Despite the weather, work is not slowing down at 45 Pop Lofts & 125 Midway. We've crossed a number of milestones in the past couple weeks. At the school building, we've passed rough inspections and begun insulating the roof and exterior walls. In most of the exterior walls, particularly in the former window openings, we have nearly 12" of insulation with an R-value of approximately R-40. That's twice as much insulation as required by code for new buildings! Be assured that despite the building's age it's going to be warm in the winter and cool in the summer.
For all you energy geeks out there (and I know there might be a couple), for this project we've chosen to use an open-cell spray foam insulation for the walls. Spray foam sometimes gets a bad rap for being more carbon-intensive than cellulose and other natural insulation materials. However, spray-foam is in a league of it's own when it comes to air-sealing and reducing air-infiltration in buildings, a factor which is critical in an old building like this. Moreover, the school building is a masonry building which has a very different moisture profile than a traditional wood-framed house; you need an insulating material that can accommodate some moisture movement, but that is not susceptible to mold. Hence the spray foam. In this case, we have chosen to use an open-cell spray foam which has a significantly lower carbon footprint than closed-cell spray foam and a proven track record for performance. We also firmly believe that when thinking about sustainability, we need to consider the full life-cycle of a building. So if a particular product has a higher up-front carbon footprint, but allows us to build a more durable building that will last longer than the alternatives, then that's a no-brainer for us.
And if that wasn't enough, we've begun the excavation and concrete form work for the new building at 125 Midway. The rain and inclement weather has slowed things down a bit, but we're on track to start pouring concrete footings this week and begin forming the walls before the holidays.