The crowning touch of the rough framing at 100 Club Drive has to be the true Douglas Fir timber trusses being set this afternoon. It was reassuring to witness all the months of planning required to get to the point of erection, and seeing it fit together with the structure above designed to house it. These timbers are nothing short of magnificent. The concealed fasteners are two expanding cross pins called Timberlinx which are stronger than traditional mortise and tenon joints. Spaced at 8′-0″ centers, spanning over 40′-0″, these timbers are showcase quality adding sophistication and authenticity to the home. The wall panels have parallam columns to support the massive amount of weight generated by their girth. Openings in precise locations of the doubled, three piece roof trusses above were coordinated with the timber engineering to assure accuracy. The dining area and kitchen utilized shorter span timbers, shadowing the larger, great room timber shape. Qualifying as a Fortified Home, the load paths are evaluated by an independent structural engineer working in conjunction with the local engineer of record. The use of component technology, with the added twist of working a plan around the giant timbers, made this project as gratifying as it was memorable.
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Tucked away off 6th Ave S and Waterway Drive in North Myrtle Beach is Babb Custom Homes latest component construction home. Consisting of three levels, this piling house has a beautiful view of the Intercoastal Waterway and has been under construction for a little over one week. All of the walls past the first level have been set in place with a crane and shuffled to their respective positions Much of the anchorage hardware, necessary bracing and blocking is handle on the level as they move upwards. The use of wall panels aids in the completion of these items as the level is already basically framed and the permanent fastening requirements can be addressed earlier in the construction process. The second level floor system was to be set and sheathed before the third level wall system arrived to be craned into position. The roof system is scheduled to be delivered on Wednesday the 23rd to allow for several days of deck assemblies. As in most large multi-leveled coastal homes, a combination of steel I beams with deep LVL’s are integral in transference of the load paths generated through both point and uniformed loads. Structural sealed drawings are adhered to in the design of the wall panels and trusses, allowing for the proper strapping as required by code. Babb Custom Homes realizes the benefits yielded by component construction’s review process prior to problems occurring in the field.
The progress on setting the roof system on the 100 Club Drive job site is nothing less than remarkable in my humble opinion. IG Construction crew members, shown here, have a right to be proud of their achievements up to this point. The main roof trusses along with the garage trusses are erected, as the “piggy-back” upper roofs are being swung into place atop the purlins prepared for them. To handle and brace these large span trusses is difficult and dangerous. Their experience was clearly evident as they moved nearly effortless on the top plates, each conducting their individual roles. The left side hip was being nailed as the sunset sunk into the ocean across the street, taking with it all ambient lighting for the work site. The form and the shape of the building is defined by the intricate roof pieces being assembled into place. Nestled between the great room, sitting and kitchen areas walls are columns designed to carry the timber trusses observable from below making this home unique in more ways than one.
Hit hard by the flu bug and relegated to bed for the last two days, I still managed to get to the Dunes Club to handle issues, at least Monday morning that is. The opportunity to go into the structure and take some photos yielded these pictures of the variety of plate heights present on the job. Ranging from 10′-0″ to 18′-0″ tall, the angled walls on either side of the great room were the most striking. This afternoon, the general contractor sent me the one where trusses were set over the same area, a “little house he was building in the Dunes Club” he called it. Thought it was fitting showing the massive great room walls capped with the vaulted ceiling that will house the exposed timber trusses below them. Actually, as mentioned in the previous post, nearly the same amount of trusses started shipping today to occupy the same area vacated by what was set. The wall panels using the Framers Series lumber were erected without much of a hitch. Not the same result for the roof trusses though, as three problems arose leading to creative problem solving. I am fortunate to have a design staff and an insightful general contractor to review the situation and choose the correct course of action to solve them. One of them involved the 4 ply girder bearing height. You can imagine the amount of materials and labor it takes to screw, bolt and arrange the hangers prior to setting it. Being able to use it and stay on schedule, finding the most advantageous solution, was probably the most significant single decision of the whole project thus far.
Any question I had regarding breaking the main roof trusses into two orders was cast aside upon arriving at the job site for 100 Club Drive this morning. What is shown here is “Part 1″ consisting of four individual truckloads. After the rain subsides, the crane is due to begin setting this massive amount of trusses, creating room for “Part 2″ scheduled for Wednesday of next week. The interior wood wall panels are completely set, of which I didn’t even enter the structure to take pictures as I marveled at roof deliveries in front. “Part 2″ is almost as large of a shipment as what you see here so the framing crew has their work cut out for them preparing for it. Literally there is no room for any materials left until “Part 1″ is set into place. Besides consuming all storage area in the front, there are trusses clear spanning over 66 feet long in these stacks. Special lifting and bracing details are required in handling trusses this large. Of special interest are the trusses over the great room, designed 12″ o/c and doubled. This section envelops the true Douglas Fir timbers below, stubbed around the masonry fireplace as necessary. The wall panels in the great room were engineered to carry the huge point loads via parallam columns. Although the roof trusses above will carry the roof and ceiling loads, these timber trusses spaced 8′-0″ o/c are extremely heavy, generating their own forces needing a load path to the foundation. All these factors were prepared for in advance through the coordination of timber engineering firm working in unison with the truss and wall panel designers to assure success.
