HABITAT BUILDING A FIRSTDAY COTTAGE
Tisbury, MA, December 27, 2011 – Habitat for Humanity of Martha’s Vineyard is partnering with the Thomas family and the community to build a 1,200 square foot FirstDay Cottage kit house at 50 Bailey Park Road in West Tisbury.
In an effort to reduce construction costs, Habitat’s Building Committee Chair Andre Mallegol decided on FirstDay because it requires less time, less construction materials and finishes and was designed by MIT-trained Architectural Designer David Howard to be built by folks with no previous construction experience. Although FirstDay is headquartered in Walpole NH, their homes have been built in 20 states including several on the Vineyard. It was a perfect fit for Habitat’s unique development model which benefits from in-kind donations of building materials and volunteer labor. Habitat’s construction supervisor Lee Taberner has previous experience building the FirstDay Cottage kit and likes the simplicity of assembling the various components which make up the whole. Taberner knows the building system and can delegate tasks to volunteers with any level of experience and skill level.
Before starting construction, Mallegol and Taberner consulted with Marc Rosenbaum PE who is an energy consultant with the South Mountain Company. Air sealing and insulation details were worked out to minimize air infiltration and maximize energy efficiency. The FirstDay Cottage design is inspired by post and beam construction but uses standard dimensional lumber organized into a grid of built-up beams, posts and rafters - “bents”. The flooring is 2x6 tongue and groove and the wall and roof sheathing are exposed 1x8 t & g – similar to an Oak Bluffs Gingerbread Cottage. All doors, windows and stairs are designed to fit within the structural grid which makes for as very efficient build. This is a departure from traditional deck-framed construction and uses no plywood or sheetrock which reduces both first-cost and future maintenance costs.
Habitat for Humanity of Martha’s Vineyard is the only island non-profit which provides qualified instruction on how to build an energy efficient and affordable house every Friday and Saturday from 8:30 AM – 4:30 PM. In fact, those who volunteer on Saturday mornings throughout this winter will earn a free lunch generously donated by JB Blau – owner of Sharky’s Cantina. No experience, no tools, no lunch - no problem! Just show up with appropriate clothing, a willingness to learn and an appetite to partner with those who wish to make a positive impact on our community. Sign-up on line at www.habitatmv.org/volunteer.html or call Executive Director Neal A. Sullivan at 508.696.4646 for more information.