Free-standing portals must be braced in some fashion to avoid collapsing in high winds. A typical method, sway bracing, involves placing diagonal braces at corner locations between the vertical posts and the horizontal beams.In this portal the architect specified no visible bracing. Engineered steel inserts were designed to attached the supporting posts to the concrete pier footings below, and to attach the beams above to the top of posts. Thus no bracing was visible giving the portals a clean, sharp, free-standing look. See the finished portal in another post.
Rough frame complete
Piers with steel inserts
Post with steel insert
This stainless steel spa cover was conceived by RWA, Rhotenberry Wellen Architects of Midland, Texas. The spa by Diamond Spa of Colorado is 6 feet in diameter and the equipment well next to it is 2′ x 5′. The entire set up is set flush at ground level in a concrete slab.
A 3 panel hinged cover was designed that folds up on itself and, when the spa is in use, sits on the panel over the equipment bay. Because of the 60 pound weight of each panel a separate cable and counterweight system was employed that allows a single person to easily raise and lower the cover into place.
Stucco color and texture are used practically to protect and weatherize the exterior of a building and aesthetically to impart a statement as an architectural element of the design.
The territorial residence has a base of yellow stucco with dustings of red and ocher trowelled into the final wet stucco intended to impart a ‘Tuscan’ element to the residence.
The brilliant red stucco below is a bold statement for this fireplace and counter as part of an exterior portal entertainment space.
Custom colored stucco will cost extra as the color packets must be carefully mixed so each separate mix of stucco will match throughout the entire application.
IB (Industry Best) Roof Systems membrane is a single ply 50 mil polyester reinforced sheet that carries a lifetime warranty. It has a Class A rating for fire resistance and in the color white has a high degree of solar reflectance which helps reduce energy usage.
The membrane is also 100% recyclable and can often be installed over an existing membrane roof eliminating the cost of tear-off and landfill fees. As with any roof scheduled maintenance will protect the building and prolong the life of the roof membrane.
This roof was specified in green because it is visible to nearby residences.
The building code requires a weatherproof wrap to surround all window and door openings in new or re-constructed buildings. In this old adobe a new wooden frame or rough-buck is first fastened into the adobe opening. The wrap then covers this wood frame on all sides and extends laterally out to the vertical wall surface as shown. The window is installed and is ready for foam insulation if required, followed by the final lath and stucco finishes. The image at right shows the window ready for stucco.
Since May of 2010 the EPA has enforced a rule regarding renovation activities that disturb lead-based paint in houses & child-occupied facilities built prior to 1978, the year lead was banned from inclusion in paint.
The rule requires renovators be trained & certified, contractors to follow lead-safe work practices during remodeling, and all employees involved to be trained by a certified renovator assigned to each job.
For buildings falling under the rule it is the contractors responsibility to educate the client regarding the rule & its requirements. Initially, a copy of The Lead-Safe Guide to Renovate Right is delivered and reviewed. All areas to be renovated must be individually tested using an EPA approved kit and the results must be recorded, reported to the property owner, and saved for 3 years.
The actual work of removing items containing lead paint must be performed by a certified firm and strict practices are followed to ensure that all lead paint residue, especially dust, is contained and disposed of properly.
This inocuous photo shows the gravel sub-grade of our restoration. What you do not see are the buried ducts and supply lines that will provide heating and cooling from one air-to-water heat pump unit called Altherma by a Belgium company, Daikin. A heat pump uses the thermal energy in the outside air, compresses it as a gas which raises the temperature, then feeds it through a condenser which releases the heat back into the interior of the house.
Powered by electricity there is no gas or oil involved, and thus no venting of exhaust fumes. The heat produced can be used for radiant heating, fan-coil heating, and hot water production as well. An option will also provide cooling if desired. For a more detailed description go to: www.daikinaltherma.eu
The proper attention to waterproofing below grade structures is critical and cannot be overstated. In every structure where the floor elevation is below the level of the finished natural grade outside, proper application of appropriate materials is essential to stopping moisture penetration for the life of the structure.
Bituthane, a WR Grace product, is a composite membrane of rubberized asphalt and cross laminated, high density polyethylene film, ideal for waterproofing concrete, masonry and wood surfaces. A primer is applied first and the bituthane membrane self adheres to that. A protective fiber board can be added before backfilling the structure to prevent punctures from rocks and other sharp materials. In these photos the membrane has been applied to a clear line above grade. Finished stucco will cover the wall above and come below grade to cover the bituthane joint.
Insulated Concrete Forms have been around for quite a while. They offer a versatile and fast system for the construction of foundation stem walls, retaining walls, and complete structures. BuildBlock Building Systems is one of many manufacturers to offer an ICF system. Here in pictures left and below they are used to construct an addition to an existing building. Working right off the concrete footing they are stacked & glued together, reinforcing bar is added as per engineered specifications and they are then core-filled with concrete. Numbered and marked cut lines make for ease of installation. Horizontal attachment points make attaching drywall easy and fast and the foam can be easily removed for electrical chases.
The third photo shows ICF’s used as a headwall to secure a driveway culvert. After core filling and backfill of earth the exposed ICF can be covered with stucco or in this case rock fascia.