Monthly Archives: September 2013

appreciation for taz ezzat

2013 09 23

taz ezzat has been building houses for more than 30 years. he has been a great builder for my home and I think he would be a great builder for any home.

perhaps his greatest motivation is to please his customers.

taz has understood, planned, organized, directed, staffed, and controlled the build almost to perfection. everything about the build process seems to flow together effortlessly!

taz is constructing my house with excellent quality and according to plans. the later is especially important for a house that is to be leed, living building challenge, and passive house certified.

when i have had concerns, taz has addressed them thoroughly; and, by the by, the very large majority of my concerns were allayed with nothing more than an explanation.

some specifics:

as the design of the house developed, the framer we had originally picked decided that the wall specifications were outside of its usual construction techniques and decided not to participate in the build. i thought we were in trouble. it took taz less than two days to get bruce l. jones, who is himself an excellent builder, signed on for the task.

when a front loader developed a small leak in one of its hydraulic lines, taz placed plastic sheet under it to prevent the leak from contaminating the site. when he learned that LEED recommended a spill kit to clean up and protect from spills, Taz provided one quickly.

one of the windows wraps around a corner. it will be difficult to install. as has been the case in several other instances, taz devised an innovative method to accomplish this.

the house requires the careful control of materials. taz has gone out of his way to see that this gets done. as an example, the house foundation needed to be protected against moisture; but the living building challenge consultants had not specified a material required for this. Taz asked before specifying the material.

this list goes on and on.

taz’s company, maryland custom builders inc., has a website at:



appreciation for miche booz

2013 09 23

miche booz designed the house. he is an artist and as well as an architect. please look at his art and his architecture at:

i needn’t say more.

in basics, i only asked that my house be on a single floor, have overhangs, and a two-car garage. i left practically everything else up to miche.  i think the results are spectacular.

miche has exceptionally well-honed communication and interpersonal skills. he worked effectively with the builder, with me, and with everyone else on the project. he handles problems without upset, even problems caused by others. Very nice!

Miche designed a house that is low maintenance, is carbon neutral, uses construction materials harmless to the environment, has pleasant natural lighting, and good traffic flow.

he patiently re-worked the house details several times so that the very highest energy efficiency could be attained. this had to be quite painful; yet it was done without the slightest complaint. his drawings are comprehensive and accurate. they made it through the permitting process on the first try!  i understand that this is unusual.

miche strongly supports environmentally and community friendly homes and projects.

miche can be reached at 301 774-6911.


photo of the interior

my very good friend, ross shearer, took this photo of the interior of the home, showing the kitchen. the windows and doors are on the north and east side. for a passive house or any energy efficient house, it is generally good to keep the windows small on all but the south facing wall. this allows the house to gain heat from the south when the sun is shining while not losing heat through windows on the north, east and west sides. even though i am familiar with the drawings, i was pleasantly surprised that the north and east windows are so large as they look good; but, still small in comparison to those on the south wall.

interior of the house

interior of the house


2013 09 07: i have not posted in a while. this is because the house is waiting for windows. the window manufacturer, thermotech, said that they received glass that was too warped to use, then received glass that was defective, and then broke one of the windows while packing it for shipping. alas.

by the by, thermotech had similar reasons for a late delivery of windows for another passive house.  i am aware of yet another house where the company delivered good product on time.

we don’t want to install a partial order of windows . . . in part to keep costs to a minimum.

i’ll resume posting as soon as the windows are being installed.