Archive for February, 2010

Flying the Canadian Flag!

Sunday, February 28th, 2010

We were all excited to see the outcome to the Gold medal game for Men’s Ice Hockey at the 2010 Olympics this afternoon.

And we flew the Canadian flag at the job site to celebrate the win in overtime!

Note, this is the same flag that Bryan was waving at the Gold medal game for the Women’s Ice Hockey in Vancouver on Thursday, February 25, 2010.

We watched the Canadian men win the Gold medal for ice hockey today and celebrated by ...

We watched the Canadian men win the Gold medal for ice hockey today and celebrated by ...

Flying the Canadian flag at our job site!  Note, this is the same flag that Bryan was waving at the Gold medal game for the Women's Ice Hockey in Vancouver on Thursday, February 25, 2010.

Flying the Canadian flag at our job site! Note, this is the same flag that Bryan was waving at the Gold medal game for the Women

Leaving Bainbridge Island and Returning to San Jose

Saturday, February 27th, 2010

Bryan’s flight was at 9:35 from SEA to SJC. Bob was extremely kind and made Bryan a latte before he left for the ferry to Seattle.

Leaving Bainbridge Island

Bob printed detailed instructions so Bryan could make his way to the ferry terminal on Bainbridge Island and then from the Seattle ferry terminal to Sea-Tac Airport (SEA). Although Bryan appreciated the directions, it was extremely easy to follow the traffic going to the ferry terminal for the 7:05 am departure to Seattle Terminal (where else would traffic be going at that time on a Saturday morning?).  You can see the current status of the Bainbridge Island Terminal through the Ferry Cam.

On the way to the ferry terminal, Bryan saw the new location of the house that was floated from the original site on Bainbridge Island.  The DIY Network is airing the house move (float) several times during the month of March 2010 – see their web site for dates and times).

After getting on the ferry, Bryan grabbed another coffee so he could enjoy the crossing to Seattle and the views of the Wise houses on Bainbridge Island and of Mt. Rainier (Bryan climbed to the top of Mt Rainier with Alan Arnette as part of the Rainier 9 on July 12, 2004).  It is always difficult for the passenger sitting beside Bryan whenever he is on a flight into or out of SEA as they have to listen to the full story of his climb.  OK, in full disclosure, Bryan did say that one of the passengers on the ferry had to listen to the story that morning.

The trip to SEA was uneventful and Bryan’s flight into SJC was early at the gate.

Bob, the ultimate host, makes Bryan a latte at 6:15 am.

Bob, the ultimate host, makes Bryan a latte at 6:15 am.

The original house being floated to its new location on Bainbridge Island.  Note Seattle in the background.

The original house being floated to its new location on Bainbridge Island. Note Seattle in the background.

Bryan stopped and took this picture of the original house at its new location on Bainbridge Island.  Way cool.

Bryan stopped and took this picture of the original house at its new location on Bainbridge Island. Way cool.

The Wise houses on Bainbridge Island (with the lights on).

View from the ferry of the Wise houses on Bainbridge Island (with the lights on).

Early morning view of Mt Rainier (yes, Bryan stood on the very top of Mt. Rainier on July 12, 2004).

Early morning view of Mt Rainier (yes, Bryan stood on the very top of Mt. Rainier on July 12, 2004).

Arriving at the ferry terminal in Seattle.  Next stop - SEA.

Arriving at the ferry terminal in Seattle. Next stop - SEA.

Touring the Insulspan Manufacturing Facility and the Wise Houses

Friday, February 26th, 2010

It was impossible to get up to Whistler in a rental car so Paul and Bryan went to see the Olympic snowboarding at Cypress Mountain.  Unfortunately, it started raining heavily so they left.  On his way out of Vancouver, Bryan took the opportunity to visit the Insulspan manufacturing facility in Delta.  Then, he enjoyed full tour and a fantastic meal at the Wise house on Bainbridge Island.

Seeing the Olympic Women’s Snowboarding

Although it was pleasant when Paul Marcaccio and Bryan left Vancouver, it was pouring rain at their arrival at Cypress Mountain.  After watching the final four snowboarders, they decided to leave the event. 

