Builder Qualifications

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As a result of the 3 month immersion training for builders, students should gain proficiency and be judged by the following abilities. These abilities involve building a complete house from foundation to finish. These abilities are demonstrated by performing each task - based on their own abilities and available documentation, without assistance from anyone else. The test consists of both verbal explanation of the process (written test), and performance test (actual doing) to the tester's satisfaction.

  1. Exterior Wall module builds - Build any of the 4x8 or 4x9 wall, corner wall, window, and door modules involved in the Seed Eco-Home 2 exterior wall system. Test: in 1 hour or less, build a wall module , starting from raw materials. Time must be under 1.5 hours for door and window modules.
  2. Interior Wall Module Builds - Build any of the 4x8 or 4x9 interior wall, corner wall, window, and door modules involved in the Seed Eco-Home 2. Test: in 1 hour or less, build a selected wall module , starting from raw materials - either a plain interior module or door module. Note that walls may need wiring or plumbing components to be included in them, such as outlets or other devices.
  3. Foundation form build - ability to prepare form, stakes, and to laser level and square the foundation - including all the systems that are part of the foundation. Test: starting from a level pad - stake, form, vapor barrier, insulate, pest-protect, rebar, and anchor bolt the foundation, using a walk-behind tractor or skid steer for moving gravel if necessary. Foundation data result: +/- 1/4" over entire foundation should be achievable readily with laser level.
  4. Sill plate and top plate installation - finishing detail to be made prior to or after putting up walls, consisting of sill gasket, sill plate, flashing, and fasteners. Test: installing sill gasket (or top plate), sill plate flashing, fastening to mudsill anchors, cutting out door openings and making door ledges.
  5. Floor joists and floor - installing joists by hanging them in pre-measured locations on rim joists, including aperture for staircase. Test: pre-measuring the joist locations and hanging joist hangers. Hanging joists. Installing subfloor with glue and correct fastener schedule. Instaling plywood clips. Installing acoustic underlayment. Installing floor. Written: detailed description of order of procedure (marking first, cutting, hanging, and order thereof)
  6. Wall Installation - using a 3-plane laser and 2-plane lasers on the corners to align walls while installing, with visual inspection at each panel against a laser level. Laser maintenance and usage. Usage of scaffolding
  7. Painting - ability to use a spray gun for an even coat of exterior stain, interior stain, white paint, floor stain, and trim paint (stain or paint). Sprayer maintenance. Test: hands-on spraying of panels and trim with paint and stain, using correct paint settings. Spray gun cleaning and compressor usage.
  8. Utility Panels - building out the core electrical panel with breaker box. Building the main 2 utility panels for providing hot water, venting, and plumbing to kitchen, bathroom, and laundry. Test: can be written or practical - building procedure of panels. Hands-on - installation of main water line, how water heater, dishwasher, and washer/dryer. of panels.
  9. Roof system - Design understanding and install of the roof, including attachment and drainage for EPDM roof. Roof joists, insulation, and ceiling. Decorative band. Test: Written: understanding the termination bar and EPDM detail. Practical: hoisting and install of roofing OSB, insulation, EPDM, and decorative band.
  10. Carport - setting posts in the ground using posthole auger and concrete. Finish detail of carport deck and EPDM attachment to rest of house. Gutter and floor of garage using pervious pavement.
  11. Basic landscaping - planting trees, other plants, and finishing of the site.
  12. Kitchen/bathroom - installation of cabinets and appliances for kitchen and bathroom, with the plumbing and electrical systems involved. Hands-on ability and ability to explain basic installation procedures. Mastery of sharkbite-style quick connects for water, using primarily PEX tubing.
  13. Staircase - building out the staircase including acoustic mitigation

Extra skills covered, beyond basic requirement

These are included in the advanced version of the program, for fast learners.

  1. Foundation pour: to scree, bull float, hand float, and trowel to a finish surface within +/- 3/8" of perfection over the 16'x32' pad.
  2. Rough-in Plumbing: to prepare the rough-in plumbing that goes into the Seed Eco-Home, starting with cutting PVC sections to length, gluing them, and testing them with air pressure at 10 PSI.
  3. Polishing concrete - using diamond pad and diamond cup devices for polishing concrete, prepare the surface, fill voids, and seal it until a 3000 grit fine shine - for a 100 sf area of concrete.
  4. PV system - installation of roof-mounted PV system, inverter, charger, breakers, and nickel-iron battery storage.
  5. Heat Pump - heat pump install with plumbing and electrical.
  6. Aquaponic greenhouse - ability to install a glazed structure with framed ponds, growing towers, grow beds, and grow shelves including fish culture.
  7. Electrical Panel - wiring up the house breaker box and main circuits for grid power