Friday, March 31, 2006

Week 24, Friday

It was raining today, but we went out to the site to inspect the Fleetwood units which were delivered by Dandoy Glass yesterday. In the photo above, you can see the sliding glass door panels on their side in the foreground.
Pictured here are the awning window units that go in the corners of the house. Also visible are the sliding glass door track and jamb frames.
Dandoy began installing the Fleetwood fixed track (marked with blue tape) and the glazing angles for the clerestory windows before it started raining. Much of this week was scrapped due to rain and more is forecast for Mon & Tues next week. Starting next Wednesday then, the glass is rescheduled for installation along with the big cabinet that contains the outdoor fireplace and which extends through to the kitchen.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Week 24

The waterproof roofing has begun. It's a multi-layered process finishing off with a lightweight concrete topping. The picture here shows Tuesday morning during rain. More rain is expected Thursday and Friday of this week when we had hoped to have a finished roof and the fireplace cabinet and some storefront glazing begun. Looks like not very much more will happen until next monday...

Week 23

Electrical rough-in continues this week while the roofing starts. Also in the roofing package is the installation of the galvalume gutters & fascia which gives our roof it's finished edge.The custom bathroom we created for the client was built out of standard steel framing instead of our usual cabinet/walls. The wall framing contractor normally only does museum walls, but was so intrigued by the iT house design that he decided to make an exception.
The electricians took a lot of pride in their work by making sure that the electrical was put out of sight. In a normal house this is simple, but in a house with exposed structure, they had to slip the conduit inside the columns and beams to get it up to the ceiling fixtures.Rough plumbing for the custom shower, bathtub, and lavatory also was placed in the wall framing. Modern Arc, the fabricator for our custom orange resin shower enclosure, will come out to the site to measure for all the valve locations before they generate their resin pieces.
The gutter/fascia is attached to 2x nailers at the perimeter of the roof decking.
EPS rigid insulation board is passed up to the roof.
The galvalume gutter/fascia installed around the courtyard...The finished gutter/fascia looks nice and neat when complete. The tapered insulation gets built-up and adhered to the roof decking.Next week the waterproofing will be installed over the rigid EPS insulation board. For the rest of this week, the roofers will be "tapering" the insulation in order to create a positive slope to the gutters.

Week 22

Electricians install the recessed ceiling lights - typically in the iT house there are no lights in the ceiling because of the added complexity of the coordination between roofer and electrician. The owner in this case elected to add this feature as a customizing option and was willing to accept the additional time and expense for added funtionality. The j-boxes for the recessed fixtures fits in the channels of the steel roofing. Conduit is chased out to the perimter for the minimal interference with the roofing process above. Before the sound-absorbing insulation can be placed in the roof decking cells, a wire mesh is rolled in to keep the insulation from showing from below.Foam rubber stoppers are placed at the end of the cells to prevent air flow through the perforated decking and over the beams and down into the conditioned indoor spaces. With the perforated decking, the batt insulation acts as a sound asborbtion material to help the indoor spaces feel more comfortable.

A quick stop at the local Bosch distributor: Automation Controls.

Monday, March 27, 2006


This weekend Taalman Koch presented the iT House to the public at their booth at CABOOM03. For those who don't know what CABOOM is, imagine a tradeshow of designed "lifestyle accessories" These could range from metal wall panels that grow plants to full-blown architecture like the iT House. The event gives the general public a chance to check out some of the most cutting-edge products on the market- some of which have graced the pages of design magazines such as Dwell, Metropolis, Architecture, ID, and other trade magazines. We took the opportunity to interface with the public and show them all of the intricate details of constructing the iT House, as well as showing folks that the iT House is different from other "Prefabs" because it is more about lifestyle than economics (of course we had some data on hand to address the dollar side of things as well).

Since the iT House is considered Prefab, we were given space in the Prefab section of the event and got a taste of how hungry the public is for the concept. The TK crew manned the iT House Booth from Friday morning when the show opened, to Sunday evening when it closed. We passed the time by answering questions and educating folks about how great the iT House is.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Week 21 Thursday

A long and busy day at the iT house...

The stainless steel cables for the cross bracing were installed today. They help the structure stay rigid against lateral loads like wind or earthquake.

Also, the metal track was installed for the bathroom walls. Typically, the iT house doesn't have any normal walls, but in this case they were added by the client's request. Additionally, part of the house is lodged into the hillside against our new retaining walls. Track has also been installed in these areas for the upcoming sheetrock phase.

The last of the Epic roof panels were put in place followed by the wood blocking used to attach the galvalume gutters to be installed around the perimeter.

The last bit of sunset from atop the kitchen section of the roof decking. Next week the roofing materials will be installed to make it waterproof.

And the final touches were finished to complete the framing phase with the expoxy anchor bolts being installed at dusk.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Week 21 Tuesday

The roof panels come pre-cut to length and are 24" wide on-center. With electric shears, the panels are cut to width onsite along their edges and are lifted up into place. After snapping them together, they are then screwed down to the beams every 4" to create a structural diaphragm.

With much of the roof in place today, you could finally get a sense of what it will be like to be inside the finished product.

The roof panels are like miniature structural beams. They will also be the surface of the finished ceiling. Above the panels rigid insulation and roofing membrane will be applied in the next couple of weeks.

This project has two different roof levels; there are higher "pop-up" roofs at the living room and bedroom. The structure for the higher roofs is tranverse to the lower ones, creating different patterns in the ribs of the roof structure.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Week 21 Roof Framing

After some rain delays, the framers came back out to finish tightening up the structure. After lunch the first roof panels went up. Tomorrow the remainder of the panels will be dropped in place and fastened to the structure.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Week 20: Aluminum Framing Continued

No work today- It's raining.

This marks the continuation of the erection of the Bosch frame system. We've experienced a couple of weather delays so things have been moving sporadically. Our framer, Chuck Moffit began to tighten and square the frame at the key joints so as to finalize the alignment of the structural members. As the photo illustrates much of this takes place with the aluminum "L" connectors. In the background is an aluminum "T" connector that forms part of an "X-Brace" which compensates for the shear forces on the building. Next week we should be done with the framing and into the roof sheathing. Stay Tuned!

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Week 20: Trenching

With the concrete complete and the framing started we dug our trenches for the utilities today. This involved 2 trenches:
1 "dry" trench for gas, power, and telephone.
1 "wet" trench for water, sewage, and drainage (see the photo below of the 8'-0" deep sewer excavation).

The complicated part was that we had to "saw-cut" and trench through the driveway and not cut through the existing utilities which are all "live" and connected to the main house. Over the next week we will install and cover all of the utilities for the iT House so that it can be connected and functioning by the time our finish work is complete.