COMPACT DESIGN, SIPS, DOUBLE WALLS, ICF'S AND THE WHAT?
Smaller, more efficient homes and accessory dwellings have many benefits. Lower resource and energy needs, and the associated savings in construction costs and utility bills are just the start. With a smaller footprint and a focus from the start on efficiency alongside beauty, everyone involved in the building project - client, designer and builder - are more engaged in the process. Choosing materials, guiding the discussion on heating and utility choices and deciding on the best construction methods are all part of this conversation. These decisions, coupled with a careful examination of what spaces in the new building or remodeled area will get the heaviest use, become a part of a creative endeavor that enrich the aesthetics and livability of the resulting structure.
CLOSING IN THE BUILDING ENVELOPE
One of the greatest challenges to a builder in the Pacific Northwest is weather. Rain, snow, and muddy work areas slow things down and challenge our patience. Company founder, Stefan Straka, has successfully built sound, beautiful houses for many years in the Pacific Northwest and Alaska. With each project, he has developed better ways to mitigate the difficulties of working through the weather. Closing in the building envelope (or “getting dried in”) fast and efficiently is paramount. Having a dry roof over the work area reduces the problems associated with wet materials, allows happier subcontractors to start their work earlier, and reduces the disturbance to the building site. To do this, Align Build employs techniques that are used successfully in many other countries and commercial construction projects in the US, but have been slow to gain traction in residential building. Prefabricated wall assemblies, SIPS roof panels, and ICF walls and foundations are some of the ways Align Build speeds up the drying in process. While any or all of these techniques may not be suitable for a particular project, the ethic that drives their use will be.