Homebuilding Part IV: Site Protection isn’t just an “Internet” Topic

20 Jan

It’s “Snow and Wind” city around here…

We recently began an ambitious trip, revisiting ISBU homes and projects we’ve participated in and inspecting current projects under construction. It’s been a pretty pleasant trip, despite witnessing the demise of our SUV, which decided that it wanted to die in Texas..

Now, apparently I’ve left another part of “my heart and soul” in Texas… LOL!


If you’re following the ISBU Homebuilding series (which began HERE) , we’re talking about the lists of things you need to consider, as you start planning your ISBU Home.

I know that most of us cringe at the prospect of making lists (for fear that our “better half’s” will find them and then make us live up to them…) but it’s really important to begin your ISBU Homebuilding process with as much organization as possible. 🙂

These rules apply to many types of housing, so even if you’re not building using glorious Corten Steel, you should find things here to help you.

That said, my apologies to those of you who have written and emailed me recently… for not replying to email as quickly as  I usually endeavor to. We have really had our hands full on this trip (the weather has been merciless!) and there is much more to come!

We’re still on the road! In fact, we’re presently hunkered down is a hotel waiting for roads to reopen as the Winter Snowstorms and High Winds make mountain roads impassible.

We’re doing okay. In fact, all things considered… we’re doing better than expected.

I admit that the family has “cabin fever”. I think I’m catching it as well! 😦

Green Building Recommendations

I recently shared books with you that I think belong on your Home Building reference shelf.

We’ve been exploring all the steps that you need to take, to complete the planning stages of your New Home Building Project!  Over the next several days, I’m going to continue to share lists of things to consider as you start planning your new ISBU home.

Many of these considerations can be further explored in my book;

Introduction to Container Homes and Buildings

as well as Daniel Chiras’s book; (which you can purchase thru Chelsea Green Publishers – tell ’em Ronin sent you!)

The New Ecological Home;

You can use these lists when building a home, remodeling, or even considering a home for purchase.

Note that a few items will be repeated because they pertain to several aspects of green building.

Today we’re going to add even more considerations to your home building project;

Protecting a Site during Construction

  1. Strive to minimize your land disturbance during construction.
  2. Designate one access route to the site.
  3. Designate a parking area or ask workers to park on the road.
  4. Designate an area for delivery of building materials and other supplies.
  5. Designate an area for stockpiling materials to be recycled.
  6. Cordon off trees and areas you want to protect. Orange Storm tape works well for this.
  7. Stockpile topsoil for later reapplication and then tarp it to protect it from erosion.
  8. Do not stockpile soils around trees.
  9. Recycle all waste from the building site. Place your dumpster carefully.
  10. Do not dump hazardous materials on the building site.
  11. Spend the money to hire a tree specialist to help develop a tree protection strategy.
  12. Carefully site the home to reduce the need to remove trees.
  13. Protect trees from physical damage by wrapping cardboard around their trunks. Protect roots from damage.
  14. Communicate the essential elements of the tree protection strategy to the contractor, subcontractors, and workers.
  15. Include fines in your contracts with the contractor to pay for damage to trees and landscaping.
  16. Fertilize nearby trees before construction and water every two weeks during construction.
  17. Recycle trees that must be cut down.
  18. Control on-site erosion.
  19. Design driveways to minimize erosion.

Stay Tuned!