Archive for the ‘Hollow Core Concrete Panels’ Category

Cutting through Our PEX

Friday, May 20th, 2011

We thought we missed the PEX.  Not quite …

One of the 97 holes that we drilled cut through one of the PEX loops, within 20 inches of the manifold.  Fortunately, there will be a cabinet base that will cover the area where we removed the concrete to expose the cut PEX so we can repair it.

We were so close …

Hole in our PEX in the Upper Laundry room.
Hole in our PEX in the Upper Laundry room.

 

Close up of the cut.  We will be able to repair this and it will be hidden under a cabinet.

Close up of the cut. We will be able to repair this and it will be hidden under a cabinet.

 

Coring Through Our Concrete – Day 1

Monday, May 16th, 2011

After confirming the location of our PEX in the concrete, we started coring through the penetrations today.  As before, we had Penhall Company send a technician to do the coring.

The penetrations are for water supply (hot and cold), drains, drain vents, air ducts, hydronic heating/cooling (supply and return), and electrical wiring.  The holes (penetrations) range in size from 1-1/4 inch through to 5 inches.

We completed more than half of the penetrations today.  We will complete the coring tomorrow.

Getting set up to core through the concrete floor under the island in the Kitchen.

Getting set up to core through the concrete floor under the island in the Kitchen.

Coring the third hole (in a line).  Hot water supply, cold water supply, and the drain.  These penetrations are with the wall in the Guest Suite below.

Coring the third hole (in a line). Hot water supply, cold water supply, and the drain. These penetrations are aligned with the wall in the Guest Suite below.

One of the five-inch cores was directly in line with the void in one of our hollow core concrete panels.  This core shows the void and the 5-1/4 inches of concrete on top of the hollow core concrete panel.

One of the five-inch cores was directly in line with the void in one of our hollow core concrete panels. This core shows the void and the 5-1/4 inches of concrete on top of the hollow core concrete panel.

We drilled the hole for the tub drain in Kates bathroom, and managed to avoid hitting the PEX!

We drilled the hole for the tub drain in Kate’s bathroom, and managed to avoid hitting the PEX!

There are a number of penetrations under the sink in Kates bathroom.  The two 4-1/2 inch holes on the left are for both dryer vents, and the 4-1/2 inch hole on the right is for the supply air into Kates bedroom for the displacement air ventilation.

There are a number of penetrations under the sink in Kate’s bathroom. The two 4-1/2 inch holes on the left are for both dryer vents, and the 4-1/2 inch hole on the right is for the supply air into Kates bedroom for the displacement air ventilation.

Starting to Core-Drill

Monday, November 15th, 2010

We have numerous penetrations from the ground floor to the lower level through our hollow core concrete panels.  Today, we had Penhall Company core the first 12 holes.

Also, Al and Nep completed installing the temporary lighting throughout the lower level (basement) and then they worked with Bryan to put the first layer of GAF’s Deck Armor on the South face of the South gable roof.

We’re continuing the drive to be weather tight.

Engaging Penhall Company for Our Core Drilling

We need to have a number of holes through the concrete floor from the ground floor to the lower level.  These holes are for plumbing (drains, hot and cold water, and vents), the central vacuum system, electrical, radiant heating and cooling (supply/return lines), communications wiring, and air ventilation.  There were a number of ‘structural’ penetrations for Simpson Strong Tie connections (with HTT22 hold downs), which were completed and had to be in specific locations.

Provided that there are no point loads in the vicinity, John Minton, Chief Engineer for Hanson Structural Precast, advised us that we could drill holes pretty much anywhere through the hollow core concrete panels.  On the West side of the house, we have multiple penetrations for plumbing and air vents. 

The single person from Penhall Company arrived at ~11:25 am and Bryan oriented him to the project and site.  Then, he set to work with his core drill and completed 4 3-inch holes, 2 5-inch holes and 6 1-inch holes.  The first 3-inch hole was in ‘open concrete’ (not a framed wall).  After getting set up, the coring started at 11:58 am and was completed at 12:06 pm.  Eight minutes to core through 11-1/4 inches of concrete.  Including orientation, start up and shut down, the 12 holes took 4 hours.

The technician doing the coring advised Bryan that he could core at an angle, and could core any size in 1/2-inch increments, from 1 inch through to 10 inches with the equipment on his truck.  He came equipped with a vacuum to clean the cuttings.  Next time, Bryan will ensure there are garbage cans in the lower level to catch the debris from each coring.  That will make cleaning up fast and easy.

We need to put scaffolding in place for any holes we require in the wall or in the ceiling (from the lower level going up. 

Measuring Our Front Door Opening

Nathan Merrill, from American Ornamental Iron, came to the job site at noon to measure the opening for the door frame that he will be designing and fabricating.  Nathan reviewed the location and discussed design alternatives to ensure the door is watertight and airtight.  He wanted to confirm the dimensions in person and discuss the finishing with Bryan.

Nathan stressed that the door will be fabricated soon and that Bryan needs to identify and order the door handle hardware.  This is on the ‘critical path’ for completing the door.

We want to have the Eichler signature door in place quickly since (1) we want to be weather tight and, importantly, (2) we want to have our traditional holiday card photo taken in front of the red door.  This is a high priority item for us.

During the discussion, Bryan suggested that the door be insulated with the SpaceLoft insulation, from Aerogel.  This material, of which we have some 598 sq. ft. is R-10.3 per inch.  The material we have is 0.4 inches thick per sheet so Nathan will design and fabricate the door so we can put three layers into the cavity.  An added benefit is that the door can be completely fabricated and then welded together with the SpaceLoft inside.  The heat from the welding will not affect the insulation performance whatsoever.

Then, the conversation turned to painting.  Nathan liked the idea of completing the door before it was powder coated.  When Nathan mentioned powder coating, Bryan asked if Nathan had used Kynar paints before.  No, he had not.  Bryan explained that the sill pans and drip caps were being painted with Kynar paints, and being completed by Top Gun Industrial Finishings in Santa Clara.

There are a couple things for both Nathan and Bryan to follow up on.

The red front door will be way cool …

Protecting the Gable Roofs

The plywood deck on our gable roofs needs to be protected for two reasons.  First, we want to be weather tight soon so the forecasted rains this weekend will not delay the installation of the shakes, once they arrive from Canada.  Thus, we need to put something over the plywood decking to keep it dry until the shakes go on.

Second, the plywood deck itself needs to be protected from the shakes.  We need to have a breathable fabric, such as a 30 lb roofing felt.  However, since we have a TPO single-ply membrane flat roof, we cannot risk the ‘leakage’ of any asphalt- or oil-based substances from contaminating the TPO.

We selected Deck Armor from GAF to use for underlay.  It is a premium product and is very lightweight and lays very flat on the plywood deck.  importantly, it is water resistant yet it still breathes.  Any moisture in the plywood decking below will escape through the ridge vent as well as go through the Deck Armor.  Thus, the shakes should have a longer life as will the plywood roof deck.

Deck Armor can be exposed to UV for up to 180 days.  It will be exposed in our location for less than 30 days.

Bryan picked up two 10-square rolls from Ford Wholesale this morning and then worked with Al and Nep and installed the Deck Armor on the South side of the South gable in 75 minutes.  It was too late to take a photo today.

Anyone driving North-bound on Winchester Boulevard will see our light-blue colored roof now.

Truck from Penhall Company arrived at ~11:30 am.

Truck from Penhall Company arrived at ~11:30 am.

Core drill set up for the first 3-inch hole.

Core drill set up for the first 3-inch hole.

Drilling in progress ... almost there.

Drilling in progress ... almost there.

Done!  The actual drilling took eight (8) minutes (set up and tear down time not included).

Done! The actual drilling took eight (8) minutes (set up and tear down time not included).

