Wall panels were shipped to the Barefoot Landing community arriving late Thursday afternoon. These pictures were taken Friday afternoon and all walls were stood and braced into position. The house has a number of different plate heights (9′-0″ 12′-0″ and 14′-0″) yet presented few problems for the IG Construction crew to make excellent time on setting them. Usually, a unit of 2x4x16′ spf (spruce pine fur) and a unit of 2x6x16′ spf are delivered by the lumber yard for bracing, top plates, soffit material as well as many other purposes. Sill seal or subfloor adhesive create a bond between the treated bottom plate and the slab. With the temperature hovering over 100 degrees, the options are to work or sit stationary and melt, but most of the time melting occurs in both situations. The schedule for this house was moved up by one day due to shipping restrictions with wide load panels in a tourist destination. Between the Memorial and Labor day holidays, wide loads cannot be hauled on Fridays, so as this set of components were manufactured on Thursday morning the decision was made to ship them in the afternoon. The slab was marked on Thursday allowing walls to be set on Friday. Monday the roof trusses will arrive along with all the sheathing requirements for the roof and walls. Beams between the levels were also shipped with the wall panels. Engineering dictated muli-ply LVL’s 18″ deep are shipped loose for the garage door header and the rear patio door. The maximum length for the panels are 12′-0″ under normal conditions. Being constructed out of the Framers Series lumber, they can be heavy, as dense southern yellow pine is notorious for being. Babb Custom Homes, the general contractor of this project, uses all premium lumber in both the walls and the roof system, which is particular important with the use of slick ceiling finishes. To differenciate oneself in this economic climate the use of component construction offers speed, accuracy, and quality lumber to the equation.
Archive for June, 2012
Towers in place, the Black Creek project can be considered through the rough framing stage of construction. IG Construction’s crew concentrated on interior framing, creating personalized curved ceilings leading to the great room. A circular ceiling framed down from a 22′-0″ high ceiling accentuates the entry, which soars up to the same 22′-0″ walls constructed out of LSL (laminated strand lumber). This creates a presence from the front elevation, but especially from looking upward at the ceiling below the trusses. The steel crew is finishing structure for the rear curved wall which will need to be wood framed to complete. Then windows and doors ordered weeks ago can be set in the rough openings precisely sized to manufacturer suggestions. HVAC, plumbing, and electrical contractors can begin to install the selected systems. A special area to house the HVAC unit was located in a natural position between two beams intersection point in the garage. Floor truss chases were coordinated to align for duct runs between levels. This was accomplished by using components designed from upper level to foundation considering all interior levels between them. It took several approvals from preliminary design to check and confirm against the plans and structurals to completed design. The great thing about component construction is it goes through two designers hands, both the wall designer as well as the truss technician. As they communicate between themselves critical load paths are compensated for, both in correct sizing for the headers as well as stud clusters below roof truss girders. All the documentation, wall panel designs and sealed truss drawings can be verified by building inspection departments simplifying the process. Wall panels are not sealed documents but headers are verifiable.
Ubiquity defined as the property of being present everywhere, may be a reach for the new saw installed in Loris Truss, but after personally witnessing its whirring blades in action, I am a believer. Being one of the most modern and efficient plants in the nation does not afford for them to rest on their laurels. The recent addition of an Omni Miser saw certainly keeps the Coastal Carolina truss plant on the cutting edge (pun intended) of technology. This saw’s capacity is nothing short of incredible. Attached to a bunk feeder, this machine running off a server labels each individual board before precision cutting components devoid of the use of human hands. Board economy is realized as the server determines the most effective use of the lumber being cut. Entire rows of lumber are dropped into position preparing for their individual turn to be snatched, evaluated, cycled, labeled, and cut. The finished product is then placed on a cart and wheeled into a line awaiting manufacturing on the truss gantry. The transition from the traditional four bladed Cyber Saw, fed by forklift onto rollers, is evident. The Omni Miser method is clearly more effective. I watched as small pieces slightly over 1′-6″ long cut into triangular shapes with long scarf cuts were handled with uncanny ease. If the cut was too long for a single swipe the blade backed off after cutting its capacity, adjusted, then moved in for the crowning finishing touch. Even more surprising were the beveled cuts perfectly centered at 45 degree angles, first on the edge, then for the entire lenght of the bottom of the chord. These types of cuts were downright dangerous to handle by hand creating hazards for human operators. I could certainly identify with this advancement as I was around during the days of mitre saws (has it been that long ago?) where such speed and accuracy was inconceivable. Loris Truss is blessed with three of these types of saws, the latest of which is shown here being the most modern and updated. I was told it is presently the only truss plant with that many saws at its disposal. As the summer months escalate the need for more production, it is a welcome addition to assure the truss lines have what they need to reach their goals.