Weather 1, Spectators 0.

Touring Insulspan’s Manufacturing Facility

After returning from Cypress Mountain, Bryan left the Westin Bayshore and drove south in the rental car.  On the way, Dave Stevenson offered him a tour of Insulspan’s manufacturing facility in Delta, BC.  The facility is adjacent to Highway 91, so it was directly on the way to the Canada-U.S. border.

Dave took Bryan through the plant and showed him how they manufacture their SIPs (structural insulated panels).  All of the manufacturing waste is recycled, which is one of the reasons why SIPs are considered ‘green’ (vs the tremendous amount of construction waste that is generated through typical on-site construction activities.

Bryan even saw the exact location where our SIPs were stored after being manufactured in October.  Bill Edwards of Insulspan took photos of our SIPs on Thursday, November 5, 2009.  Our SIPs were loaded on three trucks at the manufacturing facility on Friday, November 27, 2009 and arrived at our job site on Wednesday, December 2, 2009.

We’re looking forward to hosting our second Collaborative Informational Session where Dave Stevenson can be at our project site and show others in the Bay Area how to build with SIPs.

Touring Two Homes on Bainbridge Island

Although Bryan went to Vancouver to see the 2010 Olympics on this trip, the primary focus was to see two homes on Bainbridge Island.  How these two homes were built is an interesting story.

First, the owners of the property, the Wise family, lived in the existing house while they built their guest house.  They moved into the guest house when it was completed so they could construct the main house.  This is where it gets interesting.

Rather that demolish (bad) or deconstruct (better), they chose to move the house to another location on Bainbridge Island (best).  That sounds reasonable, right?  Except they moved the house with a boat (amazing!).

The Do It Yourself Network filmed a full segment over the month that it took to move the house to its new location on Bainbridge Island.  The segment is currently being aired several times in March 2010.  You can see it under ‘Massive Moves – Floating House‘ on the Do It Yourself Network (episode DMSM-103).

Bob and Lisa Wise took Bryan on a full tour of both homes and then everyone enjoyed a fabulous dinner.

The tour of these two homes was inspiring!

View of Vancouver, including Lions Gate Bridge and the downtown waterfront.  The weather was looking ok.

View of Vancouver, including Lion's Gate Bridge and the downtown waterfront. The weather was looking ok.

Once at Cypress Mountain, we had to go through security screening.  It was easy, fast and efficient.

Once at Cypress Mountain, we had to go through security screening. It was easy, fast and efficient.

Watching the semi-finals of the Women's Snowboarding at the 2010 Olympics at Cypress Mountain.

Watching the semi-finals of the Ladies Snowboarding at the 2010 Olympics at Cypress Mountain.

On the way down, we saw the site of the aerials.

On the way down, we saw the site of the aerials.

Arriving at the Insulspan manufacturing facility in Delta, Canada.

Arriving at the Insulspan manufacturing facility in Delta, Canada.

Dave Stevenson in his office, scheduling his presentation for the second Collaborative Informational Session at our project site.

Dave Stevenson in his office, scheduling his presentation for the second Collaborative Informational Session at our project site.

Manufacting a SIP starts with huge sheets of OSB (Oriented Strand Board).

Manufacting a SIP starts with huge sheets of OSB (Oriented Strand Board).

All waste in the plant is recycled and reused.  A completed SIP is on the left and the white foam cuttings are being collected.

All waste in the plant is recycled and reused. A completed SIP is on the left and the white foam cuttings are being collected.

Warehousing of completed SIPs, manufactured to the specific requirements for each job.

Warehousing of completed SIPs, manufactured to the specific requirements for each job.

The SIPs for our project were stored at this location (by the yellow posts) after they were manufactured in October.  The green objects are styrofoam blanks, which get 'sandwiched' between the two sheets of OSB.

The SIPs for our project were stored at this location (by the yellow posts) after they were manufactured in October. The green objects are styrofoam blanks, which get 'sandwiched' between the two sheets of OSB.

