Thanks to everyone in Corning for another great visit! I have to say, I'm going to need to start a new exercise program to make up for all the great food, especially the brownies!
We started out the morning with a salon-style discussion of the various design and technical options that the students had prepared - people walked around and talked to students about their work. In the afternoon we met with local contractors Jeff and Carl to discuss pricing and building systems. We had three different design "types," each with a couple of variations: the bungalow, the 4-square, and the front/back or ranch. For building systems, we focused on building envelope and HVAC systems as these are the most important for increasing energy efficiency and reducing utility bills.
It sounds like basements are definitely in and, for both cost and sales reasons, plans that can begin with around 1000 square feet of finished space on one level (with opportunity to expand up or down) are the way to go. SIPs construction and advanced framing are possibilities for building envelope and everyone expressed a lot of interest in the Heat Recovery Ventilator system that can eliminate the need for a conventional furnace by recovering heat from already heated air and using it to heat new, fresh air.
The drawings are going to be up at the arts center in Corning so if you missed the visit on Saturday please come by and have a look. There will be comment sheets available or you can leave your comments on the blog!