7_05_11 One day after the holiday celebration and the roof system is having underlayment in place preparing for the roofing material chosen to be applied. The tower, which is above the 10′-0″ first story wall height at 15′-0″, will contrast the 2nd story plate height at 20′-0″. The porch beams can be seen before they are wrapped and waterproofed. They are 3 ply 16″ deep LVL’s, each ply is 1 3/4″ making the beam 5 1/4″ in total width. The plan here was to fill the cavity created by the 2×6 walls which are 5 1/2″ in width. Looking at some of the other photos, you can see above the showroom area where a large attic frame truss will house the HVAC equipment. Utilizing the center space of the truss where the most height is located, there is a large boxed room in which the HVAC units can not only be centralized and stored for maximum efficience, but be serviced as well. There is plenty of storage area above the warehouse floor. The floor trusses were loaded for 125 psf (pounds per squared foot) of live load. Whatever can be stored up there certainly the floor trusses can handle at that loading. The owner, thinking about future expansion, was also perceptive enough to build in some flexibility by having the potential of additional office space on the right side of the stair. We were even able to truss a small “out” electrical building which will now blend in with the rest of the structure. I have always said the use of components (wall panels, floor trusses, and roof trusses) if they were to add nothing else to the building process, cause you to plan before you leap into building. The three hour approval process gathered all concerned parties together to review and evaluate the individual components of the building in relationship to each other. What resulted was a building which encountered no surprises (or as I like to refer to it as “predictable results”) and a timely reopening for Ford Fuel and Propane.
6_29_11 Five days into framing and this project has all the walls, floor trusses and roof trusses set and is in the sheathing process to complete dry in. That is just pure impressive for a building of this size to have accomplished. Cudos go to Mike Bell Construction of Conway, SC for accomplishing this feat. This is what production building is all about. Studies conducted by WTCA (Wood Truss Council of America) “Framing The American Dream” have initiated this theory years ago. The difference now is the type of materials being used on this job are vastly different than previous offerings. Engineered lumber technology utilized in wall panels and trusses is leading construction methodology into the 21st century. A superior product is the result of the best materials being erected in less time than conventional framing using conventional materials.
6_24_11 Framing started in earnest on Thursday. The fist load of panels arrive Tuesday in the afternoon and the second came on Wednesday morning. The slab was marked against the panel layout for most of the day on Wednesday leading into starting in the showroom area 10′-0″ tall panels being set first. Those panels were sheathed with 7/16″ OSB and were transported into place via forklift due to weight. The OSB is not a standard variety, it is a product called Tall Walls by Norbord which saves a tremendous amount of labor by eliminating blocking required on traditional 4×8 OSB. The top plate is not added to the factory assembled wall panels as it is nailed on in the field to connect them together. This project has three plate heights, showroom at 10′-0″, entrance roof and beam level of 15′-0″, with the warehouse in the rear at 20′-0″. The 10′-0″ wall are constructed out of 2×6 Framer’s Series I Level studs, known for their straightness and with the crown arrow marking prominently displayed on each one. The true two story walls that are 20′-0″ tall (less the top plate of course) are constructed using 2×8 Framer Series studs. Since there is a floor system which will break the plane between two walls that equal 20′-0″, their construction is 2×6 Framer Series just like the lower level walls. The Parallam columns used for the vertical support in the rear warehouse garage door was specifically designed and specified by the structural engineer. The LVL’s and Timberstrand headers complete the package of a highly efficient, empirically proven wall system, not to mention all “green” products (gosh I guess I just did mention it, oh well). In combination with the use of roof and floor trusses, this entire package of building products proves that planning creates predictable results. Ultimately, those predictable results translate into time and labor savings, the goal of any successful construction venture.
6_21_11 Today Ford Fuel and Propane began the renormalization project of starting their new retail and office center. After the fire that claimed the old building had been cleared out, a construction trailer had been the temporary setting for housing the employees. That is about to change in a large way. A beautiful storefront and two story warehouse slab was poured today. The walls will be 2×6 for the one story 10′-0″ plate heights and 2×8 for the two story 20′-0″ plate heights. The owner made a wise decision to use the Framer Series lumber in the form of prefabricated wall panels. The warehouse two story area in the rear will have a garage door opening utilizing parallam columns supporting the LVL garage door header. Inside the warehouse will be a mezzanine area constructed of 18″ deep floor trusses for a storage area on one side and a place to expand the business in the future by means of additional office space in the other side. The primary interest in construction was to build back as efficiently and quickly as possible. I anticipate a large framing crew here and a example of how wall panels can be used to expedite framing and accelerate construction time. I will be posting nearly everyday on this project to keep track of the progress and to illustrate the techniques employed.