Bryan, Lisa and Bob, about to start the tour (cheers!).

Bryan, Lisa and Bob, about to start the tour (cheers!). Photo by Alison Wise.

The finish detail was exceptional.  You can see the vertical grain Douglas Fir cabinets and detailed reveals.

The finish detail was exceptional. You can see the vertical grain Douglas Fir cabinets and detailed reveals.

Central vacuum sweeping location in foyer.  Several friends, including the Wise family, thoroughly endorse sweeping vents that are connected to the central vacuum system.

Central vacuum sweeping location in foyer. Several friends, including the Wise family, thoroughly endorse sweeping vents that are connected to the central vacuum system.

Another sweeping location under the island in the kitchen.  Note the dual dishwashers.

Another sweeping location under the island in the kitchen. Note the dual dishwashers.

Taking a Break (and Going to the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver!)

Thursday, February 25th, 2010

Bryan took a break from working on the project site to take advantage of a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver.

Quick Trip to Vancouver

Using his miles on Alaska Airlines, Bryan caught an early morning flight (i.e., 6:30 am) from San Jose to Seattle and then rented a car and drove to Vancouver.  Bryan met Paul Marcaccio at the Westin Bayshore Hotel, where they were guests of Paul Henderson, who was a long-term member of the International Olympic Committee.

Part of this break includes visiting Bob Wise’s newly constructed home on Bainbridge Island.  Bryan’s primary mission is to review the finishes on Bainbridge Island and generate ideas for our finishes.  We need to finalize our finishes so this trip is, somewhat, justified.  Ok, the trip is, at best, only rationalized.

Just after passing by the Peace Arch, Bryan crossed the border in Canada.  There was only one car in front of him - he zipped through.

Just after passing by the Peace Arch, Bryan crossed the border in Canada. There was only one car in front of him - he zipped through.

The roads were empty as Bryan crossed the bridge into downtown Vancouver.

The roads were empty as Bryan crossed the bridge into downtown Vancouver.

The Bayshore Westin Hotel was the 'Olympic Family Hotel' for the 2010 Olympics, and it was under heavy security.

The Bayshore Westin Hotel was the 'Olympic Family Hotel' for the 2010 Olympics, and it was under heavy security.

The International Organizing Committee rented the Bayshore Westin Hotel for the duration of the 2010 Olympics.

The International Olympic Committee rented the Bayshore Westin Hotel for the duration of the 2010 Olympics.

The view of the harbour from the suite in the Westin Bayshore included the five Olympic rings.

The view of the harbour from the suite in the Westin Bayshore included the five Olympic rings.

After lunch at Carderos, Bryan saw the Olympic flame.  The glass block in front of him, which is what we will have in one of the two bridges across the Atrium, is where we took a similar photo on July 1, 2010 when we were on our 50-75-80 cruise to Alaska.

After lunch at Carderos, Bryan saw the Olympic flame. The glass block in front of him, which is what we will have in one of the two bridges across the Atrium, is where we took a similar photo on July 1, 2010 when we were on our 50-75-80 Celebration cruise to Alaska.

The Olympic flame.

The Olympic flame.

Paul and Bryan enjoyed a drink before the Women's final hockey game (for the Gold medal).  An RCMP officer was kind and took their photo.

Paul and Bryan enjoyed a drink before the Women's final hockey game (for the Gold medal). An RCMP officer was kind and took their photo.

With less than 13 seconds to go, the Canadian Women have won the Gold medal!

With less than 13 seconds to go, the Canadian Women have won the Gold medal!

Dogpile celebration!

Dogpile celebration!

The Canadian receive their Gold medals.

The Canadian receive their Gold medals.

The Canadian, American and Finnish flags are presented by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and are raised in the stadium.

The Canadian, American and Finnish flags are presented by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and are raised in the stadium.

And, of course, there are fireworks as the Canadians have their photos taken.

And, of course, there are fireworks as the Canadians have their photos taken.