By Tuesday June 19th, the Black Creek house is almost completely framed in. The rear is awaiting steel to be welded as the infrastructure for a two story curved wall. Less the tower framing in a few locations, and some intersecting ridge backframing, the house is almost dried in. IG Construction can begin to concentrate on detailed work inside, such as framing the Juliette balconies on the bridge overlooking the great room and foyer. My unofficial tally of construction time to get to this point is 11 days, allowing for 1/2 days when rain impeded progress. In estimating the time to conventionally frame a house of this size, I deferred to general contractors who have walked and observed the house onsite. The consensus of their opinions was 28 to 31 days. If this is indeed true, component construction has cut construction time to less than half of stick framing. The implications of this time savings is far reaching. Subsequent trades, HVAC, electrical, plumbing, and siding all advance their schedules as a result. I am reminded of what I was once told by a developer years ago who said “as soon as the ground is scratched, it is a race to the finish.” Simply put, time savings is money savings. Planning creates the environment of predictable results and satisfied customers. Of all the benefits illustrated in the component construction arsenal, I believe this is the most important point to drive home. The mystery of building is revealed while using superior materials and the latest technology to advance the science of construction to new heights. Designing components from the top of the structure to the foundation assures the load paths are correctly considered and compensated for. Waste of materials is virtually eliminated because correct sizing of headers and stud clusters are evaluated on paper before they become a problem in the field. At the end of the day, success in construction is realized through the planning stage prior to beginning. Component construction layouts and shop drawings combined with appropriate approval procedures are the methods to this end.
A local chiropractor commissioned Dunn Metalworks to create divider between patients benches. It was cut out on the CNC machine to align vertebrae neatly on a black backdrop for my photo session purposes. Thought it would be a great tie in to the winding aluminum staircase we were constructing in the wood shop. Once site measurements are confirmed a jig is built from wood framing with a bendable plywood, such as luan, forming the curve by which the aluminum can be welded together in sections. These treads are 39 1/2″ wide creating a very comfortable ascent. Eventually the treads will be topped with a nonslip surface of PVC decking material. Rounded rails will follow the contour of the shape before it is painted black. Aluminum is preferable to powder-coated steel in this climate because it weathers better and requires less maintanence over the long haul. The finished product is a durable, custom built access from upper deck to ground adding beauty and value to the buyers home
On Tuesday, June 10th, I visited the Black Creek jobsite to deliver a sealed repair detail on a floor truss damaged during delivery. This is not an unusual occurance due to the odd shapes and sizes of roof trusses in particular. The drivers do a great job maneuvering into tight spots. Inevitably, breaks and damage does occur which requires documents for the authorized repairs. Plywood or OSB 3/4″ is often used as a replacement for connector plates to alter the truss shape or restore broken members. One good way of limiting breakage is to use higher grades of lumber, such as #1 grade versus #2. I have several customers who understand the benefits of integrating premium lumber packages into their construction model. I personally have observed less breakage with the premium standard of #1 top and bottom chords / #2 web members. When damage is incurred, I am the eyes for the structural engineer who will certify the repair conditions I detail via sketching on the shop drawings of the affected trusses.
