Building the NewenHouse Kit Home: FSC-Certified Roof Trusses


| 2/4/2011 9:34:16 AM


Sonya NewenhouseSonya Newenhouse, Ph.D. is an eco-entrepreneur who enjoys providing practical and creative solutions to help individuals and organizations live and manage green. Her firm, Madison Environmental Group, provides LEED green building and sustainability consulting services. She is also founder and president of Community Car, a car sharing organization in Madison Wisconsin. Currently she is developing NewenHouse, a business that will provide super-insulated sustainable kit homes.  

It’s been mostly very cold and a bit snowy for the last two weeks. Dan and David are hardy folks and only missed a day of work outside when the temperature dropped to -22 degrees and another day when the slick snow made it dangerous to work on the roof. Luckily, they have other customers who have inside work. Before they hoisted the roof trusses up, we nailed a plywood air barrier on top of the second story to create a lid on the house. The seams were taped with SIGA tape—this is a special long-lasting tape of excellent quality made in Switzerland. Visit SIGA’s website to learn more. 

Dan and David liked this air barrier approach as it made a sturdy platform for them to walk on while they installed the roof trusses. We were unable to use the truss delivery truck crane to hoist the trusses to the top of the building because we have a low overhead electrical wire crossing the building site. Next spring, when the ground isn’t frozen, this wire will be installed underground. I thought of doing this earlier but the wires may have been in the way of the excavator. Instead, a friend helped hoist the trusses with ropes (a two hour job).



Sonya describes the FSC-certified roof trusses with an energy heal. Video By David Romary.

The trusses are manufactured in Minnesota, about one and a half hours from the job site, and are made of 100 percent FSC-certified lumber. FSC stands for Forest Stewardship Council. The Council created a set of sustainable forest management practices and certify lumber across the United States and internationally. Visit the FSC's website to learn more about the FSC principles. The trusses were designed with an energy heal that provides room for insulation where the roof meets the wall. We’ll have 24 inches of cellulose insulation blown in (for an insulation R-value of 100) both above and below the plywood air barrier. Visit HGTV’s website to learn more about energy heals.



NewenHouse trusses 
The roof trusses are up, as well as a few Larson truss outer walls. Photo By Sonya Newenhouse. 



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