Dirty Work - LEED Platinum Home Progress Report

March 23, 2011


Building a house is dirty work. The weather for this particular job has been relentless.  The job started Nov 1 2010 and by December the weather started to be problematic. Usually I tell clients that starting a project in the winter is no big deal.  As long as we can get concrete in the ground, building in the winter is usually not a big deal.  But this year was a completely different story. This year we had 85 inches of snow and it was absolutely freezing for the first 6 weeks of the year. If the guys could even make it to the jobsite they were out shoveling- foundations, roofs, driveways, lumber stacks, etc. for hours on end. We have had 2-3 feet of snow on the ground for most of the winter. Now that the weather has warmed a bit everything is mud. No matter how clean the guys sweep the site at end of the day it is filthy again the next. And now it won’t stop raining or sleeting or snowing and then raining. I am always amazed that the guys on the site have such a good attitude. The electrician did comment yesterday that he didn’t understand why we even have HVAC guys on the job- it is always cold here- all they will need is heat. It’s true I can see how he feels that way. Every day on site seems to be damp and cold and dark. Today the job site was a royal mess – subfloor had been pulled up to install ducts, holes were being cut in framing everywhere for plumbing and HVAC lines. It was all dark and mud and saw dust and way too many guys working and way too many holes in the floor to fall thru. And of course I was wearing high heels. Yet every person on this site is totally cheerful, nice, fun, happy. It was the highlight of my day to go to the site. There is just something better about building a green home. Everyone on board cares and likes what they do. We all believe in what we are doing. Everyone is sort of cut from the same cloth- GC, subs, architects, clients. This is a great job. This is the way a job should be. People who have horrible building experiences have no idea what it is like to build a house of good intention. It is a completely different world.