Progress on the pile alignment was evident on today’s visit to the site on Ocean Blvd. in N. Myrtle Beach. The LVL girder system is being notched into the pilings as the crew works it’s way around the final adjustments on the pilings. The next step will be setting the 20″ deep floor trusses on top of the girder framework, sheath the floor with 3/4″ T+G, awaiting a crane hoist to set the bundles of the 1st floor wall panels onto the infrastructure. This set of panels are unsheathed mainly due to the weight. The 20″ deep floor trusses make mechanical trades work much eaiser due to the wide panel lengths. A panel is basically two diagonal webs or one vertical / one diagonal. Flex duct winds it’s way easily from point A to B. There are still a few areas where 20″ LVL’s are raised into the floor system which has the tendency to block off mechanical runs. This is where planning differenciates component construction from conventional framing. The continuous load paths originating from the roof, through the walls and floors, to the foundation are calculated, analyzed, and designed by both the truss and panel designers. What is delivered to the jobsite has been reviewed and approved by the general contractor from the shop drawings and layouts provided. The outcome is predictable results by working the plan.
Archive for February, 2012
Aligning the pilings to create the foundation of the Ocean Blvd job to match the plan is going to take some elbow grease. The crew is using chains and a comealong starting from the base of one piling to the midpoint of the one that needs to be adjusted. They painstakingly “ratched” to slightly overcompensate so that the finish product settles straight for the front to back alignment after physically securing their position. Batter boards at the top of the pilings are stringlined to maintain consistency as well. Moving the pilings into position is requiring a 2 ton puller and a ton extra of patience.
Today on the Ocean Blvd jobsite the Cedar Built crew stayed busy cutting off the pilings (approximately 4′-0″). When I reported on the last post the pilings were 26′-0″ I was really off base. They are actually 45′-0″ tall. Removing the 4′-0″ top of the piling still leaves a comfortable margin of 19″-0″ above sea level. The minimum height to the bottom notch is 18′-6″ so the extra 6″ is a safety precaution. The next difficult task that awaits the crew is to affix batter boards to aid in the straighten process of the pilings. It will entail a combination of transit use, tape measuring, level verifying and straight out brute force to get them aligned properly. As Charlie Babb, the GC, puts it this is the most critical period in the entire home erection. What is done to create the best possible foundation will be carried all the way to the top of the structure. After the pilings are in position, the floor system set and sheathed, a bond beam will be poured to secure the pilings permanently.
Pilings are set for the next component construction house in North Myrtle Beach, 109 Ocean Blvd. A small 9 unit building was removed to make way for this two story house going up right in the thick of all the action come summer. The pilings are 26″-0″ long awaiting the setting of the LVL girder system tomorrow, which is the same day as the first and second floor trusses arrive. Wall panel deliveries are beginning on Monday 2/20 and will conclude on the 21st as there is sure to be multiple loads. The exterior walls on this structure are 2×6 with 9′- 1 1/2″ plate height on the first floor and 10′- 1 1/2″ on the second story. We use galvanized nails for protection of the corrosive elements presented by salt air, not only on this ocean front house, but any house within 25 miles of the coastline. The panels will arrive unsheathed make them slightly less heavy because of the heights that need to be dealt with on this type of construction. Babb Custom Homes, in charge of the entire plan, will utilize a crane to lift the panel stacks to the appropriate level. The cost of the crane is factored into the costs of construction ensuring the safety of his crew and the integrity of the preassembled wall panels. Not everyone involved with component construction uses this logic but I believe in the interest of time and safety it is the correct approach. Much more later once the construction process unfolds.
Dunn Metalworks’ owner and operator Eric Dunn has stepped up his capabilities by adding a CNC machine to his shop. Now that he has it assembled and set up, we are beginning to see some “samples” roll off the table. The picture illustrating the steel cutouts are for a sign going in a local restaurant. Eric also kicked out a wedding present for his friends by producing a picture frame shown in the other photo. This machine will greatly reduce the time required to produce any steel item he needs. It is extremely precise and efficient with regards to waste. A wood router can be attached replacing the plasma cutter which I am sure will be attempted in the near future.
Dating back to the last week in January, these pictures illustrate the progress being made on the Ash, NC jobsite. This is a two story house on a crawl in which floor trusses and LVL’s were used in the foundation space. The supporting walls above are 2×6 so the LVL’s used are 3 ply (5 1/4″ wide) to suit. The garage is a separate structure and has a fully functional attic space built into it. At the center dormer, floor trusses clear span and run perpendicular to the attic floor to keep load off of the garage multi-ply girder trusses. The depth of the floor system is 14″ on both with the floor system of the attic garage being built in the 1 1/2″ direction and manufactured in the roof trusses system. This allows for plumbing pipes, wiring, and HVAC flex duct to have the ability to pass through the bottom chord verses having a solid lumber preventing the continuation.