Nathan Merrill from American Ordamental Iron arrived on site to measure the front door opening and review the design with Bryan.

Nathan Merrill from American Ornamental Iron arrived on site to measure the front door opening and review the design with Bryan.

Staying on Track

Thursday, March 25th, 2010

Our project is complex and we’re doing our best to stay on track. 

However, our non-maleable building materials (i.e., concrete, glass and steel) make it difficult to correct mistakes or make other changes and, consequently, we’re taking more time and money than we had planned for this project.  That said, a LEED-H Platinum project, by definition, requires more thoughtful planning, material sourcing and handling, and documentation than otherwise.  Especially in an earthquake prone location with increasing seismic conditions.

So, comparing our budget, timeline and other elements to traditional projects, which are generally energy- and resource-intensive, is not appropriate.  But, no surprise, that comparison, and evaluation of our project management, is done by others every day. 

If we were using traditional building materials with traditional construction methods (i.e., stick framing, wooden floor joists and roof rafters, baseboards and door trim) then we should be on a much faster timeline and a lower budget.

We just need to get over it.

Assembling the Lower-Level Flat Roof

Around the entire perimeter of the house is the ‘lower-level flat roof’.  The ceiling height of this roof is identical to the existing house at 96 inches (8 ft).  The only exception to this is the roof at the back of the house, which sits above the lower-flat roof, which we call the ‘mid-level flat roof’.  Yesterday, the entire perimeter roof was completed as the mid-level flat roof connecting the Dining Room and Kate’s Bedroom was assembled.

Way cool.

Steel Flush Beam in SIP Roof

There is only one steel beam in our SIP roof and it is a flush beam that is hidden inside a SIP.  This is a critical beam that supports the upper-level flat roof over the Atrium and allows us to have only one post in the Kitchen area.  And, of course, have an extremely strong structure that meets the new code requirements for seismic conditions.

This steel flush beam sits on top of a lower-level roof SIP over the Garage and goes over the steel post in the Kitchen and is connected to a 7.00 x 11.25 inch Paralam beam that sits on the 8×12 Douglas Fir drop beam.  This steel beam will carry lateral forces into the concrete wall in the Garage so it must be connected robustly to that concrete wall.

The fabrication of the steel beam must include:

  • 5/8 inch Nelson studs to attach 2×6 nailers on the top and bottom;
  • a hole in the top and bottom flange to connect the beam to a 5/8-inch anchor bolt that is embedded in the concrete wall;
  • a Simpson GLT welded to the north end of the steel beam to connect it to the 7.00 x 11.25 Paralam flush beam;
  • two sets of 5/16 inch stiffeners welded in the locations where there are vertical loads (i.e., over the concrete wall and over the steel column);
  • four sets of plates welded to the flanges of the steel beam to connect to the 4×6 and 6×6 posts that support the upper-level flat roof; and
  • four bolts connecting the steel beam to the HSS 4×4 steel column in the Kitchen.

The steel beam must be the correct length and each of the components noted above must be in the correct locations.  Yeah, there is a lot going on with this steel beam.

Hosting Thien Doan’s Site Visit

Duquette Engineering designed the concrete foundation for the structure and Thien Doan did most of the work under Steve Duquette’s supervision.  Thien was at our project site numerous times observing the drilling of the holes for our concrete piers as well as the placement of the reinforcing steel (rebar) in the concrete slabs. 

When Steve Duquette attended our integrated project planning meeting on March 9, 2010, he said that he would like Thien to come by at this interim point in the project and take some pictures.

Thien came to the site today and walked the property with Bryan.  Thien was most interested in the SIPs and how the SIP wall and roof assembly was designed to transfer the shear forces to the concrete foundation walls.  Thien appeared impressed with the design and the construction, noting that there would probably be limited cracking of the sheet rock in the house during an 8.8 earthquake.

