This 1,800 square foot Sierra Mountain cabin building began as an addition, remodel, and energy retrofit. The mountain cabin building project was to help create a year-round cabin retreat that would be energy efficient, function well in the colder winter months in a location where there is an average snowfall of more than 30 feet, and to provide a space for an active multi-generational family. The original cabin building, was a drafty summer cabin building with single pane windows, no insulation, was dark and structurally compromised by the heavy snow loads of the area. The cabin building had an existing stone fireplace, and a steep gable roof and changes to the cabin building worked within its simple style. The interior layout of the cabin building was rearranged to help better create circulation paths, along with public and private spaces that were both open and intimate, and versatility of for activities was also considered in the cabin design. The cabin building is located in Northern California, Donner Summit and completed in 2010.
The gut renovation of the cabin gave the opportunity to reduce the long-term impact of the cabins energy usage, and an energy retrofit of the cabin building was also performed. Some of the improvements on the cabin included thermal bridge details, improved air-sealing, and upgraded insulating in the building envelope. The cabin building used a combination of sprayed in fiberglass and closed cell spray foam in the existing walls, floor and roof, and maximizing the R-Values in the existing cabin structure. Because of the cabin buildings existing rock fireplace, complete thermal free bridging in the assembly was something that could not be fully addressed and, as with all building projects, there was a balancing act between the budget and the how far financially the energy efficiency could be pushed. Nevertheless, an extremely comfortable and low-energy consuming building was achieved.
Attention to detail and quality craftsmanship were extended to all of the cabin building. Reclaimed building materials were used throughout the remodel, as well as using regionally and locally produced building products, countertop products, ecological flooring, and non-toxic finishes. The kitchen cabinetry and casework were handcrafted by Atmosphere Design Build.
Using reclaimed building materials in your remodels and cabin building is a good way to lessen your environmental impact. The good news is that reclaimed building materials are becoming more and more readily available. You'll find reclaimed building materials available in warehouses all across the country. These reclaimed building materials are being salvaged from old buildings that would otherwise be demolished, but are instead being deconstructed for use in something new. In deconstruction, the old building has first to be surveyed to determine what building materials can be salvaged and what materials can't before any dismantling of the building can be done. The entire process is of deconstruction can be both labor-intensive and time-consuming and can be compared to building the structure, only backwards. Some of the benefits of using reclaimed building materials include less landfill use, improved air quality from not having to burn waste materials, and reduction of solid waste.
More about this story can be found at: Atmosphere Design Build