Building a FrameMany of us were EXHAUSTED this morning from staying up late last night playing games and hanging out. There was some cloud cover this morning, but the sun came out in full force later. It still hit 86 degrees today. There were a few more sunburns today.

Today we worked on siding, trim, and putting up the sheds on the two houses.

I was able to talk to Joe, the construction site manager, about what techniques are used in building the houses that make them "greener" and more energy-efficient. Joe said it's important to treat the home as a whole unit; that each system has to be integrated into the next. He said it sounds simple, but that most home construction does not use these practices.

Some of the steps are as simple as using less material. By lining up the support beams of the roof with the support beams of the house, you can use less wood because the beams are farther apart.

The main focus is on weatherization and energy efficiency. With winter temperatures in the 80's and summer temperatures reaching 110 degrees, it is not uncommon for families to spend $200 a month on electric bills. By using energy efficient windows, caulking EVERYTHING, placing windows on certain sides of the homes, and using light cement siding, most families in the subdivision have monthly electric bills under $50.

After work, we are going to go shopping at the local mall. This evening, we are having dinner with The United Baptist Church and some families from the local community.

We can’t believe that we only have two work days left. It feels like we just got here.

Sheena Kadi