FIRST OPEN HOUSE AT UNDERHILL

Whole Tree Architecture rendering of Underhill House

This Friday May, May 25, we’ll be having the first open house at the Underhill construction site for anyone who is curious about this project.

Underhill House is a fusion of conventional, green and natural building techniques and materials with the goal of making a house that has a small initial carbon footprint, is easy and green to heat and cool and will provide shelter for a long, long time.

Since March we have:

  • dug into our south-facing hillside,
  • poured the foundation and the basement walls,
  • built a 30-inch-tall slipform stone wall around the exposed basement
  • done some additional wall framing above it that encloses the basement level

Last week, the unmilled timber framing began with the placement of the first beam and post followed quickly by all the joists between the basement and main floor.

By this Friday the high-performance floor for the main level will be poured over an intricate pattern of PEX tubing for the solar infloor heat.

It’s time to throw open the doors and invite anyone interested in this process to come out and take a look, get some questions answered and join the network of green and natural building materials, strategies  and techniques that Underhill House encompasses.

Doug and I will be on hand.  Our construction manager and representative of Whole Trees Architecture, Bryan Dalstrom, will be there.  Some of our very skilled crew may hang around too.

We’ll have a slide show of the process to date and be ready to talk about what lies ahead:

  • A vertical application of PEX tubing in a thermal mass wall
  • Timber framing the main part of the house
  • More slipform stone wall construction
  • Straw bale walls
  • Natural plastering inside and out
  • Why we decided a sod roof was the right choice for this house

Late afternoon can be a beautiful time in our valley.  Come check out the progress on this project, have a snack and join in a conversation about sustainable building.  Carpool, if you can.

We’d love to see you.

Time: 4 to 7 p.m.

Place:  Underhilll House, 3487 County Highway H, 1 mile south of Ridgeway WI

(From State Highway 18-151, pull into Ridgeway, turn south on H and go about a mile.  We’re on the left side of the road.)


The first floor is being formed of both natural and high-tech building materials.

Hope to see you Friday!

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11 replies

    • What a treat it would be to meet you, Joanna. I’m glad we have an internet connection, even though the commute is a little long for meeting face to face.

      • A treat indeed and I am also glad for that internet connection, it makes research and connecting with people so much easier

    • Thank you so much. I would love to see you here Friday. I’ll keep the photos coming on the blog.

    • Speaking of floor plans, I thought we had a nice compact one, till I spent the last two days looking at efficiency apartments in Chicago with my daughter. They make 1600 feet look like Downton Abbey.

  1. Fantastic photos. Wish I could be there but…. Heck with a bedroom as mentioned above, I have a tent and would be happy with a place next to the top meadow.

    • Even the meadow may be filling up, Michael, but the welcome mat is always out. We are looking forward to having you and Alice here when the place is compete.

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