, and budget constraints, but that is what will make it all the more fun. I say baby steps because this will take time and while I make progress towards my goal I hope to become more familiar with new materials and building processes, whether they are sustainable, innovative, or just damn interesting. This is why you see additional pages for Materials, Products, and Projects, and along the way I will pass along any information to those that are looking for it. If you have any interest in design, construction, or just general inventiveness then please follow along. Feedback is greatly appreciated!

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