Thursday, February 14, 2013

At Home in a Hard Hat

As a designer I love to get involved with construction projects and Habitat for Humanities as well as Saint Andrews Catholic Church provided me with the opportunity last weekend.  There's nothing like building a house.  To be working on a team where everyone is progressing towards a common goal and to see the results of your labor in physical form is a fabulous experience.  The future homeowners are also part of the team as they work alongside the volunteers.  With each project there is a Signing ceremony where the homeowners are introduced to all the workers and they share whatever feelings or insights they wish to with the group of volunteers.  After the Signing ceremony you can write your name on one of the 2x4s, then back to work until lunch arrives.

This is a Leed platinum certified home being built in Tempe Arizona
LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification means that a construction project uses environmentally friendly building practices and sustainable materials during the new build  or remodeling process.  This home will have solar panels installed on the roof.

When we first arrived for work, there was just a slab of concrete.  By noon most of the frame was up. Life begins early in the construction world.  There's allot to be done.  There were about 30 of us, so instead of nailing lumber my task fell into a more supportive role: carrying lumber, laying vapor lock for the walls, painting, keeping the site clear of debris as we proceed through the process.  It's important to keep the site clear of debris because this is the type of job where safety is paramount.

After the frame is up, the interior work begins.   As a designer my specialties lie in the interior but it is so much fun working on the building process and spending the day outside - as long as the weather is on your side.

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