Sunday, July 6, 2014

SuperGreen Laneway house construction progress pictures

As with most blogs, I had the best of intention to post a bit more regularly.  But June got really busy with work and other parts of "life" and so have fallen off the wagon.  To catch up a bit, I've just posted a series of construction progress pictures over this month, complete with captions describing things of interest.

Foundation with mudsill installed, ready for framing to go up.  Note 3" square cut washers on anchor bolts.  These are to provide better hold-down of the building during large earthquakes and is one of the earthquake resistant design elements of this home.

Another view of the foundation.  Garage area has been backfilled.  The sump is visible in the basement (foreground) which is to lift both the basement floor drain and under-drain up to the sewer line because the sewer is higher than the basement.  Also you can see a 4" ABS stub to the left of the sump - this is the vent pipe tied to the under slab radon venting system.  It is unlikely the radon vent will be required due to the tight construction, but the vent piping is added now because to add it later would be a real problem!

Floor and first wall put up.

This laneway house replaces an old garden suite.  It uses the same sewer and water connect as the original garden suite - which is plumbed through the house on the front of the property!  The original suite used a heat-trace on the water line to prevent freezing.  We've replaced it with two waterlines (insulated black pipes on the left) to allow for a re-circulation system to prevent freezing.  This is yet another energy conservation measure because re-circ uses significantly less electricity than heat traces. 

6" of perimeter insulation is installed over the shallow footing of the garage to frost-protect the footing.  At the corners this insulation extends 3-feet from the building.  We've re-used extruded polystyrene insulation that was salvaged from the roof of Porter Creek High School last year. 

Another view of the frost-protected footing insulation being installed.  Note the drainage gravel below which encapsulates the perimeter drainage pipe.  This is water management component of the building's comprehensive durability plan to help ensure a dry, long-lived home. 

First floor framing up.
2nd framing going on.  Building has continuous plywood sheathing again for durability and earthquake resistance.  I'm starting to see many builders switch from OSB back to plywood sheathing.  Continuous OSB sheathing is pretty good, but plywood is slightly better as it performs better if it gets wet.  

Interior of garage portion.  Note that tall I-joists are used for second floor.  These are larger than is needed for the short span, but it allows for large cut-outs in the I-joists to pass the ventilation duct work through.  This keeps the mechanical nice and neat, avoiding unnecessary boxed in duct chases.  The primary ventilation duct runs are preplanned and installed - visible in this photo. 

Guest room area on main floor.  Partition wall to garage is a staggered stud wall (right side of photo) for extra insulation and reduced sound transmission.

Another view of the garage.  Note 4.5" of closed-cell spray foam has been applied to the earth.  This provides both the vapor/capillary barrier and insulation for under the garage concrete slab.  It's also pretty nice to work on during construction.
The second floor has a small cantilevered box window in the bedroom.  This is a few of the framing used to support that cantilever.  I inspect all of these connections and hardware to ensure all required nailing is in place (again, nailing inspections is another durability plan element).  It is quite surprising how often nails are missed.  I shutter to think how much nailing is missing in conventional production-style homes!

Roof trusses going up.  Trusses had to be craned from the street, over heritage house at the front of the property!  Note the window and door extension boxes are installed (one with Bluskin for waterproofing).  These are to extend the windows and doors outward when the 8" of exterior closed-cell sprayfoam will be installed later.  
Roof trusses being installed.  Truss tails are pre-painted because they will be exposed when the home is finished.  A Craftsman-style home detail where the soffits are open and the rafter tails are visible.