This week was the official start of work. Most of what was accomplished was demolition, however there was some forward progress. These photos show the foundation work that was done.
I wasn't aware that they intended to remove all of the plaster on the walls. It is apparently easier for them to replace the 50-year old plaster with wallboard than to work with it. That makes sense and presents an opportunity.
These outside walls are 8" thick with no insulation - 4 inches of block and 4 inches of brick - tied together every 7 courses. While 50% of the existing brick will be clad with insulation and new wood siding, the other half was intended only to receive paint. What I now will investigate is a way to insulate on the interior walls and how to correctly locate a vapor barrier. This would increase comfort and further reduce the energy consumption.
My concern is that interior insulation will create a dew point behind the insulation and eventually cause mold. Though not traditional, it is best to put the insulation barrier on the outside.