Stanford Start.Home: Building Materials


We took the idea of sustainability beyond
just energy and water into our materials. And we used reclaimed redwood and Douglas
Fir that came off of houses from 40 to 50 years ago all over
the South Bay. The wood was re-milled up at Jasper Ridge
where the house is going to finally rest, and brought down to us at the university and installed throughout
the home. So it gives us a really beautiful finish
as well as the advantage of not having used any
brand new trees. All of our structure and walls were built out of a structural insulated panel system
which comes as prefabricated wall sections with four
to eight inches of foam sheathed in two pieces of
plywood. That made it really easy for us to build
the house quickly and get a very airtight house and a high insulation value across the whole
structure. Continuing that theme, we used windows
that give you the same energy efficiency as
standard double pane windows in the glass, but also
use a frame that doesn’t have vinyl. So you don’t have the toxic byproducts of
typical windows that are on the market. Another cool product that we use is a
phase change material that we installed in the ceiling
below the drywall. And what this does is it melts as the house warms up during the day to absorb a
lot of heat right around 72 degrees
Fahrenheit, where you’re most comfortable, without actually changing the
interior temperature of the room. So it stores all that heat during the day
and then when it starts to cool down at night,
re-releases it by freezing back into a solid gel, therefore allowing the house
to stay warm later into the evening, meaning that you don’t have to
use your heat quite as much.

2 thoughts on “Stanford Start.Home: Building Materials

  1. i think home construction need revolution a) current methods are inefficient. b) world can't afford them.

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