By Megan Kramer, Performance Homes Consultant
Trails End Lane in Yakima has fantastic views and some topography challenges. This home incorporates both with a daylight basement and abundance of natural light. Some interesting features of this home; currently under construction by Cornerstone Homes; include a super insulated ICF foundation, a Lifebreath HRV, efficient windows and a well designed and sealed duct system. Kelly Coons with Cornerstone Homes invited me out to the job site along with Jonathan Jones of Tri-Cities HBA to check out the progress. At this stage in construction we could see the duct design which included a few interesting adaptations; 1. An engineered opening in an I-Beam was incorporated to allow for optimal air flow; 2. Electronic dampers were installed to target air flow and accommodate potential expansion of the conditioned space; 3. All of the supply and return ducting, in addition to exhaust ducting were well designed and sealed.
Cornerstone Homes does an excellent job of setting expectations for professionalism on the job site. This is posted right at the front door and makes it very clear what is required of everyone who works on this home.
Cornerstone Homes is one of the top energy efficient, sustainable builders in central Washington. Many of their homes are certified through both the Built Green and Energy Star certification programs.
We were joined on the job site by the Tri-Cities Home Builders Association HERS rater Jonathan Jones in his fancy new car! Our goal was to do some preliminary testing of the duct work to determine if anything could be improved. We also discussed the retroactive 2017 tax credit and potential options for air sealing this and future homes.
While in Yakima, I stopped by the Leading Force Design Center right downtown. They have an impressive showroom of sustainable materials from countertops to flooring, clay finishes and cabinetry. There is an excellent display that demonstrates the various types of wall systems. They offer a rare opportunity to experience these materials to determine what would work best on your project.