The Village Park Eco Home project is completed. The house has been sold and the new owners are enjoying making it their home. However, if you would like to learn more about the building process, follow the weekly status updates below. These reports posted during the project include information about presenting sponsor products, product sponsor materials, construction, finish selections and installation, landscaping design and installation, furnishings sponsors, furnishings and much more.
L-R: Chris Miles, Wayne Atkins and Cherri Atkins were waiting for the dirt moving equipment to arrive.
Forms were set.
After the forms were completed, the plumbing contractors started their work. More about how we are installing the plumbing soon.
November 1, 2013
The i's are dotted, the t's crossed, signatures inked, permits are in hand and we are now building. In spite of the much needed rain the week of October 20, we began work on our site. By October 31 we completed the grading of the site, estalished the layout of the house, set the forms, and laid the water and sewer lines.
November 5, 2013
More about the plumbing: One of the construction differences between this high-performance house and traditional construction is our plumbing plan. Only one fresh water line is run under the slab from the meter to each of the tankless water heater areas. There will be two water heaters -- one on each side of the house. No other water lines will be run under the slab. The sewer lines are still located under the slab. We will share specifics as the project goes forward.
Next steps: Once the site can dry up a bit from the rain, we will grade it, dig the beams, cover the soil with plastic and add rebar in the garage area and post tension cables throughout the remainder of the house. Plus, the electrician will run conduit to the island area and to an outlet in the floor of the living room and the pest control company will apply the termite barrier, Termimesh. After an inspection, the concrete can be poured.
November 9, 2013
Today the slab was poured. Next week we will start the framing. See more photos of the week's activities in our gallery.
November 11, 2013
OOPS! Some of our construction materials were delivered to the wrong place. However, the materials will be delivered to our site tomorrow and we can start framing on Wednesday.
November 18, 2013
Finally construction materials are onsite and the framers are busy building and raising walls. Some of the framing inludes LP SolidStart LSL engineered lumber from Presenting Sponsor Lousiana Pacific Building Solutions. LP SolidStart Laminated Strand LumberLP® can be used for a variety of applications, including roof and floor beams, door and window headers, wall framing, truss chords, rim board, and stair stringers. LP Solidstart LSL installs like traditional lumber, but is straighter, stronger, and can handle longer spans. Chris and the framers are using it today for the studs in the wall framing. LP SolidStart is backed by a Lifetime Limited Warranty.
In the photos, the SolidStart LSL appears red. Not all the walls are being built of the engineer lumber. LP designed the framing plan and location of the material to maxiize its application. It will be used in the master bedroom, living room, kitchen, study and bedroom 2 (refer to floor plan in Plan tab.)
November 22, 2013
The framing is moving quickly. Today the floors for the second floor play room and the attic are being installed. This means we are now using the LP Engineered beams. The orange lumber is engineered from LP. You can see what's happening today in these photos.
November 19, 2013
These photos show many of the steps to building high-performance walls while conserving lumber. All our exterior walls are built with 2" X 6" studs on 2' centers.
"J" Anchors are added before the slab is poured. DOW Sill Seal Styrofoam is laid under each sill board before it is attached to the slab. The Sill Seal reduces air movement between the slab and the sill board and also protects the sill board from moisture. The sill boards are green because they are treated with Borate to resist insect damage.
Along with studs on 24" centers, there is only 1 top plate in advanced framing - reducing the amount of lumber used.
November 29, 2013
A short week with Thanksgiving. But our framers completed the framing.
Rafters leaning against the house. Second floor walls going up.. Roof framing almost complete.
Hurricane ties from Simpson Strong-Ties, Inc.
December 6, 2013
Another short week because of the weather. But the framers did get the Blue Board sheathing, provided by Presenting Sponsor DOW Building Solutions, installed. LP OSB was attached at all the corners and every 20' for wind bracing. They bolted the sill board to the slab "J" anchors and added 6" Simpson Strong-Tie bolts aound the perimeter. They were also able to start adding the LP SmartSide exterior trim to the soffit and facias. The soffits are 24" to help shade the windows and walls. LP SmartSide will also be used for our siding.
...sorry about the sun glare -- but it is nice to remember what it looks like.
December 13, 2013
This week the roof decking was installed along with the rubberized membrane. Chris made three videos interviewing Kevin McClain with DOW Building Solutions, Sean Smith with Simpson Strong-Tie and Mark Cofer with Lousiana Pacific Building Products. Now that the structure is completely closed in, the weather will not be as much of an issue. Check the videos and our photos for more information.
