Another month has come and gone. The progress at Silver Rock has been steady. The roof is complete (bring on the rain!), siding installation is finished, and the focus has shifted to interior work.
The plumbing and electrical rough-in has been in progress in addition to installation of the master bathroom tub nook and prep in the shower areas for installation of floor and surround components.
When it comes to vetting fixtures as part of the Living Building Challenge both plumbing and electrical components present major challenges. The reason for this is that plumbing and electrical parts are largely comprised of metal and plastics. Traditionally, PVC is relied on in manufacturing of electrical wiring (as the casing for wires) and also in piping and valves in plumbing fixtures. At Silver Rock, you will not find PVC. Our water lines are PEX/HDPE for our distribution lines and ABS for the waste lines (all PVC free).
Thankfully, manufacturers are becoming more transparent about PVC use and some are engineering PVC out of their products. Brands like TOTO and Kohler have undergone the process of Declaring several of their products within the Declare Database and have also been willing to work with with us on product transparency requests. Because of this, we are working with TOTO and Kohler to address our need for fixtures at Silver Rock. An enthusiastic shout out to them!
For electrical installation, we are running into issues with residential lighting manufacturers not returning calls or requests for information on product materials. With getting information from companies proving to be a formidable challenge, we are continuing to explore options and have even looked at light fixtures from IKEA, which are RoHS compliant. Also, we are excited that we will be able to use a good portion of the electrical salvage items from the old vet clinic building that was demolished. A big shout out to Synergy Electric, they have been a pleasure to work and have a great deal of expertise in all-things-electrical.
Next week, we will be giving tours as part of the International Living Future Institute Conference taking place in Seattle. Several Buses will be coming over with conference-goers and we hope to orient them to some of the exciting features at Silver Rock and help grow the enthusiasm for the Living Building Challenge and all that it stands for. We will update the blog with pictures following that event. Wishing everyone a happy spring…