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Low-Country Morningstar in South Carolina

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The Low-country is a geographic and cultural area along South Carolina's coast. Rice and indigo were the early mainstays of the Low-country. Today the Low-country is a tourist destination due to its historic cities and communities, natural beaches and environment, and cultural heritage. Enertia is excited to be sending an Enertia Morningstar kit to the Low-country.
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With the high water table of the coastal area, there are different site challenges for this Enertia Morningstar home. The "basement" of the home, which serves as a geothermal heating/cooling unit, will be on-grade and will be bermed later on three sides with the South exposed, as we have seen before in coastal situations.
As in most new construction, after initial clearing of the site the first step to drill for water.
The homeowner, Kaye, is fortunate to have useful timber on her property and is having it logged. The wood in the background will be sawn for slabs and boards. The wood in the foreground will go to the pulp factory.
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A WoodMizer® portable sawmill is used to mill the logs into slabs and boards which must be properly stacked for drying. The boards can become flooring or cabinetry. The slabs will become tables and benches.
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The wood surfaces are beautiful, and Kaye is rightfully proud of this accomplishment as she stacks the boards on sticks and under a tarpped roof for air circulation and protection from the UV rays of the Sun.
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Even saplings and branches can be dried and saved for use in split rail fencing, which is traditional in the area.
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Once the site is cleared and excavated, the footers are poured with a large concrete pump on site to speed up the process.
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On the left, above, is the wood frame that will support the outside of the plywood concrete forms. At the top right you see that the plywood has been screwed to the "frame wall" to form the outer wall of the concrete form. All of the lumber and plywood used here will be reused for partition framing and sub flooring. Very little is wasted in Enertia Home construction. The use of screws as fasteners speeds the process. In the upper right image note that the rewbar grid for the foundation walls is in place and the large South windows have been boxed.
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Here are the wall forms before and after pouring.
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On the left, above, is a detail of the Window inset in the form wall. After the foundations is poured and the forms removed, the subfloor framework is built and plywood is crane-lifted onto the deck to be used for the subfloor surface. Soon the Enertia® kit will be delivered and the first floor walls will begin to rise.
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The concrete foundation (footers, walls, floors) have been poured. Concrete holds a lot of water, and the walls are drying out. The floors are being screened and troweled for a smooth finish.
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Trusses are being used as part of the subfloor system - for the floor joists for the main level. They will add extra strength in case of stormy weather.
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The West porch is being built early in the process so it can be used as staging for the construction of the kit. Meanwhile, the kit has arrived from the Enertia factory.
Bundles of timbers are raised onto the subfloor with the contractor's crane. Each bundle has precut, numbered timbers ready to set in place according to the chart provided by the team at Enertia Building Systems.
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Once the first layer of timbers is set, the progress on the walls of the kit is quick, weather permitting. Here the first floor walls are complete, temporary stairs are in place, and the main girder and floorboards are in place. A temporary plywood floor is nailed down upstairs for a working surface.
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The left view is looking down into the double North wall from the second floor. There is an ~8" airspace, and metal tubes are staggered throughout the air cavity to strengthen the assembly and make the entire wall more rigid.
These uprights (right) are vertical buttresses that further strengthen the North wall assembly.
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The midSummer heat in South Carolina can be fierce, so the contractor rigged up a cover to keep the direct Sun away. Check this video of the tarp being lifted by the crane.
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The North Porch structure is in place
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Do you remember the stacked up saplings shown at the beginning of this page? Kaye is off to a good start on building a split rail fence.
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The Sunspace and North Dormer structures are under way.
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The Ridge Beam and Rafters have been set with the crane. The kit portion of the home is now complete. The next major steps will be the Roof Panels, and setting the Windows to complete the "dried-in" shell.
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The timbers have been stained. This green Permachink stain is really attractive.
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Meanwhile, on the second floor, the bedrooms are being finished out. The reflective bubble insulation is in place and will be covered by Tongue and Groove sheeting. The firing stripe provide a nailing surface and create the necessary air gap between the insulation and the boards. Without that gap, the insulation will not function properly.