Wednesday, 25 March 2020

The Final Push for The Cabin In The Woods!

Hi Everyone and thanks for checking in on the progress of The Cabin.  Recall we are building a "one-of-a kind" rammed earth residence in Sooke BC.  Up to this point in time nearly all of the house was sourced from within an 8 mile radius of the construction site.  

Soffit and out-sulation rain screen with T&G cedar randomly stained with vinegar and steel wool for interest.

Metal Fascia with more rain-screen and out-sulation on the stud shear wall.

Seismic hold-downs on the truss bottom chords with air sealing tape for the fasteners that penetrate the primary air barrier in the ceiling.

A different view of the same detail shown in the picture above.

A panoramic shot of the Cabin.

Looking up at the metal gutters, downspouts and the lower wall intersection.

An interior view of the column supporting the trusses over the open living area.

The sun was hitting the Cabin just right on this day!

Around the back of the house.  A lot of this area needs to be brought up to finished grade as indicated by the height of the Roof Drains and Perimeter Drain clean outs.

the north side of the Cabin.  More grade work required where the plank sits.

One more interior shot of the Cabin showing the 100mm of drain rock.  We have intention to de-pressurize under the slab.  Even though we live in a "low Radon" area why not reside in a no radon area!?
Thanks again for checking in and expect many things to be happening on the Cabin this spring and summer.  Stay healthy and check back for updates roughly on the month.

Monday, 18 November 2019

Metal Roof on The Cabin in the Woods

Hi Everyone and thanks for reading about the latest progress on The Cabin in the Woods.  Recall the Cabin is a unique rammed earth residence being built in Sooke BC. 
The trusses being installed on the Cabin.  Notice the raised heel to allow for more insulation near the top of the wall which is a notorious air leakage spot.  The raised heel allows for more continuous insulation over top of wall to roof connections while not sacrificing the ability of the roof structure to breathe properly.  

The trusses are being sheathed with 5/8" sheathing plywood.  an 1/8" expansion joint was left between all the plywood and the plywood was nailed every 4" along the edges and every 6" in the field.  The blue membrane is Premium HT-SA peel and stick.  The Cabin became instantly watertight once the membrane was installed.

Framing the hip on the Cabin.

The peel and stick membrane once it was nearly completely installed.

The 12" Prolok metal panels and the bug-screen.  The metal panels, flashings, gutters and fascia were 24 gauge PVDF weathered zinc colour.  Two temporary skylight covers can be seen in this picture too.

The weathered zinc cap flashing and where the cap meets the many hips on the Cabin.

A panoramic picture of the cabin as the gutters were being installed.

The Cabin from another perspective.  The windows have been prepped for installing stone or concrete sills.  Kerdi fabric was set onto a dry-packed slope and 2" high-load 60 insulation to keep thermal continuity.

Colour and texture matched control joint caulking and if you have to wonder what I'm talking about in this picture we have done our job well.

The gutters and downspouts are also 24 gauge weather zinc colour...

A little added bug and moisture protection for the insulation in the center of the rammed earth walls.  The Siga tape Wingluv is vapour permeable.  Doors and windows will be taped and sealed to these surfaces.

Window preparation just like a shower.  Windows are drier than showers though...

Adding the roxul board out-sulation and rain screen assembly over the building wrap as needed.

We used cedar battens in the rain-screen assembly.  Who wants pressure treated wood in their house?

The Cabin as it currently sits.  Next steps are to install T&G cedar over the rain-screen assembly and then to begin on the plumbing prior to pouring the slabs inside the cabin.  
Thanks for checking in on The Cabin in the Woods and please check back soon for more updates.

Thursday, 15 August 2019

Roof trusses delivered to the Cabin in the Woods.

Hi everyone and thanks for checking in again.  We are busy installing the engineered wood trusses with our goal of getting dry inside the building before the end of September. 
The majvest wrb around the outer Douglas Fir beam.  Double 2x10 Fir backing for the roof plywood ledger can be seen in the background too.

