Posted by: greenpinkies | February 22, 2011

The Ductwork Solution or The Newest Green Pinkie: “diddle diddle dumpling, my son Jon”

…And, in case you were all wondering, yes, there is a little brother.  Only thing is, he’s a big brother, over 6’.  We hired him on as the newest of the Green Pinkies.  He’s a specialties project manager.

Actually, we originally hired him on in January to do all the heavy work. My body was wearing out.  Much to our delight, not only can he do the heavy construction (and does it quickly and precisely) but he has a phenomenal learning curve.  You have only to show him a procedure and he will not only do it but embellish upon it.

Take, for example, the electrical wiring procedure.  Under the tutelage of Dennis, our city inspector, and friends at Campbell Electric, Lauren rewired the entire house.  Toward the end of this job, she began to instruct Jon in the laying of wires, drilling of holes etc.  Jon paid attention.  Next thing we know, he’s taken off with his new found knowledge, and wired the house for cable and phone. Not only that but, because he’s a computer geek, he decided the house needed to be totally wired for Ethernet too!  (In my opinion, this means you can probably microwave dinner in there without the oven. But then, I’m somewhat afraid of that new technology).

The Ductwork Solution

You’ll note that Jon is standing under the ductwork in the hallway. So, you will also readily notice, that if Jon is 6’ tall (sans hat), then how much below 8’ has the hall ceiling been reduced?  If you guessed that the new height of the hall ceiling is 7’1”, you are correct.  In our Yellow Submarine scenario, we decided to include the ductwork for this house right into the conditioned space along with us. (See the blog dated November 7, 2010  Conditioned Spaces or “We all live in a Yellow Submarine…(The Beatles 1968) .  Therefore we dropped the ceiling.

The first reaction to this from all the 10’ ceiling purists out there was that the aesthetics of this will negatively impact the house more than the conditioned duct work savings on energy will impact the house positively.

But, to this, we say, “not so fast” with the criticism.  First of all, the hallway is barely 17’ long, a very short ductwork run.  Secondly, to ease the 11” transition from the living room ceiling to the hall, we designed in a false 2” tray ceiling in the living room with further 2” ceiling step downs to the hallway, definitely an Art Nouveau approach.  But hey, an energy efficient house does not have to be a boring house. (Pictures will be posted upon completion).

"Art Nouveau" tray ceiling August 2011

One added point of interest and irony:  In this ‘not so big house’, when you come out of the hallway, either on the living room end or into any of the bedrooms, the immediate impression is of lofty ceilings even though they are only 8’ high.  It is a very impressive illusion that makes you feel like you are in a bigger house than you really are in. The house feels more spacious with the loss of the hall height.



  1. And just to put this. I totally designed that drop ceiling! Haha.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: