Monday, March 15, 2010

shop drawing review process at the wision house

Often in our industry architects draw things that cant really be built. (Every builder reading this will be enthralled by my remark and every architect will be appalled).
To counter this anomaly, worked into every contract is a thing called a "shop drawing" where the builders attempt to understand what the architect's intent is by creating a set of drawings which explain how something is to be built. The architect then approves it, and if it forms a variation to the intial scope of works, the owner/client will also need to approve it.
In our case, the owner, the client, the architect and the builder being one person, sign off is often a quick and easy process.
Here are our shop drawings.

(above) proposed detail at joint of lime render to exposed timber joist.
(below) room elevation and extent of mezzanine stair.
(above/below) detail of render and straw bale wall at window reveals to south wall.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

The coolest crane in the world is in madang lane again.

Christian and I are not morning people.

Saying we woke really early at 6.30am on Saturday morning would seem strange to some people. My mom would say she goes to sleep at 6.30am some days …. Christian’s dad would say he has been on his walk, bought a loaf of bread from the Schnelsen bakery and had his breakfast by 6.30am…..

However Christian and I are not morning people, and so for both of us being on site at 6.45am was a major achievement - one that has only happened once before for the wision house (the day of the
main slab concrete pour).

The crane
(same crane as the last one) ). was hired for 5 hours this morning to put up the massive timber beams. (Longest being 450mmx75mm x 10.3metres long). Kudos to the crane operator. Sometimes you get idiots who shouldn’t be allowed to drive a moped let alone a crane. Sometimes you get someone who treats his crane like a complex delicate piece of machinery and compares it to a Ferrari. We had the latter. Very lucky.

We also needed a few extra hands so we enlisted the help of Dave and Dale – who did our concrete blockwork and slab for the toilet block. Dave and Dale are also going to install our roof panels for us –which is something we didn’t want to stuff around by doing it ourselves. (Also, somebody is scared of heights………………….)
So it was Ansgar, Dave, Dale and Christian, and me being the "hold the rachet, screws, spanner, bolts nuts etc person" (a role i take quite seriously sometimes).

Here are some photos of the roof beams going in…. Notching out on the columns were spot on – All of the beams pretty damn dead level when they went in – maybe a few millimeters off at worst.

All in all a very successful 5.5 hours of having the crane around. We even used it to lift in the roof panels onto the first floor so Dave and Dale could get to them easily.

Here are photos from the day.

Our lovely neighbor June stood at her back porch watching with her fingers crossed the 10.3 metre long beams hovering over her back yard……

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Free Durra Straw Panels.

The builder for a project we know of was throwing away a truckload of brand new durra panels. (These are the highly compressed straw panels which we are using as our flooring for level one and mezannine).
So we asked politely for them to be put on a truck and they arrived safe and sound all the way from albany free of cost (we only paid for the transport.)
Our joists are set at 600 centres for 1200x2400 panels, but these panels strangely enough are about 25 mm too short on all sides... Also, they are all different sizes - so this means more joints, and an angle detail at every other joint.... bummer my clean crisp ceiling is starting to look less crispier by the minute.......
On the bright side, we got a lot more panels than we needed so we are using a second layer as a sacrificial layer to work on until the final bamboo floor is in :-) so no need to get more ply or old carpets.... Also, we plan to use the same panels as some of our "mobile internal walls" as they have a great acoustic rating.
All in all a great outcome and a good quick recycling effort.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

1.5 litres of coca cola per day = one relentless worker

Straw-works are progressing rapidly on site, and we have had a great deal of help from Christian’s cousin Ansgar, a new visitor to Australia – who is taking great pleasure in camping in a tent in the building site warding off the stoned brain-dead teenagers that roam through Doubleview with their lighters and spray cans…

Ansgar, who happens to be a trained nurse, has developed a tradie’s approach so rare in Oz it could only be German. He is a perfectionist and a slave driver to himself, what more can one ask for in a worker? He refuses to take days off despite working 7 full-on days a week on site during the day and having English classes in the evening…. He has also informed us in no uncertain terms that he will continue to live on site and keep the works running until the building is finished….
So as a result, we have made unbelievable progress – photos are below.