After the hockey game, Bryan and Paul walked back to the hotel and enjoyed seeing the Olympic flame.

After the hockey game, Bryan and Paul walked back to the hotel and enjoyed seeing the Olympic flame.

Bringing Our Reclaimed Beams Home

Friday, February 19th, 2010

We completed several tasks on our critical path to completing our SIP roof today.  An important task was to have all of the beams on site so they could be graded.  Having our beams is critical so the structural framing can be completed on the ground floor so we can move the SIPs onto the roof with the crane on Wednesday.

Picking Up Our Reclaimed Beams After Milling in Watsonville

Dave Merchant, from Out of the Woods, loaded the three beams that we milled to size on Tuesday at his site in Bonny Doon.  Dave met Bryan in Watsonville at Jackel Enterprises, where we loaded the remainder of the beams that were being milled.  From there, Bryan followed Dave up Highway #1 and over the hill to our project site.  There, our framing crew unloaded the beams by hand and staged them for grading.

Charlie Jourdain, from Redwood Inspection Service in Pleasant Hill, arrived on our site as planned and the beams were ready for him.  Charlie examined and graded each beam, then stamped the end of each beam.  He will be sending us a certificate stating the grade of each beam.  Note that Redwood Inspection Service is a division of California Redwood Association, of which Charlie is the President.

Loading our recently milled reclaimed Douglas Fir beams in Watsonville.  The beams on the truck were milled by Dave Merchant in Bonny Doon.

Loading our recently milled reclaimed Douglas Fir beams in Watsonville. The beams on the truck were milled by Dave Merchant in Bonny Doon.

Bryan followed Dave's truck back from Watsonville.  Dave is going up Winchester Boulevard with our reclaimed beams.

Bryan followed Dave's truck back from Watsonville. Dave is going up Winchester Boulevard with our reclaimed beams.

Dave backed the trailer into our site so it could be unloaded quickly and easily.

Dave backed the trailer into our site so it could be unloaded quickly and easily.

Charlie Jourdain, President of California Redwood Association, came to our job site and graded our reclaimed beams.  Charlie is measuring the grain of the wood as the grain runs diagonally in this beam.

Charlie Jourdain, President of California Redwood Association, came to our job site and graded our reclaimed beams. Charlie is measuring the grain of the wood as the grain runs diagonally in this beam.

Charlie measured and graded all of our beams on site, which were just delivered a few hours ago.

Charlie measured and graded all of our beams on site, which were just delivered a few hours ago.

Making Insulated Headers

On the West side of our house we have two bathrooms.  The beams that support the SIP roof at the front and back of the house extend through the building.  However, we have two bathrooms on the West side and, even with exhaust fans, these bathrooms will have a high moisture content.

To provide greater protection from condensation, our durability plan requires insulated headers to keep keep the surfaces of the exposed beams warmer and prevent condensation from occuring. 

From two of the reclaimed Douglas Fir beams, we had Jackel Enterprises cut two 1-3/4 inch wide planks.  Using these planks, we sandwiched 2 inches of rigid R-10 insulation.  Thus, we end up with an insulated header that is 5-1/2 inches wide and over 19 ft long.  This insulated header will be over the windows in the two bathrooms.

Similarly, we require a small insulated header on the East side of the house, above the exterior Kitchen door.

Francisco makes the insulated headers by sandwiching 2 inches of rigid insulation between two planks, cut from our reclaimed Douglas Fir beams.

Francisco makes the insulated headers by sandwiching 2 inches of rigid insulation between two planks, cut from our reclaimed Douglas Fir beams.

Completed insulated header.  The two pieces of reclaimed Douglas Fir are held together by a number of 4-1/2 inch galvanized SDS screws, countersunk into the planks.

Completed insulated header. The two pieces of reclaimed Douglas Fir are held together by a number of 4-1/2 inch galvanized Simpson Strong Tie SDS screws, countersunk into the planks.

Moving the Temporary Steel Beams

The temporary steel beams supporting the existing East and West walls of our house were moved clear of the structure today.  Several inches of the concrete haunches were removed so the existing walls are now free and clear, and are entirely supported by the house once again.

