Archive for April, 2010

Preparing to Install More Structural Beams

Tuesday, April 13th, 2010

There are two major structural beams that we need to install this week.  Both beams are parastrand beams.

One beam supports the mid-level flat roof at the back of the living room.  This 24 ft long drop beam is over the sliding glass doors.

The other beam is the ridge beam in the center of the Atrium.  This is a unique flush beam as it has a piece of angle iron attached to each side of the beam, which will support the SIPs on each side of the center beam.

Larsen Steel provided us with the two pieces of angle iron, which Bryan picked up at their fabrication shop in Gilroy.

Detail from structural plans showing how the beam requires two pieces of angle iron to support the SIPs on the left and right side of the beam.

Detail from structural plans showing how the beam requires two pieces of angle iron to support the SIPs on the left and right side of the beam.

Hanger in place off 8x12, which will support the structural beam over the 24 ft wide opening for our three sliding glass doors.

Hanger in place off 8x12, which will support the structural beam over the 24 ft wide opening for our three sliding glass doors.

 

Hanger and 8x12 supporting mid-level SIP roof at the back of the Living Room.

Hanger and 8x12 supporting mid-level SIP roof at the back of the Living Room.

Structural strapping attached to post in Foyer.

Structural strapping attached to post in Foyer.

Truck loaded with two pieces of angle iron.

Truck loaded with two pieces of angle iron.

Back in the U.S.A.

Sunday, April 11th, 2010

After a week in Argentina, we arrived back in the U.S.A. today.

While we had a great time in Argentina, it is good to be back at the job site to see how things are progressing.  And, to manage that progress.

After unpacking, Bryan did a quick tour of the job site and saw the progress that had been made this week.

The floor in the Kitchen is covered with water.  That is ok as we will have a roof very soon.

The floor in the Kitchen is covered with water. That is ok as we will have a roof very soon.

The posts are in place around the Atrium now.  There will be Simpson CCQs and ECCQs on the tops of each of the posts.

The posts are in place around the Atrium now. There will be Simpson CCQs and ECCQs on the tops of each of the posts; one ECCQ is in place over the 6x6 post in the center of the Atrium.

The South side of the North gable SIP roof is in place.  The North side will be completed this week.

The South side of the North gable SIP roof is in place. The North side will be completed this week.

Installing More Gable Roof SIPs

Thursday, April 8th, 2010

We’re in Argentina and the team from Earth Bound Homes have been taking photos to document their progress.

Gable roof, showing I-joist spline covered with mastic, ready for the adjacent SIP to be put into place.

Gable roof, showing I-joist spline covered with mastic, ready for the adjacent SIP to be put into place. Photo credit ? Francisco Espinoz.

Hosting the AIA’s San Mateo County Chapter Monthly Meeting on May 26

Sunday, April 4th, 2010

The San Mateo County Chapter of the AIA is holding their monthly meeting at our project site on Wednesday, May 26 from 5:30 to 8:30 pm.  Here is a copy of the brochure.

Eichler Green Remodel and Construction Tour

The agenda for the meeting is as follows:

5:30 to 6:30 pm Registration, dinner and networking
6:30 to 7:30 pm Presentation
7:30 to 8:30 pm Individual Q and A, tour and networking

This program meets AIA/CES criteria and participants will receive 1.0 Learning Unit in Sustainable Design (SD).

Space is limited so attendees must register with Martha D’Amico, Executive Director of the AIA San Mateo County Chapter, via e-mail (aiasmc@sbcglobal.net). 

The event includes dinner and refreshments.  $10.00 for members and $12.50 for non-members.

Getting Ink in the San Jose Mercury News

Saturday, April 3rd, 2010

It was Los Gatos Little League Day today and we were there with Nik and Kate for the opening ceremonies (Nik is playing AAA on the Red Sox and Kate is playing Machine Pitch with the Orioles). 

After the ceremonies, Jo-Anne walked with Nik and Kate a few blocks to Starbucks to burn some energy and get some coffee.  Our neighbor, Kel Marchbank, was there and said, ‘Saw you guys in the San Jose Mercury News today.’

Way, way cool …

San Jose Mercury News, April 4, 2010

San Jose Mercury News, April 4, 2010

How Eichler’s ‘California Modern’ is going green
By Judy Peterson
Bay Area News Group

When real estate developer Joseph Eichler started building homes in Northern California in 1950, he targeted middle-class home buyers who appreciated the houses’ light and airy architecture that eventually became known as California Modern. With skylights and floor-to-ceiling windows that looked out onto gardens, patios and pools, the houses reflected Eichler’s vision was to “Bring the Outside In.”

Fast forward to the 1960s, when Eichler set his sights on Monte Sereno, building a 16-house subdivision on Via Sereno, off Winchester Boulevard. One of those Eichlers is being rebuilt to reflect what could well be called California Green. The new California style is sustainable, healthier homes, with many homeowners trying to achieve LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification.

Homeowners Bryan and Jo-Anne Mekechuk bought their 1969 Eichler in 1997. At the time, they had no children. Now they have two, plus they needed room for visiting grandparents. So, it was time to remodel.

At first, the couple considered adding a second story.

“A second floor on an Eichler is not appropriate,” Mekechuk says.

Instead, they took the house apart board by board and dug a basement. Even so, Mekechuk says the home will remain true to Eichler’s vision.

“We kept all the design,” Mekechuk said. “The footprint of the house is identical. For example, the garage door is in the same place.”

Well, almost identical. Besides the basement, 18 square feet was added and three windows were moved. But two windows at the front of the home are identical and Eichler’s trademark atrium will be rebuilt.

