Building Bridges in Gilroy

We were very excited to see the bridges and stairs being fabricated at Larson Steel in Gilroy.  These will be extremely important features of our home so they need to be designed, engineered, fabricated and installed carefully.

HSS 5×5 with 1/2 inch Wall

Although we had some initial ideas regarding the bridge design, Hector Guerra of Larson Steel designed the structural steel components.  He recommended that we use two pieces of tube steel, 5 inches wide by 5 inches deep, with 1/2 walls.  Knowing we didn’t want any ‘bounce’ or movement in the bridges, he thought this basic structural design would work.

End of HSS 5x5, notched to sit on the W6x16 I-beam. Do you think it will be solid? Rock solid?

End of HSS 5×5, notched to sit on the W6x16 I-beam. Do you think it will be solid? Rock solid?

Bridge Foyer

This is the main bridge that goes from the foyer across the atrium to the living room.  It will be covered with Madrone hardwood flooring from the Santa Cruz Mountains.  We want this to be solid.  Rock solid.

Pete Larson inspecting the Bridge Foyer. Note the cross-pieces that will then support two layers of 3/4 inch plywood and then the 3/4 inch Madrone hardwood.

Pete Larson inspecting the Bridge Foyer. Note the cross-pieces that will then support two layers of 3/4 inch plywood and then the 3/4 inch Madrone hardwood.

Bridge Hall

This bridge goes from the Living Room to the Master Suite.  The bridge decking will be made of glass, fritted for safety and frosted for privacy.  Importantly, using glass will allow light from the clerestory windows to go into the lower level, which will reduce the electricity required over the building’s life.

The Bridge Hall will have a separate aluminum frame in it that will hold the six pieces of 1-inch thck glass decking.

The Bridge Hall will have a separate aluminum frame in it that will hold the six pieces of 1-inch thck glass decking.

Stairs

Due to the narrow 38-1/2 inch opening between the steel column and the feature concrete wall, the stairs were a challenge to design.  We used HSS 2×8 with 3/16 wall for one stringer and, by the concrete wall, 3/8 inch plate.

It was very rewarding to see the design coming together.

HSS 2x8 stringer components, ready for inspection prior to welding.

HSS 2×8 stringer components, ready for inspection prior to welding.

This is the bottom of the stairs, where the stringers will be attached together with a 3/8 inch plate. Yes, that plate will be attached securely to the concrete and then covered with 3 inches of concrete.

This is the bottom of the stairs, where the stringers will be attached together with a 3/8 inch plate. Yes, that plate will be attached securely to the concrete and then covered with 3 inches of concrete.

This is the stair stringer that goes against the feature concrete wall. The lower part (left hand side) is HSS 2x8 tube steel as we are not constrained for space at that location.

This is the stair stringer that goes against the feature concrete wall. The lower part (left hand side) is HSS 2×8 tube steel as we are not constrained for space at that location.

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