We’re ready to remove the temporary steel beams from the site on Wednesday, February 24.

Reducing Construction Waste

Renovation and construction projects can generate a tremendous amount of waste that goes to landfill sites.  According to the LEED for Homes Reference Guide, ‘Construction and demolition wastes constitute about 40% of the total solid waste stream in the United States.’  For our project, we are targeting to create as little construction waste as possible.  When our Green Rater, Darrel Kelly, came to our project site on Tuesday, February 16, he was surprised, and delighted, to see how little waste we were generating as we were using three 35 gallon garbage bins to hold our framing debris.

Earth Bound Homes delivered a trailer to our job site today that will be used for all the framing debris.  All the framing waste on our job site was dumped into the trailer as it will be taken for recycling.  We will obtain tags on the debris removed with the trailer.

This is the trailer from Earth Bound Homes, which contains all of our framing debris to date.  Note that a number of the pieces in trailer are reclaimed wood, which would otherwise be landfill.  This debris will be taken for recycling, not landfill.  Reduce, reuse and recycle (redirect).

This is the trailer from Earth Bound Homes, which contains all of our framing debris to date. Note that a number of the pieces in trailer are reclaimed wood, which would otherwise be landfill. This debris will be taken for recycling, not landfill. Reduce, reuse and recycle (redirect).

Overview and Inspection of Progress this Week

Given the days are longer now, Jo-Anne was able to drop by the job site at the end of the day today to inspect our progress. 

Our first major shear wall is in place in Kate’s bedroom (formerly the Master Bedroom).  Having the shear wall in place prior to Jo-Anne’s inspection showed significant progress. 

In line with that shear wall is another shear wall adjacent to the Atrium.  Scott Andersen, who did the conceptual design of the remodel, specified during his most recent job site progress review that we include recessed art niches in the wall behind the glass bridge to the Master Suite.  Three recessed art niches were framed in today and the plywood will be nailed in place next week.

Jo-Anne walked the property and was smiling as she was pleased with our progress this week.

Completed SIP walls on either side of our doorway at the front of the house.

Completed SIP walls on either side of our doorway at the front of the house.

Same view of the foyer, taken on September 29, 2008 when the roof was being deconstructed.

Same view of the foyer, taken on September 29, 2008 when the roof was being deconstructed. Note the diagonal brace on the temporary site fence through the door - it is the same diagonal brace in the photo above. Way cool.

Three art niches that are framed in the shear wall behind the glass bridge facing the Atrium.

Three art niches that are framed in the shear wall behind the glass bridge facing the Atrium.

Example of recessed art niches (not in a contemporary style house).

Example of recessed art niches (not in a contemporary style house).

Example of recessed art niches.

Example of recessed art niches on a large exposed wall.

Plywood 2x6 shear wall between the Living Room and Kate's Bedroom.

Plywood 2x6 shear wall between the Living Room and Kate's Bedroom.

Jo-Anne, standing in Kate's Bedroom, smiles as she walks the property inspecting our progress this week.

Jo-Anne, standing in Kate's Bedroom, smiles as she walks the property inspecting our progress this week.

Our flag is flying and our Insulspan sign is posted.  The site is buttoned up, ready for the rain that is forecasted through the weekend.

Our flag is flying and our Insulspan sign is posted. The site is buttoned up, ready for the rain that is forecasted through the weekend.

Finalizing the Milling of Our Reclaimed Wooden Beams

Monday, February 15th, 2010

‘That’s it Bryan.  If you bring any more beams then we won’t make the Thursday deadline.’  Steve Jackel was smiling, but firm.

‘No problem, Steve.  There aren’t any beams left.’  Bryan was smiling, too.

Delivering Another Two Beams to Watsonville

After coordinating the 2-inch rigid insulation for the exposed slab this morning, Bryan delivered the two 22 ft 6×14 reclaimed Douglas Fir beams to Jackel Enterprises in Watsonville.  Tim was there and unloaded the beams in minutes.  Then, Bryan set to work.