December 20, 2013
The 4 ton, 4 zone Frigidaire HVAC system installation is almost completed.
A coved ceiling plus arches over the Master Bathroom sink and Jacuzzi tub were framed.
At each place where the blue board was joined, the BASF air and water coating was applied. Then the entire exterior wall was sprayed and coated by the ready-mixed flexible coating. For informaton about the coating visit:
www.finestone.bn/products See our photos for more information.
On Tuesday, we met with Highland Village Mayor Patrick Davis. After our meeting, he came by the house for a special tour.
On Friday, the team met with Dustin Hunter of Hunter Trim and Cabinets to make plans for our cabinets.
December 27, 2013
This was a short week but a number of projects were completed. The HVAC system was completed and ready for inspection. The Frigidaire 4 ton variable speed indoor air handler and variable speed condenser will perform at up to a 23 SEER. SEER is an acronym for "seasonal energy efficiency ratio". The higher the SEER the more efficient the unit. Read more about our system and see photos in our Photos section.
The plumbers took the vent stacks through the roof, and then completed the Structured Plumbing System designed by Gary Klein, www.aim4sustainability.com. They used PEX flexible tubing and all of it was run overhead in insulated space. The plumbers also insulated all the lines assuring that fresh water would remain cool and heated water would remain heated until it arrives at the faucet and shower heads. In our photos you will see that it is installed with gentle curves. The liner for the master bath shower was installed along with a couple of bathtubs.
I bet everyone would like this feature in their homes -- there are wireless water pump buttons in the hallways. As you go to have a bath or shower you push the button and it starts a pump to deliver hot water to your bathroom by the time you arrive there. The whole design results in reducing the amount of water wasted while we are waiting for hot water to arrive at a faucet.
Our newest sponsor, Southwest Skylights, is providing a VELUX remote controlled, solar-powered skylight to be placed over the stairs to the second floor.
Our Interior Designer Barbara Gilbert selected our Masonite environmentally conscious interior doors. Masonite’s environmentally responsible Solid Core Safe ‘N Sound (SNS) interior door is manufactured with DorCor®, an essential ingredient in making this product “green.” DorCor is a low density fiberboard made from wheat straw, an annually renewable, agricultural, wheat by-product. They are a 5 panel design.
January 3, 2014
Another short week but a lot was accomplished. The Milgard Tuscany window installation is completed. Now, we can finalize the moisture and air proofing process. First a coat of the FINESTOP RA sealant is rolled on over the flange area of the windows. Then a mesh material is inbedded into the sealant. To complete the process, another sealant coat covers the mesh area where the flange overlaps the house walls.
Another meeting with our cabinet company at the house this week. The painted cabinets will be built of formaldahyde-free materials with drawers that close softly on their own and a number of pull-out drawers.
The electricians ran wiring -- all they can do until time for them to install fixtures and face plates, etc.
Next week the direct-vent glas fireplace will be installed. DOW Weathermate wrap will be installed on the garage walls. Flashing and brick ties will be installed. And maybe our roof installation will be started.
Watch for our news and photos next week.
January 11, 2014
So much was accomplished this week. DOW WEATHERMATE wrap went up on the Garage. The frames for the very eco-friendly pocket doors to be provided by our Product Sponsor Masonite were installed. Our product sponsor, Garage Door Systems installed the direct-vent gas fireplace.
All the low voltage wiring for our IPad or smart phone controlled system was installed by John and his team from The Audio Video Solution. While they were onsite our electricians were also busy installing the pre-wiring for lights, dimmers, etc.
All our Milgard windows received the final sealing process where Finestop-RA sealant was rolled over the flange area of the windows. Then a mesh material was imbedded into the sealant. Then another coat of the sealant covered that mesh area to finalize the complete air and water sealing process. Finestop-RA is A vapor permeable air/water-resistive barrier membrane.
To prepare for workers today, Saturday the 11th, the flashing was installed in the areas between where the brick will join the siding. Now SmartSide siding from our sponsor LP Building Products is being installed.
Our team including builder Wayne Atkins, plan designer Cherri Atkins, Interior Designers Barbara Gilbert and Amy Armstrong, Senior Advisor Chris Miles and PR/Marketing advisor Pat Seaman met on Tuesday to compare notes and plot our next steps.
During the week, Barbara Gilbert, Barbara Gilbert Interiors and Assistant Designer Amy Armstrong were busy making tile, furniture, art, paint and floor selections. Cherri and Barbara completed the cabinets plans.
