Sunday, March 28, 2010

A beautiful day

Grit is calling Mt. Baldy-
Winter seems to have given way to summer- It's getting warm in L.A. again, but there's still some snow on Mt Baldy, as the picture shows, taken on this beautifully clear day.
As always, we are on site on Sunday to check on progress and to see what's up next and what's needed from our side- usually drawings and details.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Framing & Rain Harvesting

The second floor has been framed to about 50% and will be almost completed by tomorrow. We have ordered the facade panels (they'll go to a fabricator first for cutting and pre-drilling)and are now zeroing in on the rainwater cistern to be used. Our research showed, that not every underground storage tank works for that- even if they say it would.
The most rugged products are made from fiberglass- such as the ones by xerxes corporation (heavy name- heavy product- Xerxes himself would not have been able to ruin those things)- but they also come with a price tag too high for us.
On the other side are PE-ribbed "bruiser" tanks. They are being sold by a number of firms, but when you go through the smallprint, you'll find, that they cannot be left empty, but need to be at least 25% full at all times. In a semi-arid climate like the one in Los Angeles, where there simply is no measurable precipitation at all for at least 6 months, those tanks are not an option either.
So we are down to the Dominator water tanks by Snyder or the Septic tanks by Loomis- both would work, we only need to see which geometry works best with the site constraints

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Big Beams

With the first floor almost framed and the garage wall foundation cured, Abe continued to install the wall & ceiling framing over the garage. (Note the big glulam beam in the garage sitting at an angle).
The metal panels to both sides of the garage opening are Hardypanels, metal structures that take over the shear (= earthquake) loads which always are a problem at garages, when standard plywood can't be applied and the expenses for a steel frame will blow the budget (-or steel does not fit into the concept- as in or case).
We had intended to go entirely without steel members and use only the renewable material wood for the structure while maintaining a progressive and innovative design- and it is possible!
The picture was taken form the same perspective as the rendering at the top of this blog.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Catch a glimpse of a view

With the framing progressing at high speed, I was already able to climb up to the second floor and catch a glimpse of the view from the bedroom towards the North-West (Glendale/Burbank). Unfortunately, it was quite hazy that day- so I couldn't get a clear view of the mountains- but the perspective alone is awesome. The other photo shows the view from the same spot towards the East.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Finally- The rains have stopped- We can continue with construction

After many long weeks of intermittent rain and many interruptions, the forecast finally has some sun to offer. Today, the rebar and formwork for the garage and retaining wall footings have been set and concrete will follow on the spot. This requires a good deal of coordination to allow for sleeves for all the openings through the walls (water, sewer, graywater, electrical etc.). Drilling through hardened concrete is much much more difficult...
After the footings are poured, framing of the first floor walls can commence and the building can finally take shape...
The picture shows the first floor subflooring with the stair hole and the formwork for the garage footing in the background.