Sunday, June 29, 2008

Common Pond Plat House - new photos

We received some new photos from the owner of the Common Pond Plat House today. They are just about ready to move in and the house appears finished. More photos after the link.

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Saturday, June 28, 2008

Letters from Sweden - deliver and set

Its time to wrap up our series on pref-fab house building in Sweden. In previous entries we've looked at how the houses are put together, and the products and technology that have enabled the technique. Today we are going to look at the last part of the process: delivery and installation at the site. As we've hinted at before the panelized method used by the Swedes requires less shipping than a modular technique. Where modular requires a separate truck/trailer for each module box with panelized a few trucks can usually deliver all the parts. All the wall and floor panels can be loaded on one truck, roof trusses and roofing materials on another. Its a denser method of transport compared to the hollow box of modular construction. Remember, Ikea ships their goods flat-packed because it avoids shipping air! The parts arrive at the site and are craned into place, carpenter fastening the wall panels as they are off-loaded. This is important! They are not stacking them on site to be handled again when they are installed. The come off the truck and into their final resting place in one step. When the ground floor walls are up, then the drywall for the ceilings and wall patches is placed on the floor before the second floor framing goes on. The drywall is delivered with the rest of the panels from the factory, so there is no separate order of materials, and no unloading and carrying of drywall into the house. They leverage the crane for this. Here is a time lapse installation video made by Scott. As you will see the entire house goes up in one day. Another common technique is the crane enabled delivery truck. This is a flat bed deliver truck which includes a relatively small crane for unloading the panels. We've seen similar equipment in the US. Often lumber yards will have a small lift arm on a flat bed truck for lifting drywall or lumber to a convenient spot on a construction site. Scale that up and you have the Swedish house delivery truck. Often the controls are wireless allowing the operator to get a better view of the load and place it with more ease. These trucks are commonly owned by the factory, which if you remember from earlier posts owns the entire process at the site. So unlike a lumber delivery truck in the US, the truck is not running to the next delivery. It can remain on site and assist with the remaining lifting work - this may mean spending a day at the site, vs unloading in an hour or two and disappearing. This can mean a lot to the speed of construction overall, and it is certainly convenient for delivery and assembly to be unified. Otherwise the builder must have his own equipment on site to handle the panels after delivery. That all adds extra steps which erodes the efficiency of the process. While the house walls are going in on another part of the site the roof will be assembled. The trusses come off the truck and are placed onto a steel jig which has been previously set up to match the top plates of the walls. Roof sheathing goes on, pre-sided end panels go on, and the roof is shingled. This all happens just a few feet above the ground instead of an entire story up. This makes it easier for the workers to get on and off the roof, and carrying materials up is also much easier. From here the roof assembly is craned to the flat bed, carried over to the house, and craned in place. It all happens very quickly, and everything that has gone before was designed to make this field install as fast and as systematic as possible. Remember this is not a curiosity there. This method has completely replaced the site based construction we do here in the US. This is the way the commercial house builders work in Sweden. Now that the house is together what is left to do? The joints between panels must be finished and sealed on the outside, and drywalled on the inside. Ceiling drywall must be installed, and wires pulled through the conduits. Connections must be made for plumbing and electrical services, and the HVAC system connections as well. Windows and hardware must be adjusted, and the house made clean for the buyer. Buyers often add sweat equity to finish houses. Painting is common. Floor finishes sometimes as well. Plumbing fixtures as explained before are often installed like appliances after the fact. One more entry to wrap up the series - we'll look at a range of Swedish house vendors. Thanks to Scott for photos and video. Previously: Letters from Sweden - plumbing the prefab Letters from Sweden - wiring zen Letters from Sweden - a windows tale Letters from Sweden - panel building in Sweden vs the USA Letters from Sweden - Europe is different, Sweden is not, sort of.. Letters from Sweden - land of modern, land of prefab Letters from Sweden - conversations with an expatriate builder

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Friday, June 20, 2008

0857 L House - Design Prints Available

Yes indeed, the Design Prints are done, and available from the new catalog page right now. So go, dig in, look at the plans, look at the drawings of the outside, look at the drawings of the inside, imagine your life in this house..

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Wednesday, June 18, 2008

0857 L House - welcome to the neighborhood

Still much to do, movers are coming with the furniture, then the photographers. Then we have to make the floor plan for the catalog page and put together the Design Prints. We're closer though. I've set this up very similar to the Tray House as they are of a kind. I used the same suburban context model as the Tray House but put a little bit more effort into the site. Note the image is the version with the garage doors on the front. Images shown previously were with the side doors.

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Common Pond Plat House almost wrapped up

The SIPs version of the Plat House built at Common Pond is almost complete. A few loose ends and it will be done. Take a quick look at the photo from the last entry to see how the site has cleaned up and the house now looks finished. More photos will come when the project is finished.

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0857 L House - model done

Much left to do though. I've raised the bar on the context models with the 0738 Palo Alto so now I feel pressured to do a nice back yard and streetscape. We'll see, the sooner I finish the Design Prints, the sooner it goes into production. lookin a lot like its little brother the Tray House!

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Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Saturday, June 14, 2008

0857 L House - window frames

Almost done modeling, have to do the stair, its tedious, and the fireplace, it goes in the middle there between dining and living, and then its time to paint.

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Monday, June 09, 2008

New Mexico EcoSteel House - the observatory and the milkyway

I received another round of progress photos of the interior of the New Mexico EcoSteel House today. It seems to be moving right along. Also included were some spectacular photos by the owner of the observatory against the night sky. Be sure to stop by the flickr group of the house. There are two more panoramic photos of the observatory against the milky way sky, and a bunch more of the interior of the main house. Click through to the rest of the entry to see a photo browser of new images.

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Wednesday, June 04, 2008

0857 L House - first look standing inside

The model is nearly all roughed out - stairs, kitchen, bathrooms next. The living/dining room space. click below for an additional image.. The upstairs hall, overlooks the living space, and takes light in from above. The L House is part of the Zeitgeist Plan Group.

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