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Open house #4 – as much Q&A as we could handle

Sunday, September 29th, 2013
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This was a lot of work, but worth all the effort. We had a great turnout for our open house #4.

Our visitors were on a mission and arrived with just as many questions as we could handle. Popular destinations were the utility room in the basement, the drain waste heat recovery unit, the energy recovery ventilators in the basement and on the 1st floor, and the insulation mock up models.

John from Chicago Home Performance brought along his blower door test kit and set it up in the 2nd floor back door. His demonstrations also generated a lot of interest.

At around half past noon, we had the Bridgeport Pasty food truck stop by to feed our visitors and volunteers. It’s not just another food truck – its an all electric food truck! The pastys were delicious as they always are and powered us through the rest of the day.

pasty-truck

This open house was so well attended largely thanks to the interview and the announcement of the open house this past Thursday on WBEZ’s Worldview program. The word got out to those whom we otherwise could not have reached. We would like to extend a big thank you to Jerome McDonnell and his team!

And make no mistake! The great success of this event rested on the priceless help from our volunteers, who answered questions and talked with the visitors non-stop for hours. We would like to extend our heartfelt thanks to:

  • Tom Donalek,
  • Jason la fleur,
  • Matt Johnson,
  • John Bergman,
  • Percy Harrison,
  • Job Bogan,
  • Lynette Kalsnes,
  • Steve Marsala,
  • Carla McGarrah,
  • Harold Moore,
  • Anne Alt and
  • Drew Schmitt.

Thanks also to our young friends who served as our welcoming crew. We couldn’t have done this without your help!

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Tour our deep energy retrofit – open house #4

Friday, August 30th, 2013
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If you would like to tour our deep energy retrofit and look at the salvaged materials in the kitchen, the efficient range hood, the ventilation system with the Energy Recovery Ventilator, our efficient structured plumbing, the hydronic heating system, our green roof prep work in the attic, or how we insulated our building, make a note of this date:

Saturday 09/28/2013

We will open the doors for you to tour our deep energy retrofit

starting at 10:00 am and concluding at 4:00 pm

If you are in the process of remodeling or are thinking about it, you don’t want to miss this event. Cathy and I will be on hand to show you around and answer any questions you may have. If you have any questions regarding the open house, feel free to leave a comment. We will responod to you as soon as possible. See y’all on Saturday 09/28.
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Tour our green building project!

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2012
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This is another open house announcement. We will open the doors to our deep energy retrofit once more on

Saturday 10/13/2012

starting at 10:00 am and concluding at 4:00 pm

If you are in the process of remodeling or are thinking about it, you don’t want to miss this event.

Visit the almost finished 1st floor and take a look at the various green building and energy saving (and subsequently money saving) strategies we put in place.

Cathy and I will be on hand to show you around and answer any questions you may have.

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Open house #3…

Monday, February 27th, 2012
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… was a lot of fun again. You never know who is showing up and how they heard about the open house!

Once again we had a pretty diverse group of people. Quite a few had some interest in green building technologies and had thought about how they could use the information we had to offer. It was so much fun to see how the light bulbs went on when our visitors were actually standing in front of various green building components and could touch them.

There is, of course, always a great interest in how much things cost (like the insulation) and how much we will save (such as in heating bills). This time around, we were able to share some initial data from the 1st season we lived in the 1,500 sf garden unit.

At this point, I am ready to start closing up the walls. Although there are a few more items that I have to get out the way first…

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3rd open house – announcement

Thursday, February 16th, 2012
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Those who have been following the blog may have heard about or even attended our 1st open house in January 2011 and/or 2nd open house in October 2011.

We are about to close up the walls in the 1st floor with sheet rock. Before doing so, we thought we’d schedule another open house to let you investigate and see the various green building strategies up close.

Open house dates:

Wednesday 02/22 – 5:00pm till 7:00pm

Saturday 02/25 – 10:00am till 3:00pm

What can you expect?

You’ll see a green building rehab project that includes a wide range of energy efficient strategies, all of which make it more affordable to maintain and operate a building.

Here are some results for the already finished and occupied 1500 square foot garden apartment:

  • Average winter gas use (heating + cooking): Less than $90/month
  • Average winter electrical use: around 220 kWh (or less than $40/month)

And we are not done yet!

If you plan to stop by, please leave a comment, so that I get a rough count.

See you on 02/22 or 02/25!

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2nd open house – announcement

Monday, October 10th, 2011
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Those who have been following the blog for a while, may have heard or even attended our 1st open house in January 2011.

Well, we decided that now is a good time to schedule a 2nd open house on Saturday, 10/22/2011 from 10:00 am till 3:00 pm.

You will be able to tour the 1st floor with all walls still open and insulation preparations in progress. We would also like to show the utility room with the efficient heating and domestic hot water system, as well as many other interesting details.

If you are interested to attend and have additional questions, feel free to leave a comment and we will get back in touch with you.

Hope to see you on 10/22/2011!

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1st Open house

Tuesday, February 8th, 2011
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Cathy and I have been giving impromptu project tours on occasion. We decided a while back to step it up a notch, to stage an open house, or better yet a green rehab tour. The question was, when to do so?

With the last layer of insulation installed we were about to close up the walls and ceiling. Because the thermal envelope assembly is such an important component of our green rehab, we decided that now was the perfect time to send out invitations.

Other items that show well are the heating system, plumbing and drain water heat recovery unit.

We were not sure what attendance to expect. We were surprised with the turnout … very surprised.


Cathy and I were busy non-stop, showing a constant stream of visitors around. Because it was so busy I had difficulties keeping track of the visitor numbers. I counted 45 but am sure that I missed a few.

We are looking forward to a repeat a few months down the road. That time, we will be better prepared!

If you missed the open house, but would have liked to attend the next time, leave a comment. I will make sure I put you on our e-mail list for the next open house announcement.

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