This will be a chance for those of you in the area to have a walk-through and check out some of the materials and methods we have employed, some new and some ancient, to build a house that we feel looks to the future.
UNDERHILL OPEN HOUSE
Sunday, January 13, 2013 from 1-4 p.m.
3487 County Highway H
Come and check out the creation of the many minds, hearts and hands that have helped us build an experimental structure – a possible blueprint for a more sustainable building model than the one we all know too well.
WholeTrees Architecture and Structures whose visionary approach to building uses un-milled and branching timbers made from “weed” trees to generate distinctive structures and a healthier forest.
Roald Gundersen, co-founder of WholeTrees, will be on hand, along with WholeTrees project designer Della Hansmann, our daughter.
Bryan Dalstrom of Eco Spirit Design Studio , our construction manager, whose calm, capable hand on the tiller has kept our project on course.
Full Spectrum Solar who designed and built the solar hot water heating system that runs through the floors and our innovative mass wall. If you are thinking of solar heat, this system is worth inspecting.
Flynn’s Custom Concrete . Mike and his crew stepped up to the plate to pour us a complex foundation molded into a challenging site that will make the most of our solar gain possibilities and last for ages.
United Brick and Fireplace who provided the wood-burning stove best suited to fill in our heating needs during cloudy periods.
Artisan Exteriors who crafted the lime stucco finish on the outside of our house and the earthen clay plaster on the inside. Krome Burke-Scoll and his crew have covered Underhill House with surfaces that are beautiful and durable. The interior plaster is made with local clay.
Landscape Construction, Tom Walczak built the graceful and solid retaining walls around Underhill House that will guide water runoff from the hill to our northeast around and away from the foundation. He worked with limestone blocks originally quarried in the area and then salvaged from a wall-rebuilding project nearby.
Bruce Lease, 608 924-8711whose skillful excavation work underlies and supports everything else at Underhill House.
Tom Spicer’s slipform stone walls that form the base for our straw bale walls. Tom’s work is inspired by Helen and Scott Nearing . We worked with Tom to make this wall with stone from a quarry a few miles away. It’s a method designed to make simple stone masons out of anyone who wants to try.
Alchemy Painting, 608 513-8244. Zac and Jake took on the task of painting our timber and canvas ceiling with aplomb, and as I worked beside them on the walls and trim, I learned the vast difference between an enthusiastic amateur and a professional painter.
Brad Selz, 715 579-8772 who suggested we had all the materials on hand to make a wood-burning cob oven. Using scraps of wood, clay and sand from our land we helped Brad construct an outdoor oven that is already producing tasty pizza and bread. We hope to have warm samples at the open house.
Foggy Bottom Woodworks, a local, family-run cabinet shop who have constructed the bathroom and kitchen cabinets.
Our amazing carpentry crew of Michael Donavan, Prairie Sundance, Joe Cole, Tom Spicer and Brad Selz who have applied themselves with diligence and creativity to the challenges posed in a structure defined by the natural contours of several hundred trunks, limbs and slabs of wild wood. They have built Underhill House with their own hands, and their can-do spirit shines out of every single piece of joinery that holds the place together.
Come by on Sunday. We’d all love to see you.
Categories: Underhill House