The crane had set all the upper roof large span trusses as many of the smaller roofs could be set with the Lull forklift onsite. It is very important to brace the roof with the 5/8″ sheathing, even during the setting process. Later diagonal and “T” bracing will be installed as dictated by the sealed shop drawings.
On a previous post I featured the new Mexican restaurant being constructed in Myrtle Beach, Bandito’s. The general contractor sent me this incredible picture of the work as it progresses. Quite the vantage point I am sure you will agree. Located in the heart of the Grand Strand (if Myrtle Beach has one central location that could be considered it’s heart) oceanfront is where everyone goes for the beach experience. Monarch Construction has devoted much time and effort towards expediting the opening of this beautiful new building. Fast track projects such as this take a special dedication to stay aligned with the expectations of opening during the peak tourist season. This beautiful view is as impressive as how efficiently the coordination of the different phases of construction took to get to this point. Being simply the truss supplier, it is an honor and a pleasure to be associated with a project of this magnitude.
Second floor panels are now set on the Black Creek jobsite. Roof trusses are scheduled to be set tomorrow, if the weather cooperates. Considering the 1st floor panels were delivered on Wednesday, May 30th, and construction started on Thursday May 31st, this progress report on June 11th is illustrating what has taken 7 working days to complete. In that total, I have only counted half days when it rained on Tuesday, June 5th and Wednesday June 6th. This represents the essence of component construction. Accurate well planned results based on using quality materials (the Framer’s Series lumber) done with a minimum of time spent in the actual construction phase. All subsequent trades are moved forward as a result of the time savings in drying in the structure.
Although I am posting today, these photos are from Thursday morning. Tremendous progress has developed and the execution of the plan credit has to be given to the IG Construction crew. I have not seen more than 6 workers at any given time yet the results in the time allotted is that of a much larger workforce. All the floor trusses were set in the first clear day of Carolina sunshine and the floor sheating was being applied upon my arrival. The Dryply product by Georgia Pacific created a uniformed 3/4″ surface over the top of the floor certainly tightening the overall system serving as permanent bracing. Manufacturer’s suggestions are followed illustrated by the presence of the 2×6 strongbacks at the HVAC chase, In areas where two floor trusses shared the same bearing wall, a “keyed” bearing condition is used. One truss is the “receiving” truss and has two verticals that cross the entire bearing surface while the other truss has a top chord 3″ bearing and locks into place. The advantage gained is the system stays on center reducing the special cutting of the sheating. The second floor panels should be set in the afternoon making way for setting the roof trusses shown here arriving. Component construction makes building schedules very predictable limiting the management time required with conventional framing. Even fine details such as angled walls are preconstructed ready to be set into place.
The intermittent rains continuing for the last two days, slowed, yet not stopped progress at the Black Creek jobsite. IG Construction crews braved the elements to continue sorting and setting floor trusses undaunted by the damp conditions. The 1st floor wall panels now sheathed with 7/16″ OSB are beginning to give shape to this monsterous structure. Several areas of the second floor plan have cantilevered trusses required. A cantilever is used when the floor space above extends beyond the bearing wall. These particular floor trusses are 18″ deep at 19.2″ o/c use bearing blocks to transfer the floor loading back through the wall some 2′-0″ behind the end of the truss. Additionally, the end of the truss will have a double band to help stabilize this condition. The rear view looking forward illustrates the size of this house. Notice the use of LSL headers 5 1/2″ x 5 1/2″ completely filling the 2×6 wall cavity. Each header situation is evaluated and correctly sized for the load required from above. In some situations, especially sliding glass door and larger picture window openings, LVL’s are the correct options. Conversely, interior non load bearing walls do not require headers at all. The major difference between conventional framing and component construction shown here is that appropriate header conditions are not left up to chance, they are calculated from the top of the structure down to the foundation, assuring the correct sizing is employed.