Oct 25, 2008<br/><br/>

After three years in development, four of the twenty two key members of the Casa Bella Verde design team come together to celebrate the official ground breaking of one of the most exciting and innovative green design projects to date.

From left to right: Pierre Rivas- Director, Sacramento Area Council of Governments, Kevin DeSantis- Owner of KD Building Construction Services and Management, Briana Alhadeff- Creator of and Project Director for Casa Bella Verde, Nicholas Nikiforuk- Architect and IntegraSpec ICF Specialist. Oct 25, 2008<br/><br/>Briana Alhadeff and Nicholas Nikiforuk display one of the original renderings, set against the expansive northeast facing landscape.

The rendering is displayed in the exact location of where the home will be built and its orientation. Oct 29, 2008<br/><br/>The groundbreaking begins with the sculpturing of the Casa Bella Verde driveway.  The entire length of the driveway, including the 45 foot diameter turn around at the top, measures 1,199 feet long by 18 feet wide. 
By following the naturally occuring clear path to the top, no trees were removed in the construction of this driveway.  What will result will be a beautiful, meandering path to the hilltop residence. 

Because of the extensive length of the driveway, we decided to focus on one section, so that you may watch the transformation unfold. Nov 5, 2008<br/><br/>This is one of two keyways that were cut into the driveway.  These keyways will be filled in with native soil and rolled between 98%-100% compaction.<br/><br/>

This will give stability to these locations of the driveway that will be built up later in the next phase. Nov 12, 2008<br/><br/>The keyways have now been filled in and compacted.  The entire driveway has been built up to the proper grade heights.  Six inches of gravel was laid down, watered, and rolled to act as a sub base for the final four inches of gravel that will be applied later when the house is near completion.
Stabilizer Solutions    will be installed as the final top paving surface, which is organic, non-toxic, and is completely pervious.  The pervious nature of Stabilizer Solutions   allows water to pass through it, which in turn gets reabsorbed into the ground, replenishing the water table. Nov 12, 2008<br/><br/>This angle of the driveway shows how much certain areas of the driveway needed to be built up in order to create a level driving surface. Nov 14, 2008<br/><br/>Excavation begins on the main house.  In the upper left hand corner, you can see that the garage floor is being built up to the specified grade height.  In the middle of the photo, and slightly to the left, the grader has hit two large boulders.  As the photo shows, soil here is extremely rocky.<br/><br/> 

We hope to break apart the rock using a breaker, which is a special instrument that can be attached to a large excavator to break through difficult rock.  This area is known for three things: great wineries, the Gold Rush, and very large boulders. Nov 21, 2008<br/><br/>Excavation continues, as dirt is removed to create the lowest level of the house where the large cistern will be built.  The upper pad where the garage will be located is now complete.  More large boulders have been revealed, making excavation increasingly difficult.<br/><br/>

After days of trying to fracture the hard rock using the breaker, it has been determined that blasting is what will be necessary to remove the massive boulders. Nov 24, 2008<br/><br/>Building the pad for the guest house begins.  Because of the rocky soil conditions encountered with the main house, it was decided that the guest house would be built slab on grade.<br/><br/> 

Because the site for the house is located on a slope, the pad must be built up.  In order to achieve this, dirt is excavated from the main house location, as well as the surrounding area. Dec 5, 2008<br/><br/>The pad for the guest house is now complete.

By building up this pad, the view from the guest house now becomes even more dynamic.
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