Thursday, February 23, 2006

Week 19 Aluminum Framing

Framing started up again today and the result was a complete rough frame. When the framers return, the members will all be carefully squared, plumbed, and anchored. Immediately following will be the steel roofing planks. Below see more pictures of the framing.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Week 18: Aluminum Framing

So this week started out with the initial erection of the Bosch framing system. Chuck Moffit, our trusty fabricator, met with Alan on site and together they laid out the frame of the iT House. After everything had been figured out, Chuck and his crew began assembling the frame piece by piece. After two days of work a majority of the house was complete and you can see the results for yourself.
What makes the iT House so unique is that unlike a steel building that requires welds at the connection points, the aluminum system bolts together, saving both time and cost. Most important however, is that it produces an aesthetic that is cleaner and more refined than steel. Because aluminum has a stronger cross-section one is able to specify thinner members, producing a structure that is both elegant in its appearance and economy.

After the Bosch system is complete, the roof will be installed next and we will the iT House will truly begin to look like a building.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Week 16: Courtyard Slabs

The courtyard concrete work is done at a different time than the rest of the floor becuase the courtyards are depressed lower than the floors (about an inch) so that water will not flow inside during rain. We also need to put insulation around the edge of our floors to help prevent the warm radiant floors from "spilling" all their heat out the sides. To do this we had to wait a day for the floor's concrete to harden enough to safely remove the forming boards and insert our insulation in their place. Now we fill in the courtyards and cover up the insulation.

Each courtyard in this particular iT house has a drain in the center. Normally, we would just slope the courtyards to drain off into the perimeter, but in this case we are building up against a hill and have trapped our courtyard from natural drainage.

With the courtyards done, we are finished with our concrete work!

Week 16 - Concrete Slab

Today is Concrete Slab day and it starts at 6:15 AM with the pumper and the concrete truck arrival.

As the concrete is poured in different areas, the finishers step into the wet concrete and start leveling it out with a 2x4.

This is the slab at the end of the first truck of concrete (10 yards). The process up to this point took about 45 minutes.

Once the slab is leveled, the floater comes in to smooth out the surface and bring the excess water to the surface. It takes two or three passes and a couple of hours to finish this process.

After the floaters are done, the steel trowel finishers start to put a fine touch finish on the surface. In this iT house, the Owners have decided to add a tile floor on top of the slab so the finishing process ends at this point. In the other iT houses with finish concrete floors, there will be a further step in which the concrete is polished to a super-smooth texture.

The iT house cabinets will have to fit over the radiant floor stub-ups and around the vent stacks and electrical distribution.

Here I am on the cell phone TCB! It's great to finally see the slab in place because now the exciting work begins with the aluminum structure. After tomorrow when we pour the courtyard slabs, work will stop for about 10 days while we wait for our framer to free up his schedule from another job. Once he starts though, we're expecting to go pretty quickly!