SIP Retirement House Pine AZ

Location: Pine, AZ

Project Information

Project Type: Residential, < 3,000 sq. ft.
Manufacturer: Premier Building Systems
Builder: Blue Moon Contracting LLC
Design Professional: Wright Engineers (Structural Engineering)
Year Built: 2021

Performance

High Performance: No
HERS/EUI Index Score:
ACH50 - Blower Test Results:
kBtu/sq.ft./year:
CO2 lbs./sq.ft./year:

Building use:
Privately owned family vacation home in the cool pine forest of north central Arizona.

How did SIP construction help you get this job?
The owners were looking for an energy efficient, comfortable, and quite mountain cabin with enhanced flame retardancy and interior air quality for their upcoming retirement years, and one that could be built quickly in time for the prime summer season, and SIPs was a perfect solution.

SIP wall thickness: 6-3/8" walls with EPS core; 8-1/8" floors with EPS core
SIP roof thickness: 10-1/8" roof with EPS core

The benefits of using SIPs on this project:
The site of this home is located on a fairly level but very rocky 1.9 acre parcel surrounded by the Ponderosa Pine forest and mountains of north central Arizona, where forest fires are a concern in the summer, and where it gets quite cold and receives an annual average of 24" of snow in winter. Using SIPs enabled the contractor to complete the exterior envelope of the home (walls, roof and floors) in less than 1 week in early November 2020, providing a warm, dry envelope in which construction could continue throughout the winter, and which saved time and labor costs for the contractor, and allow for completion within 7 months, just prior to the prime vacation season for the owners. Construction began with site prep on 9/8/2020 and C of O was issued 4/21/21.

Innovative design elements:
The floor plan chosen by the owners is laid out somewhat like a cross, which proved to be a bit of a challenge for the structural engineer in designing the layout for the roof panels.  The structural engineer decided to use exposed interior architectural glulam beams, which support the roof panels and enhance the mountain cabin aesthetic of the home.  The contractor stained the glulam beams in the kitchen/dining area, living room, and owner bedroom to match tones in the acacia engineered wood floors and the fireplace mantle.  The owners are extremely please with the results.

HVAC system:
The HVAC system is an electric heat pump unit which was calculated using Manual J to reduce the overall size of the unit required for the size of the home, due to the high R value of the SIPs.  This reduced the cost of the HVAC unit required for the home. Fireplace is fueled with propane and has has a blower for heating home, which minimizes the use of the electric heat pump.

Energy-saving materials used in the building envelope:
SIPs were used for walls, roof, and floors.  Walls are R-23, roof is R-42, and floors are R-48.  Windows are Pella Encompass Series double pane, with U-values ranging between 2.7 to 2.9, depending on the size and shape.  The window frames are made from high-grade vinyl, using a precision welding process to help resist warping and twisting, and enhancing draft protection. Range is fueled with propane.

Additional energy-efficient products or design features:
All appliances are GE ENERGY STAR® rated.  Energy conserving honeycomb blinds were added to most windows.  Toilets are low water use.  (Property is on modified traditional septic system.) Front-load washer is low water use. . There is only 1 ceiling fan needed in the living room, because the cross shaped floor plan provides wonderful cross ventilation, minimizing the need for conditioned air when outside temperatures are comfortable.

Additional sustainable materials or design features:
Landscaping is natural desert, requiring little to no additional irrigation.

Additional comments:
This project was the first time Blue Moon Contracting had ever built with SIPs. Blue Moon's owner and framing crew members were amazed at how well-engineered the panels were, and how easy and fast it was to complete the building envelope in less than 1 week. The owners are very please at how quiet and comfortable their new home is and are planning to add an attached SIPs garage in the near future.

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