“PETE’S CHARACTER IS EQUAL PARTS HUMOR, PROGRESSIVE THOUGHT AND CONSIDERATION FOR OTHERS”– LOIS MAFFEO
Bicycle Homebuilding is a small residential construction company based in Olympia, WA that has been building energy-efficient homes with environmentally-friendly materials and methods for over 16 years. Owner Pete Chramiec employs best practices and climate-specific strategies to build high performing and durable structures that need little maintenance over the course of their lifetimes. Most importantly, Pete and his construction team create beautiful houses that work within the available resources of each project.
Pete Chramiec was born in Newport, Rhode Island, a long time ago. He spent his childhood sneaking small sailboats into the Atlantic Ocean without telling his parents. As a teenager, he joined a band and went on some tours, which led to him being in Berlin in 1989 on the very day the Berlin Wall came down, a fact that he doesn't let anyone forget. 1989 ended up becoming his best year, as he was voted guitar player of the year in the unread Flipside Magazine (a xeroxed copy of which he posts next to our report cards on the fridge every year). He later lived in Washington DC, but it was too muggy (weather-wise and also getting-mugged-wise), so he moved to the better Washington: Washington State. There, he studied Organic Farming, but couldn't grow things good. He luckily met his wife and, more importantly, had two very cool daughters (one of which he forced into making this website for him). Now, he lives in Olympia with his family, along with his two cats, one dog, and eight chickens. As you can tell, he is very into these animals. Some of his skills include eating cookies (all of the cookies), losing at Cribbage, and building houses (maybe).
-Willa and Annabel Chramiec
THE BICYCLE HOMEBUILDING APPROACH
We build with quality materials, using resources wisely and efficiently to expand the life-cycle of the home or building. We take advantage of renewable resources with passive solar design and ventilation strategies, photovoltaics, and solar hot water systems. Whenever possible, we use FSC Certified or Windfall Lumber, salvaged or rapidly renewable materials, and other products that are non-toxic, reusable, renewable, and recyclable. Efficiency is inherent in all of
our practices and we use traditional and modern methods to appraise the resources that protect, fuel and enhance your home.
Whether your site is rural, urban, or wooded, Bicycle Homebuilding treats your building site with respect- and will always protect and preserve a site’s ecology. We take measures to control drainage to prevent erosion and limit disturbance to the topsoil during construction. We protect plants and tree roots. Our goal with regard to surface water management is to retain all water on site through the use of permeable paving, vegetation, water retention and infiltration. We run a clean and organized job site.
DETAIL AND CRAFTSMANSHIP
Our goal is to make your home unique, well-crafted, and a reflection of your lifestyle and values. We use time-tested materials, systems and techniques to build homes that are durable and low-maintenance. Materials are selected and sourced locally whenever possible and always with a critical eye for sustainability. We believe it is the well-conceived details that make a house a home you will cherish.
Bicycle Homebuilding employs the latest research in building science to provide you with homes that are exceptionally energy efficient for a very small increase in cost when compared to structures that are just “built to code”. Our strategy with regard to the enclosure is to remove thermal bridging and eliminate air infiltration, and it works! Our homes don’t require complicated and expensive heating systems and the return in energy savings is measured in a few short years.
HIGH INDOOR AIR QUALITY
Indoor air quality is one of the most important aspects of our building approach. Modern energy-efficient homes are sealed up so tightly that intentional mechanical ventilation is the best way to provide fresh air and control interior moisture levels. We typically install a heat recovery ventilator to exhaust stale indoor air while providing direct fresh air without heat loss. We practice climate-specific detailing and construction to prevent moisture from being trapped in the walls and other building cavities, preventing mold. And we use only non-toxic interior finish materials to limit formaldehyde, volatile organic compounds and other potentially harmful chemicals.
We believe a collaborative process produces greater efficiency, better control over budgeting and scheduling , and cost savings over the course of the building process. Our ideal is to be involved early on with the owner and architect or designers. Contact us during design for practical, cost-saving, better building tips.