January 18. 2014
Another busy week with a lot accomplished. The exterior LP SmartSide siding was painted. Brick ties were installed.
Comfort Savers began the insulating process by caulking the sill plate, where electrical runs through the studs, around doors and windows and everywhere there is a break in the blue board for plumbing, etc. This coming week they will begin installing the Demilec Spray Foam open cell insulation.
Southwest Skylights installed a tubular sun-tunnel skylight in the master bedroom closet. Brick ties are on and brick is on site.
Tuesday, Chris, Cherri and Pat attended the Highland Village Business Association luncheon where they had an opportunity to tell the other attendees about the house. Also the team from Lights Fantastic visited the house and discussed the wiring and LED lighting plan.
On Wednesday 18 or so builder-members of Green Built Texas visited the house to learn "What's next?" in high-performance construction. Chris and Wayne told them about all the new building science construction techniques and materials used in the house.
Highland Village Mayor Patrick Davis stopped by and welcomed the builders to Highland Village and shared his pride in the fact that the house was being built in his community.
Our Galvalume standing seam metal roof was installed by Distinctive Roofing Systems.
David, our videographer captured interviews with Mark with LP and Brett with Milgard -- available soon.
January 25, 2014
We lost a day for the holiday but had inspection on Tuesday and began moving forward.
Pre-wiring for solar power was completed.
Comfort Savers installed the Demilec spray foam open cell insulation everywhere including the attic.
The team checked out some 150 year-old beams for our Great Room and looked at samples of wood flooring.
Four new videos were completed and uploaded to YouTube, this website and to our Pinterest boards.
January 31, 2014
Two Milgard French doors were installed between the great room and porch and one from the master bedroom to the porch. Plus the Milgard solid door was installed between the laundry room and garage. Soon the Milgard French doors will be installed in the study and our entry door will be ready for installation.
The porch received it's ceiling and the track for the KJ Custom Designs screen enclosing the patio. We will be able to control the screen remotely.
Brick is almost completed. It is really looking like a home.
The partially recycled content sheetrock was installed. It is amazing how much larger rooms look once they are sheetrocked.
February 3-8, 2014
Great Room beams were installed this week. The timbers are from TimberstructuresTX. If you need some beams, contact Gary Belue at 817-475-8654. Next sheetrock will be installed above them and later special LED lighting will be installed between the beams and the sheetrock.
The cold slowed down progress this week. While the workers had the sheetrock taped and bedded, the bedding material could not dry enough to be sanded. Once it is dry, we will sand, add texture and then be ready to paint.
Plus it was too cold for the masons to add the stone to the facade. It was a little warmer Friday and Saturday so they could do a bit of work. Hopefully the weather will be warmer soon.
Our Interior Designer Barbara Gilbert was busy shopping this week. She worked with Haley Hatley at Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams Plano to select the frames, fabrics, and case goods for our furniture during the open house events. Then she visited with Ashlea Orton and Terri Marchesfski at Levantina USA Dallas Stone Center where they finalized plans for the natural stone for the bathrooms.
Barbara, (Barbara Gilbert Interiors), and Asst. Interior Designer Amy Armstrong also found so some great options at Complete Interior Solutions where they were planning the Master Bedroom dressings for our open house events.
February 10-15. 2014
Several days of cold slowed us down but when it finally warmed up the action started! Our sheetrockers were able to complete the taping and bedding process and texture the walls that are to be painted. The masons were also able to add more or our Granbury chopped stone from Whiz-Q-Stone to the exterior.
The team, Chris Miles, Wayne Atkins, Cherri Atkins, Barbara Gilbert and Amy Armstrong, met at the house on Thursday to review the furniture and finishing plans. They also reviewed the tile selections and did a final walk-through, measuring with our tile installer.
That afternoon, Barbara and Amy met with Gaylynn at La Montage Fine Art to select the art for our furnished open house events.
Three new sponsors have joined us: Archways and Ceilings providing the groin vault ceiling in the Master Bath; New Life Hardwoods providing the "standing dead" Red Oak floors and the Elm from beams in a turn-of-the-century building; JAMIE BECKWITH COLLECTIONS providing the Red Oak wood tiles for the face of the fireplace. Thank you for being a part of this project!
February 17-21. 2014
This week moved forward quickly. The subflooring was laid and ready for the installation of our wood floors. Our "Standing Dead" Red Oak flooring, through New Life Hardwoods, was delivered and stacked in the garage.
Trim from Hunter Trim and Cabinets was delivered and stacked in the garage.