The Cabin will be impervious to soil gas and radon as we are de-pressurizing under the slab.  Although we live in a low radon risk area I feel like accepting any radon in your house is a bit like accepting a little bit of round-up on your vegetables.  The 12x12 column in the living room is visible here too.

Siga Majvest (blue) and Majrex (white) for the weather resistant barrier and the vapor control layer.

More 12x12 views and more drain rock visible here.

The lower bedroom level waiting for trusses to arrive.

The day before trusses arrive.  The high spots on the beams have all been planed off so the trusses can sit as flat and level as possible.

The raised heel trusses shown allow for lots of insulation in the attic space.   

More trusses visible here.  some trusses in bundles still and some blocked and nailed into place.
Thanks for checking in and the next blog should have pictures of the finished roof framing and the sheet metal roof installation.  Until next time....

Thursday, 27 June 2019

June 2019 progress update

Hi Everyone and thanks for checking back to see and read about the latest work done during the busy month of June.  The kids are out of school and construction on the Cabin in the Woods has been taking place amongst end of year activities.

The lower shear wall footing location outlined in blue.  The ground below has had some time to settle and has been run over with the skidsteer a was tough digging!

Lifting the 6x12 beams with the truss jib on the skidsteer.  This picture was taken from the drivers perspective.  The beams are cut to length and drilled and counterbored for the oversized washers and ready rod anchors in the rammed earth.

Notice the reins being used by the driver to manipulate the beam during installation.  The beam is then lowered onto the ready rod anchors on the top of the walls.

A panoramic perspective of the beam installation. 

An elevated view of the same area where beams are currently being installed.

Although not required by the structural engineer, we decided to use powder coated Simpson Strongtie plates on exposed beam junctions.  

The lower shear wall footing with a new improved Passive House quality detail.  4" (R20) on all sides to decrease what was a massive thermal bridge.  The ensuite bathroom is next to this area and it's operational humidity may have found a dew-point on the lower shear wall footing if this improvement wasn't made.  We need to instal angled pairs of 15mm rebar dowels into the engineered pad below to make this work structurally.

Simpson Srongtie MST 72 strapping common on all exterior beam joints.  The roof structure rests on the exterior beams and so they require this strapping detail.

Thanks for checking in and please check back in July for another update on our quest to instal the roof while the weather is cooperating.  

Sunday, 9 June 2019

Rammed Earth Cabin in the Woods Underway Again

Hi Everyone,,,, we are back from an extended absence with pictures of the work and places visited during the winter and spring of 2018/2019.  We are committed to getting the structural and envelope elements of the Cabin in the Woods wrapped up in the coming months.  Blog entries and more pictures will follow on a frequent basis.

A fantastic sunset taken at Piha which is an hour outside of Auckland.  This picture was taken during a consulting trip with SIREWALL to Kawakawa in the Northland where a very unique rammed earth community center is being built.

Government sponsored Kiwi garbage shaming!  Unfortunately there was a bunch of rubbish a few feet from this sign.

Curved rammed earth formwork for the Te Hononga community center in Kawakawa.

New Zealand is never short on beautiful scenery.  This shot was from the roadside in The Bay of Islands.

The first wall unveiled.  The theme for the colors is Pukepuke Rau which in the traditional dialect means the hundred hills of the Northland.   Many Ngate Hine artists were involved in color selections for the building.

This is an elevation view of the same wall in the Te Hononga community center.  

Bathroom renovations awaited Earth House Holdings upon arrival back to
Recessing the oversized washers and anchor bolts to allow for a more continuous air barrier in the Cabin in the Woods back in Sooke.

Douglas fir 6 x 12 beams with MST 72 Simpson strapping for seismic reinforcing.  It is the author's humble opinion that the Cabin is overbuilt and may last for over 300 years.  

The lower roof Douglas Fir bond beam in place with structural strapping and angles.  The load bearing of the roof trusses will be resting on this outer bond beam.  

A panoramic of The Cabin in the Woods as it sits at the moment.  
 Thanks for checking in and more posts will follow this one during our campaign to get the roof on during dry season.