Making a conscious effort to display finished work, I present you with the installed version of a previous post Balustrade. I could have added several other adjectives to the title but no number of them can describe what these photographs do. How does it go? A picture is worth a thousand adjectives or something like that? Coming from a structural background where most of what I am involved with ends up covered in sheet rock, it is certainly more rewarding to have a project like this on a resume. This is the focal point of this home and First Flight Stairs, from concept to creation, worked with the general contractor and their clients to embellish the interior of the home. The railing and balustrade installation took less than one day due to every prefabricated section fitting accurately together, in unison with staircase previously erected. What is particularly striking to me is the up easing connecting the lower balustrade to the upper balcony. It seems to lend an even “flow” to the stairs symmetry, creating a natural juncture between the two. The front door inlay pattern was also a consideration in the pattern chosen for the balustrade. The nosing for the staircase was coordinated with the flooring install a few weeks ago, so that it was adjusted for the flooring thickness. Usually, the flooring color choice dictates the species and ultimately the stain used for the railing, in this case mahogany. The wall coloring being light accentuates the dark wood flooring.
Interesting story about how an oak tree stood tall against development from my jobsite visit to 100 Dunes Club this afternoon. The garage attic frames were being set today but the oak tree sat defiantly between the rear of the house and a spot from which the crane could reach the structure. It is an extremely dangerous situation to have the cranes mast even close to full extension so this beautiful oak was impeding construction progress. Surely this oak was planned to be removed as it so extremely close to the home, the framer contented. This was not the case though. The entire house would be moved before the oak would change locations was the answer from the general contractor. The standoff was resolved by, catch this, these 500lb+ trusses being carried by hand next to the garage where the crane was positioned. Let me tell you, there were some aching framing crew members the day after that ordeal. A little “Christmas Miracle” story for y’all in which the oak, who had earned it’s entitlement place in the universe, will continue to occupy the space for years to come. And how sometimes progress is detoured by preserving the past. A legacy that I hope will never be ignored or forgotten. We are all visitors here. Our legacy is determined by the housekeeping bill we hand our decedents…
Nestled in the foliage of serene Tidewater Plantation in North Myrtle Beach, work to complete dry in continued on lot 227. This houses cantilevered overhangs served several purposes. They run straight across even with plate level which helps define the freeze boards over top windows. The sub fascia is set at a predetermined height, in this case 2×6. They are energy efficient by allowing high rating R value insulation to travel to the perimeters of the exterior wall. Probably the best feature is the easy of installation of the soffit materials. It is a selling point I put this way to interested clients: “not everyone buys cantilevered overhangs from me, but those that do always reorder them”. Kinda a non confrontational way of gentle persuasion. I had a flash of the “Dos Equis” man (stay thirsty my friends..). Foundation strapping required in this 130 mile per hour wind zone was inlayed into the 7/16″ sheathing. Coastal construction differentiates itself from inland construction by the hurricane anchorage and foundation strapping requirements. Wall panel construction can accommodate these necessary connections just as truss designs are the point of reference for uplift values. Load paths are identified and the correctly sized header members, whether it be LSL,Timberstrand or LVL, are used to transfer the load to the foundation. I talked to the general contractor today about the overall performance of the component system. He commented about consistency being the most beneficial byproduct. When the products arrive, they are ready to be installed with the guess work removed.
My new catch phrase is “working to the speed of business”. Custom home construction requires time sensitive activities occurring sequentially, with the later affecting the former in terms of levels and load paths. When it was discovered the heavy timber trusses which are enveloped by the great, sitting, and dining room main roof trusses, were too shallow at the bearing, it was time to jump to action. The design manager and project designer drove from Charleston to the site in Myrtle Beach to resolve this critical issue. The garage attic trusses were released for delivery once it was discovered they would not be affected by the decisions made today. Combined with the main house roof trusses, there is a whopping 29,420 square feet of roofed area, requiring 1060 sheets of 7/8″ thick sheathing. “Working to the speed of business” requires the garage trusses, interior wall panels, roof sheathing delivered from the west coast, and main roof trusses to be delivered within a two week period. Oh, I forgot to mention the Christmas holiday abbreviated work schedules thrown in between. What makes this special to me is the challenge presented. Working with Rod Edwards of Innovative Design / Build makes this tedious approval process so much easier with his perceptual prowess stemming from his architectural background. He truly enjoys facing obstacles that require intelligent design for the one correct solution required to satisfy the specific need. I left knowing the 2 hours we spent today saved several weeks of passing corrected designs back and forth. Even more important, it kept the sequence of events ready to unfold on track.
With the wall panel delivery on Wednesday of last week, walls were standing on my Friday morning arrival. This new component construction home in Tidewater Plantation features 2×6 10′-0″ tall walls. Temporary bracing is evident until the walls are permanently fastened to the foundation. Babb Custom Homes, having the most experience with erecting these packages, has refined the process into predictable construction practices. A good example of this is using impact resistance windows, two studs as opposed to a 2×6 separation makes the fit easiest to work with. By specifying particular kneewall heights for kitchen pass through walls, valuable onsite labor is eliminated. The roof truss system was to arrive later that Friday morning to be set on Monday. Even a jobsite that lacks much open area to place materials can be serviced with component construction. By staging wall components, loose material, and trusses, for their respective appropriate arrivals times allows the job not to be overrun on existing space. The garage door opening was completed less the LVL header which will be in the roof package being delivered. This knowledge and expectations of the sequence of events is the result of pre-construction planning. Implementation of the plan is realized seamlessly through correct, on time deliveries based on their needs.