Category: Blog

MDI Building Science: The Sound of Silence

Noise transfer needs to be addressed when building a high performance custom home.

For example, in our Lost Coon Lake home, our acoustically engineered system allows us to manage the sound transfer from the main level living space to the guest apartment located in the daylight basement below.

In addition to designing an extra stiff floor system, we are utilizing a 9/64 acoustic decoupler in two layers. Layer one: to isolate our sub-floor from the floor trusses; Layer two: to isolate the Gypcrete from the sub-floor. This allows for a tremendous reduction in impact noise transfer. Once completed, we fill the floor cavity 2/3 full with cellulose, which will allow for a major reduction in airborne noise transfer. We also have specifications for our utility rough-in procedures that will further minimize noise transfer. So far, with only the first layer of decoupler being installed, it already feels and sounds like you are walking across a soft rubber pad!

By the time all of our acoustical measures have been implemented, we expect the owners will be very pleased with the results.

The function and performance of your custom home involve many case specific details that are all integral with the MDI build experience.

MDI Building Science 101: Water Management

One of the hardest problems to fix is below ground water intrusion. This is a major aspect of building long lasting structures which consists of a two-part system to effectively control moisture movement.

Step 1: Moisture Management around the exterior of the foundation
Starting from bottom up:
• We install perforated pipe at the bottom of the foundation so that water can infiltrate into the pipe before it gets to the most susceptible area of the foundation, the “cold joint”, which is where the footer meets the frost wall.
• The pipe is placed on a slope to give water a path of least resistance away from the building.
• Filter fabric prevents the pipe from getting filled with fine particle sediment over time.
• Then the surrounding area is back filled with drain rock (to the orange line on the wall) to provide air space between the drain rock which allows ground water to move freely away from the foundation.

This process helps to reduce the amount of ground water that can surround the building. And in turn this helps to reduce hydrostatic pressure on the foundation that would otherwise be produced by water logged tightly packed fine sediment soils.

Foundation Water Proofing: drain rock wrapped with filter fabric. Orange line – shows where we back fill the drain rock to reduce hydrostatic pressure.

Step 2: Foundation Water Proofing
• This consists of a hot applied elastometric asphalt emulsion applied to the foundation walls. This product has “2000% stretch capacity” per the manufacturer’s specs.
• Next, the foundation is deliberately hit with a flood coat on top of the footer, so the heaviest and thickest portion of waterproofing is over the cold seam.

Managing groundwater on the landscaping level before it surrounds the home is the next tier to this process on the exterior. And installing drain pipe inside the foundation is a different part of the system on the interior, but the steps above are the basics to managing moisture directly around the exterior of the home.

This process is all too often underdone. We believe that overlapping and slightly redundant systems together make up the best building practice for water management, above and below the ground. We follow the same school of thought with our interior water management systems.

Example of hot applied elastametric asphalt emolsion

New Construction on Winter Lane

Photos below showcases our new construction on Big Mountain. This project kicked off by carving into the hillside to make way for this project. Over 185 loads of rock and rumble were exported with the help from our CAT 320 Excavator and the ever so handy jack hammer.

Heaps and heaps later we made the room for this two car garage with apartment above. But that is not all! This home features a “Sprinter Garage” to perfectly fit our clients Sprinter camper-van. The challenge will be deciding if they will ski in their backyard all day or prep the camper-van for its next adventure from the comfort of a warm garage.

Check back with us to see more of the finished product! Construction of main home scheduled for Spring 2017..!

MDI’s latest testimonial

After interviewing several builders, we chose Mindful Designs to build our custom, high-end dream home— and we could not be more pleased!  The style of home we wanted to build was definitely “outside the box”, with clean, contemporary lines, lots of architectural detail, unique finishes, and seamless integration of the indoor and outdoor living spaces.  From the beginning, we were impressed with Marty’s enthusiasm and  his desire to understand and deliver on our vision.  He quickly grasped the aesthetic we were seeking, and he collaborated with us and offered great suggestions to make sure that our desired result was achieved.

We were living out of state during much of the building process, but Marty was always accessible, promptly returning phone calls and keeping us regularly informed.  Early on, Mindful Designs produced a very detailed budget, and their online budgeting and billing tools, together with prompt processing of change orders, allowed us to keep track of costs and make informed decisions from afar.  The final cost of our home (excluding change orders for upgrades and additions that we elected to make) was less than 1% over the original budget, which is quite remarkable for a high-end, 15-month project!

On a personal level, Marty was also a great guy to work with.  His “can do” attitude, passion for his work and high energy level are infectious, and he fosters a wonderful team atmosphere on the job site.  We were very impressed with all of the subcontractors we met.  They were professional, courteous and caring.

Being from Texas, we did not realize how much goes into building a home in the mountains.  In this regard, we greatly appreciated Marty’s experienced guidance, his remarkable knowledge of all facets of home construction, and his strong commitment to building us a tight, energy-efficient home that can withstand the elements and that we will enjoy for many years to come.

In short, we cannot recommend Mindful Designs more highly.  If you are looking for a builder that is truly committed to building a quality home, that delivers on time and on budget, and that is a pleasure to work with, you need look no further than Mindful Designs.