Planting an anchor in Nova Scotia

Looking south, this is the view from where we envision the house to be. This is where we will plant an anchor, a one-level home facing south, but with wrap around windows and views to the west. This bit of cleared field is in the middle of the acreage, ideally suited to building a home that takes advantage of its location at the top of a hill, south-facing for some solar gain, and privacy – forest to the south.


House moving to close in

Lots of steady progress has taken place over the last few weeks. The house is now fully sheathed and wind-wrapped. The roof is on and has moisture wrap. The vestibule entrance porch and screened-in porches have been built. The house has taken on a new look and feel. A inner 2 x 6″ structural wall has an outer non-structural insulation wall (9.5 inches) attached to it, providing us with an overall approximately 16 inch thick wall. Here are a few details.



Design with views

Our designer is Naryn Davar, an architect with a vision for integrating light, space, and views into an energy efficient design concept. Each day, we travel to the house site, marvelling at how he was able to envision space, siting, direction, light, and how we as a family will use the space. The following are some of the views we are beginning to appreciate right now.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Trusses are strong and use less wood

This house features trusses and beams – roof trusses, and wall truss joists (TJI’s) and laminated beams. It’s pretty special to see how quickly a house can go with a good crew using trusses. In this series, you’ll notice the sequence of trusses going up, starting with the lower south roof, then the upper roof.

Top to bottom:

  1. View to west with north and south exterior walls up. Interior bearing wall with clerestory window frames, and the south roof trusses are in place.

2. View from the north looking from the main road which is elevated above the house into the north wall of the house. The clerestory windows are clearly visible. The OSB is the house vapour barrier, which is why it is being glued and taped. It has to be completely tight.


3. The view from the main floor in the dining/kitchen area looking to the living room windows and clerestory above the middle part of the house. Notice the forest and mountain through the living room windows.

4. A pano view from the septic field on the south side of the house looking at the south view of the partially framed house.


How a designer-architect sees the skeleton converted to full body

Yesterday, the central bearing east-west wall went up that will carry one end of the north shed roof of the house. At the top of this wall, facing south, will be a clerestory with a few windows to collect light and heat. When you see a skeleton frame like this, it’s hard to visualize the finished house. But, when your designer takes your photograph and converts it into what the finished house will look like, it’s amazing.

Have a look and see!  Thanks Naryn Davar! Naryn works for a company that specializes in Passive House design. He uses 3-D software to bring ideas to life, and their team then converts these ideas into super energy-efficient homes. Have a look at the wonderful designs and stock catalogue this company Passive Design Solutions offers – all new!

Note the screened in porch that will be constructed on the slab outside the energy efficient envelope of the house. The north sloping large shed roof covers slightly more than one half of the house, with a corresponding south sloping roof covering the other half. The entrance door, kitchen wrap around window and screened in porch are visible in this rendering.


Centre bearing wall and vapour barrier sheathing going on

Sept. 14, 2017

A nice warm day provided the crew with a great day to get the centre bearing wall up. This is where the clerestory will go up from. It divides the south and north sections of the house. Notice the large windows on the south side of the house – for views, solar gain (winter), and for bringing light into the house.

We are aware that we will actually see sunsets all year long from this location. We are looking forward to that. A nice wood fire and a sunset view sounds pretty appealing.