Photo Gallery of Schoolhouse Energy Retrofit

Picture galleries for the Schoolhouse energy efficiency retrofit at all stages.


Click on the pictures to show a photo album for that area.


At the Start

Original Schoolhouse

The original schoolhouse.
Gordon was able to benefit from the thermal mass provided by the masonry construction by adding insulation on the outside.

Gutted House

The house was gutted to the masonry walls, and cleaned up as the start of the retrofit.

Construction Phase

Foundation Work

Showing the damp proofing improvements, and the installation of the new foam board insulation around the periphery of the slab.

Larsen Truss Walls

Showings Gordon's design for a simple, long lasting, and cost effective Larsen Truss.  When filled with polyurethane foam, it provides an R40 wall with almost no thermal bridging, and keeps the building thermal mass inside the insulation where it can store heat and moderate temperature swings.


Showing the R5.9 triple pane, "super windows", and the special windows frames required to support them.

Masonry Heater

Shows this well engineered and beautiful Masonry Heater by Norbert Senf.  These heaters offer a hot, efficient burn with little pollution, while the massive stove structure continues to radiate heat all day.  Efficient, and a pleasure to look at.



Showing other aspects of the heating system.


The floors exposed to direct sunlight use 20 by 20 by 1.5 inch thick concrete pavers to store solar heat.   1.5 inches of high bearing strength extruded polystyrene insulation board is used under the pavers.  The pavers are put through a multi step finishing process, and end up looking beautiful. 

Finishing the Interior

Showing how the interior walls and ceilings were handled to keep good coupling with the thermal mass of the original structure.

New Solarium/Mudroom

The new solarium/mudroom provides added solar heating for the house, as well as added living space that is comfortable most of the time.

New Garage

The new garage.  Every engineer has to have a garage :)  Sue adds: "this one had to have a tractor with a backhoe too! :)"


Completed Project

Interior Views

Interior views showing how nice a passive solar house can be to live in.

Outside Views

Some exterior views of the completed project.

Solar Glazing

Views of the glazing on the south and southeast sides of the house for passive solar heating.

Maximizing Solar Light
Distribution Inside

Showing how solar light is distributed to the rooms on the north side of the house.

New Solarium/Mudroom

Views of the new solarium.


New Garage

Views of the new garage. 



Sue and Gordon  -- after all this, still sane :)


Gary August 4, 2009