Wednesday, March 23, 2011

SIPs, anyone?

Hey! Anybody recognize the handsome guy in the middle?

Just thought I'd give a quick update on the cool projects that keep Jason busy when he's not furiously designing in his office or conferencing (vacationing?) in Chicago.

Jason's work centers around developing innovative approaches to affordable and sustainable housing. Recently he was heavily involved with making "green" improvements on a housing project in the neighboring town of Ivins. Instead of conventional wood framing, the homes in this pilot program all use SIPs--Structurally Insulated Panels. As you can see, SIPs are essentially foam insulation sandwiched between plywood. While they may be a bit more pricey initially, they are extremely energy efficient.

Another major advantage to using SIPs is the ease of assembly--the pre-fabricated pieces fit together just like grown-up Legos. This guy sure seems happy about it!:)

Earlier this month, more than sixty people joined forces for a giant SIPs wall-raising party, putting up multiple homes in a single day.

As future owners of one these homes, this couple was eager to see such rapid progress. This group of six homes are being built as part of a mutual self-help program. In this program, groups of families invest "sweat equity" into their homes by committing to build 30 hours per week. They all pitch in to work on each other's homes, and nobody can move in until the last home is done. By the time the project is complete, these families will have developed valuable skills and built a strong sense of community along with their beautiful homes.

You've gotta admit, the backdrop is pretty nice. (The backside is cute, too.)

The kids certainly enjoyed moseying around the job site at the end of the day.

Brooklyn wanted a teeter-totter, but discovered that the lath board made for rather uncomfortable seating.

A 2x4 was definitely more effective.

Eli discovered his own personal slide.

I'd tell you that I caught Eli lapping up Dr. Pepper like a puppy from a spill on the concrete pad, but that would be entirely too gross.

And so, I'll just feign ignorance and let you assume he ate dirt.

Keep smiling!


Becca said...

I love that ideas of everyone helping each other out building the homes. so fun. Are you guys moving into a home there?

Erin said...

That sounds like a really cool job. It sounds a lot like Habitat for Humanity. As for Eli, I applaud his independence in finding a drink:)

Julie L said...

You have a very creative little family - from the youngest to the oldest, for sure! Great opportunity for Jason, and fun play opportunities for the kids!

Bruce Richards said...

Yeah for fun jobs! said...

Kara, you are sooo clever! Such fun reading & pictures! You should write a book! Make that a picture book!