Reviewing the Shop Drawings for the Steel Beam with Larson Steel

Bryan drove to Larson Steel’s fabrication shop in Gilroy and met with William Zapeda to go over the measurements they took on Friday, March 19, prior to fabrication of the W8x18 steel beam.  They went over each of the measurements, noting one key area where Bryan needs to confirm with the lead framer from Earth Bound Homes, Francisco Espinoz.

William and Bryan went in the yard and reviewed the actual W8x18 steel beam and measured it.  The beam was a beautiful blue color, which is exactly what we would like the exposed steel beams and two steel columns to look like.

Finding Curb Damage in Los Gatos

The City of Monte Sereno requested that we have three 1-1/2 inch pipes carrying our excess water from our underground cistern to the curb on Winchester Boulevard, where it would then flow into the storm drain.  The engineers from the Town of Los Gatos did not like this design and requested that we connect our underground cistern with an 8-inch pipe connecting directly to the back of the storm drain.

They cited potential damage and maintenance issues as the reasons for requesting this change.  Today, Bryan saw a location where the 1-1/2 inch drain went though a concrete curb and had subsequent cracking and damage. 

Now, we can appreciate the request for a direct connection.

ArchiCAD rendering showing the W8x18 steel beam and the lower-level SIP roof.

ArchiCAD rendering showing the W8x18 steel beam and the lower-level SIP roof.

ArchiCAD rendering showing steel beam and posts supporting the upper-level flat roof structure.

ArchiCAD rendering showing steel beam and posts supporting the upper-level flat roof structure.

Mid-level flat roof at the back of the house.  This is where the three sliding glass panel doors will be located, which will go into a pocket behind the exposed concrete feature wall at the left of this photo (the Dining Room wall).

Mid-level flat roof at the back of the house. This is where the three sliding glass panel doors will be located, which will go into a pocket behind the exposed concrete feature wall at the left of this photo (the Dining Room wall).

View from the middle of swimming pool to the front door, showing the mid-level SIP roof that was assembled yesterday.

View from the middle of swimming pool to the front door, showing the mid-level SIP roof that was assembled yesterday.

Thien Doan, from Duquette Engineering, on the lower-flat roof over the Garage.

Thien Doan, from Duquette Engineering, on the lower-flat roof over the Garage.

View of Master Study and Master Bedroom showing completed 2x4 wall under 6x10 beam in Foyer and pony walls ready to receive the posts and ridge beams to support the SIP gable roof.

View of Master Study and Master Bedroom showing completed 2x4 wall under 6x10 beam in Foyer and pony walls ready to receive the posts and ridge beams to support the SIP gable roof.

Thien taking photos of the SIP roof structure.

Thien taking photos of the SIP roof structure.

Simpson Strong Tie HTT22 connecting the 6x6 post to the hollow core concrete panels.  Solid.

Simpson Strong Tie HTT22 connecting the 6x6 post to the hollow core concrete panels. Solid.

LPT4s in the Master Bedroom, reinforcing the SIP walls to the 6x10 flush beams in the SIP roof structure.

LPT4s in the Master Bedroom, reinforcing the SIP walls to the 6x10 flush beams in the SIP roof structure.

Exposed feature concrete wall at the back of the house, showing the space for the pocket that will hold the three sliding glass panels.  Note that we will be adding a drop beam under the mid-level flat roof.

Exposed feature concrete wall at the back of the house, showing the space for the pocket that will hold the three sliding glass panels. Note that we will be adding a drop beam under the mid-level flat roof.

Measuring the profile of the W8x18 steel beam in Larson Steel's yard in Gilroy.

Measuring the profile of the W8x18 steel beam in Larson Steel's yard in Gilroy

The W8x18 beam is 5-1/4 inches wide.

The W8x18 beam is 5-1/4 inches wide.

We like the blue color of the steel and are considering having all of the exposed structural steel in the house finished in gun-metal steel blue.

We like the blue color of the steel and are considering having all of the exposed structural steel in the house finished in gun-metal steel blue.

