New News on our High Performance Enclosures (HPEs)

Perhaps our most passionate filter, everything we do is based on the premise that we have but one earth, and it needs us to do better. In a sweet bit of coincidence, this also means that the house we build is more comfortable for you: There are fewer drafts, less outside noise, a more responsive heating and cooling system, and cleaner indoor air quality. The utility bill is less, as well.

HPE layered wall system.

We have pre-panelized our energy-efficient wall system, the Matrix Wall, since 1993, and have been involved with over 2,000,000 square feet of structural insulated panels (SIPs). The combination of wall and roof components create our HPE (High-Performance Enclosure System). While recent improvements to the nationally recognized Residential Energy Code for new construction are exciting, these traditional energy requirements have always been inadequate, and continue to be so. In the last half dozen years we’ve seen the interest in thoughtful energy design skyrocket among our clients. We’re thrilled!

This renewed interest, in combination with new understanding and technologies in off-site pre-construction, suggests our enclosure practices have been spot on. 2020 will see a substantial evolution of our HPE efforts through the addition of a new line of European semi-automated wall and floor building equipment.

This video showcases the framing line:

When we “semi-automate” our processes, we’re not eliminating jobs, we’re doing better work more efficiently while allowing our coworkers to work longer into their career and be safer as they do so. By increasing the amount of off-site pre-panelization we can do, our goal is to bring our quality and expertise on energy and resource efficiencies to more homes, to more builders, making High Performance Easier. We code name this effort HPEz. Here are some of the wins we see:

• Less Labor—Using more automation, reduces overall and on-site labor.

• Speed—Less time on site, the timeline the project can have multiple progressing parts. Overlapping timelines make production quicker as each phase doesn’t have to be on a linear timeline waiting.

• Precision & Quality—Pre-engineering and design, and the use of automated panelization equipment in a controlled environment yield higher quality building components.

• Performance—Reduction of thermal bridging and increase in airtightness.

• Comfort—Less draft, less fluctuation in temperature, and less sound penetration.

Raising a pre-assembled wall.

Fabricated off-site in a controlled environment, panels arrive ready to be installed.

“We’re building a project in MA that was designed by the NEW team. After their timber framers raised the frame (talk about cool!), their wall panels arrived on-site. It was a pleasure to work with the panels – the process of installation was quick and smooth. The walls are great. We’re looking forward to completing this home!” Brad Morse, Uncarved Block, Inc.

Installation of an HPE wall system.

Mid-way through the new year, we’ll be taking delivery of the semi-automated equipment which is being crafted now in the Netherlands. We’re looking forward to helping bring this technology and efficiency to the forefront of building design, development, and implementation.

Our coworker, Jonathan Taylor, reviews the capabilities of automated nailing machine with Marcel of H&M Machinery.

H&M Machinery is building the semi-automated tools for our HPE line.

H&M Machinery is building the semi-automated tools such as this auto-nailing machine for our HPE line.

We enjoy discussing advancement opportunities for the built environment. If you’d like to know more about HPEs for your project, reach out to us today.

Like to know more about our past enclosures? See our previous blog post.