Bryan went through each beam, looking for reinforcing steel (rebar) and nails.  In less than 45 minutes, he removed five pieces of #5 rebar (5/8-inch in diameter) from the two beams a number of nails, and a strap tie.  Steve’s team will use metal detectors to verify no more metal fragments are in the two beams, then the beams can be milled.

Tim had done some initial milling of the 12-1/4 tall by 5-inch wide beam that will be in the Foyer and Master Study.  It looked magnificent.

Tim unloaded the two reclaimed beams with the forklift so Bryan could de-nail them and remove all the metal.

Tim unloaded the two reclaimed beams with the forklift so Bryan could de-nail them and remove all the metal.

Within 45 minutes, Bryan had removed five pieces of rebar and a number of nails from the two beams.

Within 45 minutes, Bryan had removed five pieces of rebar and a number of nails from the two beams.

Steve Jackel enjoys the sunshine while writing up the milling tags for these beams.

Steve Jackel enjoys the sunshine while writing up the milling tags for these beams.

Tim started milling the 12-1/4 inch beam that will be visible in the Foyer and Master Study.

Tim started milling the 12-1/4 inch beam that will be visible in the Foyer and Master Study.

The end of the beam looks beautiful.

The end of the beam looks magnificent.

This beam will be milled to 12-1/4 inches tall.  This face will be visible in the Foyer and Master Study.

This beam will be milled to 12-1/4 inches tall. This face will be visible in the Foyer and Master Study.

Driving to Bonny Doon

After removing all the metal, Bryan drove north through Santa Cruz to Bonny Doon.  As he was driving along Highway #1, Bryan reflected on the same day (February 15) in 1998.  On that day, just north of Davenport on Highway #1, Jo-Anne married Ian Fowler and Merril Schmitt.  We’d love to complete our renovation/construction project and host their visit in February 2011.

Out of the Woods

To get to Dave Mechant’s mill site, one has to stop, open the gate, drive through, close the gate and get to the mill location.  When the sun is shining, as it was today, it is a pleasant break in the day.

Dave and his team were milling some spectacular wood flooring.  They had an order for 1,200 sq ft of vertical grain flooring, with no knots.  Absolutely beautiful wood.

Stop.  Open the gate.  Drive through.  Close the gate.  Drive to the mill location.

Stop. Open the gate. Drive through. Close the gate. Drive to the mill location.

The Out of the Woods milling operation.  It was a great day to be milling wood in the Santa Cruz Mountains.

The Out of the Woods milling operation. It was a great day to be milling wood in the Santa Cruz Mountains.

Take a look at the vertical grain with no knots.  This is very, very nice wood.  Dave had an order for 1,500 sq ft that he was filling.

Take a look at the vertical grain with no knots. This is very, very nice wood. Dave had an order for 1,200 sq ft that he was filling. (You can click on this photo and expand it to full size in your browser.)

Completed bundles of flooring, measured and wrapped very carefully.

Completed bundles of flooring, measured and wrapped very carefully. Dave finds that having eight layers of wood in each bundle is the best, yielding approximately 28 sq ft per bundle.

Measuring Our Beams

Dave will be milling our beams tomorrow so Bryan had to complete the specifications for Dave.  A few minutes with the measuring tape and reviewing the beams.  No problem.  Just have to e-mail Dave the measurements tonight.

Back through the gate, and back to our project site.

Finalizing the milling requirements for these four beams.

Finalizing the milling requirements for these four beams.

John McLaren Visits Our Project Site

John stopped by for a quick visit.  He hadn’t been to the site for several months and we’d made visible progress since then  John and Bryan walked through the framed rooms on the ground floor and lower level. 

He was wearing sandals and shorts, hardly appropriate for an active construction site.  But he was careful.

John McLaren reviews our progress the the Master Bathroom.

John McLaren reviews our progress the the Master Bathroom. Note the smile, open toe sandals and shorts (February in California).

John leaves the 'empty' Wine Dining - sorry John.

John leaves the 'empty' Wine Dining - sorry John.