Concrete curb in Los Gatos, showing damage caused by the 1-1/2 inch pipe going through the curb.

Concrete curb in Los Gatos, showing damage caused by the 1-1/2 inch pipe going through the curb.

At the end of each day, Jo-Anne does her best to drop by and review our progress.  With the longer days and the time change, it is easier for her to do so.  And, it is always good to see her smiling!

At the end of each day, Jo-Anne does her best to drop by and review our progress. With the longer days and the time change, it is easier for her to do so. And, it is always good to see her smiling!

Trimming a Hollow Core Concrete Panel

Tuesday, September 15th, 2009

One of our hollow core concrete panels is a bit too wide, so it needs to be trimmed.  Sounds easy, right?  Six inches thick and approximately 12 feet long.  Take 2-3/8 inches off.

A local Home Depot rents concrete saws.  For the 4 hour minimum, the charges are approximately $60 for the saw and $60 for the saw blade.  And $7 extra in case something breaks.

Dustin Barclay, from Teamwrkx, was available to help this morning.  He agreed to meet Bryan at the job site at 8:45 am, after Bryan picked up the concrete saw and blade from The Home Depot.

Pickup Up the Concrete Saw

At The Home Depot.

At The Home Depot.

Concrete saw loaded and ready to go.

Concrete saw loaded and ready to go.

At the Job Site

Dustin met Bryan at the job site and helped unload the concrete saw and get it into position.  Clean the area, snap a chalkline, hook up the water hose, and start cutting!

Saw is unloaded and ready, job site is being cleaned up.

Saw is unloaded and ready, job site is being cleaned up.

Snapped the chalk line.  Measure twice, cut once.

Snapped the chalk line. Measure twice, cut once.

Looks good, we're ready to start sawing.

Looks good, we're ready to start sawing.

Cut! Dustin and Bryan made two cuts, and the resulting cut was a bit more than expected.  This will allow a good, wide, stong edge on the steel beam.

Cut! Dustin and Bryan made two cuts, and the resulting cut was a bit more than expected. This will allow a good, wide, stong edge on the steel beam.

Completed the cut.  Time to clean up now.

Completed the cut. Time to clean up now.

The cut piece at the front of the house.  It was heavy!

The cut piece at the front of the house. It was heavy!

 

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John Minton Reviews Our Project

Saturday, June 27th, 2009

We were honored to host John Minton’s visit today.  John is the Chief Engineer with Hanson Structural Precast, and supplied our hollow core concrete panels.  John is in the L.A. area and works in Hanson’s offices in Irwindale, California.

John Reviews Our Project

We have a tiny project with only 48 panels.  During our design and planning, John was always available to answer our questions and help resolve technical issues.  He starts working early so Bryan would call him between 6:00 and 6:30 am, knowing that John would probably answer on the first ring.

John and his wife, Lynanne, and son, Brian, were to attend a family event in Hillsborough and, since they were flying into SJC, they could all stop by our project site for a few minutes. 

His family was very patient while John and Bryan discussed the structural aspects ahead of us.

John Minton, and his wife and son visiting our project site.

John Minton, and his wife, Lyanne, and son, Brian, visiting our project site.

Flattening the Camber in Our Hollow Core Concrete Panels

One of the issues that we needed to understand is how and when the camber would come out of the hollow core concrete panels.  John explained that, as soon as we put the 3 inches of structural concrete over the 6 inch hollow core concrete panels, one-half the camber would come out.  Then, the remaining camber would come out over a couple years.

We discussed various strategies to accelerate the flattening of the panels.  John explained that the fastest way to get the panels to flatten would be to put load on the panels.

The alternatives that we have include:

1. Pour the 3 inches of structural concrete then put the remaining posts/walls in place, and then the roof.  This would increase the load, and then pour the final 2-1/4 inches of concrete.

or

2.  Pour the 5-1/4 inches of concrete in one monolithic pour.

We’ll need to think this one through …

John Minton and Bryan.

John Minton and Bryan.