Mekechuk is reusing 100 percent of the original home’s redwood boarding, while adding structural insulated panels-styrofoam insulation sandwiched between plywood. Mekechuk gets LEED points for that. The LEED rating system gives homeowners points that, when added up, can determine if a house is LEED certified or if it is certified as silver, gold or platinum. Mekechuk is shooting for platinum.

The Mekechuks also get points for holding educational open houses.

But it is the guts of the house itself that will determine if they reach their platinum goal. That’s why a cistern was dug to capture rainwater that will irrigate drought-tolerant plants. Polished concrete floors are a key element as well.

“It’s easy to keep concrete clean, plus it doesn’t trap dust and dander,” Bryan Mekechuk says. The concrete floors are composed of 70 percent slag. “Slag is a byproduct of steel production. Slag usually goes to the landfill,” he adds.

The house will be heated and cooled by a geothermal system.

“Geothermal takes warm water out of the ground and uses it to heat the house through tubing in the concrete floors,” Mekechuk says. “Cooling is the reverse of that.”

Mekechuk also plans to put 48 solar panels on the roof.

“Monte Sereno is really pulling out all the stops to encourage this kind of project,” Mayor Don Perry said at a recent open house. “We’ve waived all permit fees for solar panels. We’re really proud of this project.”

Mekechuk expects his new “Eichler Green” to be completed by late October.

© San Jose Mercury News.

Assembling Our First Gable SIP Roof

Thursday, April 1st, 2010

With the lower flat SIP roof and mid-level flat SIP roof completed, the team from Earth Bound Homes started to assemble the first gable roof.

The gable roofs have a 12:12 pitch so the angle at the peak of the roofs is 90 degrees.  We designed the SIP roof so one roof section is 12-1/2 inches longer than the other section, so the SIPs are not mitered, or split, in the center.  Other designs for such roofs use mitered connections.

At the base of each gable roof, we used rimboard with mitered ends.  The rimboard is fastened to the mid-level SIP roof and then the gable SIPs are attached to the mitered RM boards.  The top of the short gables have a 2×12 plate that the longer gables overlap with.  The overlapping gables are attached through to the structural ridge beam.

Structural details showing 2x12 in both the short SIP gable and long SIP gable.

Structural details showing 2x12 in both the short SIP gable and long SIP gable.

 

These two flush beams will be inside the mid-level flat SIP roof very soon.  The Living Room gable roof will be attached to the structrural beam on the left and the posts for the upper-level flat roof will be attached to the structural beam on the right.  Note the flush steel beam inside the SIP, which is supported by the steel post.

These two flush beams will be inside the mid-level flat SIP roof very soon. The Living Room gable roof will be attached to the structrural beam on the left and the posts for the upper-level flat roof will be attached to the structural beam on the right. Note the flush steel beam inside the SIP, which is supported by the steel post.

 

Ridge beam detail.  Note how the post supports the non-structural Douglas Fir beam from the original house, which is under the parastrand structrural beam, and these two beams have a continuous strap from one side of the post over the top to the other side of the post.  As well, there is a wide strap at the back, holding the structural beam and non-structrural beam to the post.  On top, we have a custom-milled triangular piece of wood that will support the two SIP roofs, which will connect at a 90 degree angle.

Ridge beam detail. Note how the post supports the non-structural Douglas Fir beam from the original house, which is under the parastrand structrural beam, and these two beams have a continuous strap from one side of the post over the top to the other side of the post. As well, there is a wide strap at the back, holding the structural beam and non-structrural beam to the post. On top, we have a custom-milled triangular piece of wood that will support the two SIP roofs, which will connect at a 90 degree angle.

 

Rimboard, with the ends cut off.  This rimboard will be connected to the mid-level flat roofs snd support the SIP gable roofs.

Rimboard, with the ends cut off. This rimboard will be connected to the mid-level flat roofs snd support the SIP gable roofs.

 

We used Simpson Column Caps (CCQs) to connect the posts to the structural beams.  The FSC-certified 2x6s formed the base of each of the SIP pony walls. around the Atrum.

We used Simpson Column Caps (CCQs) to connect the posts to the structural beams. The FSC-certified 2x6s formed the base of each of the SIP pony walls. around the Atrum.

 

Lifting the first SIP gable into place over the rimboard and ridge beam.

Lifting the first SIP gable into place over the rimboard and ridge beam.

 

First SIP gable in place over the Foyer.

First SIP gable in place over the Foyer.

 

Opposite end of first SIP gable.  Note the holes in the foam for the electrical chases.  Ultimately, the ends of these SIP gable roofs will have structrural LVL between the OSB and then the rakes will be covered with 2x fascia.  And, that will be covered with zinc.

Opposite end of first SIP gable. Note the holes in the foam for the electrical chases. Ultimately, the ends of these SIP gable roofs will have structrural LVL between the OSB and then the rakes will be covered with 2x fascia. And, that will be covered with zinc.

 

View from Via Sereno of first SIP gable in place.

View from Via Sereno of first SIP gable in place.

 

First SIP gable roof, showing open ridge detail  Note the holes for the chases that run vertically through the SIP roof.

First SIP gable roof, showing open ridge detail Note the holes for the chases that run vertically through the SIP roof.

 

First gable on opposite side.  This SIP gable is longer than the other SIP gable.  Note the 2x12 that is inside the first (shorter) SIP gable.

First gable on opposite side. This SIP gable is longer than the other SIP gable. Note the 2x12 that is inside the first (shorter) SIP gable.

 

Posts over Dining Room and Kitchen.  We need to put the Douglas Fir beams and structural beams in place over these posts next.

Posts over Dining Room and Kitchen. We need to put the Douglas Fir beams and structural beams in place over these posts next.