All the cabinets, custom built of formaldahyde free materials by Hunter Trim & Cabinets, were delivered and installed throughout the house.
More chopped Granbury stone from Whiz-Q-Stone was added to the exterior.
Barbara and Amy, Barbara Gilbert Interiors, were busy making final decisions about the stone and tile to be used in the bathrooms, kitchen, and laundry room. Orders placed.
February 24-Mar. 1, 2014
The house has changed dramatically this week. All the "standing dead" Red Oak floors from Wisconsin through New Life Hardwoods was installed.
Workers with Hunter Trim and Cabinets installed our custom formaldahyde-free cabinets.
Texas Door and Trim installed all the trim -- baseboards, around doors and windows, crown molding, and more.
Beginning Friday, tile layers began working with the special stone and tile materials provided by Arizona Tiles, Natural Selections and Levantina. On the floor of the Master Bathroom and the shower plus around the tub is Creama Marfil polished marble from Levantina. Natural Selections provided the accent tile.
In bathroom 2 and the Jack & Jill bathroom the floors are Arizona Tile's Touch Pearl with an accent of Glass Mosaic, SL-Cosmopolitan. The countertop will be Lennon granite from Levantina.
The first floor Powder Room has Arizona Tile's Regis Bianco with a counter top of Levantina Daino Reale marble.
Africa Dark from Arizona Tile is on the floor of the second floor Powder Room along with a ountertop of Levantina Pietra Grey Marble.
Bathroom #4, accessed through the 4th bedroom -- our specially decorated Make-A-Wish North Texas room -- has Arizona Tile's Fibra Linen on the floor. The counter top is Silver Travertine from Levantina.
Our kitchen floor is the Red Oak wood flooring. Over the cooktop will be selected tiles from Natural Selections Jazz Glass Collection. The field (back-splash) tile is Icelandic Blue AKDO Signature Series tile in an offset horizontal brick pattern. Both are from Natural Selections.
The Milgard patio doors were installed in the study. We will wait to install the front entry door to protect it from accidental damage.
March 3-7, 2014
This week the tile from our sponsors, Levantina Dallas, Arizona Tile, and Natural Selections were almost completly installed in the bathrooms, powder rooms, and laundry room. Tiling will be completed next week. Each selection made by our Interior Designer, Barbara Gilbert and the sponsors is beautiful and all together they are creating spectacular spaces.
High-performance houses are so tight that all the sound is trapped inside and sound attenuation (reduction of sound waves) is needed. That is why the walls between the bathrooms and bedrooms were insulated with the Demilec foam insulation before sheetrock was added.
Sound reduction and control is also why we had Masonite Safe 'N Sound interior doors installed this week. These doors have a low density core called DorCor to reduce sound transmission. DorCor is made from rapidly renewable wheat straw.
We are almost ready to announce open house plans. Final arrangements are being made for the parking area from which our shuttle bus will pick up our guests, take them to the house and then return them to their cars. Such service!
March 10-14, 2014
Painting and more painting this week. When painters are working, they have control of the whole house!
But, the garage was free and the storm shelter installation was started.
March 17-April 18, 2014
Yes, this is a news report for several weeks. From here forward, we will be busy completing the house for you to see, learn about and experience. Be sure to mark your calendar now to visit.*
We are on the home stretch! The painters are done. Here are projects for the next several weeks:
driveway and sidewalk
countertops and kitchen backsplash
fireplace tiles installed: Jamie Beckwith Collection
garage doors installed. Windsor Door & Garage Door Services of USA
landscaping. Blooming Colors Nursery
storm shelter completion
Elfa Master Closet installed by Container Store
carpet laid in 2nd floor bonus room
bathroom and powder room mirrors
final electrical including lighting strips. LED from Lights Fantastic
Make-A-Wish North Texas room for Cassidy created
master bedroom dressings. Complete Interior Solutions
remote controlled porch screen installed. KJ Custom Designs
furnishings from Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams Plano installed
rugs from Dallas Rugs laid
art from La Montage hung
*Open for you, your friends and family to visit:
Weekends: April 19-May 11
Saturdays: 11:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Sundays: noon - 5:00 p.m.
The Marketplace at Highland Village, Northeast corner of FM 407 and FM 2499. Park in the lot East of Citibank and South of Office Depot. Look for our sign. For your convenience a shittle bus will pick you up, take you to the house for the tour and then return you to your car.
We look forward to seeing you then!
We're completed and open for tours!
Come See us. Tour information is on our Events page.
We're in the news! Follow these links to "read all about it!"