Just some quick pics of our progress with the glulam frame that defines the overall structural parti of the lightBOX addition. The spatial qualities and light quality are starting to coallesce. The weather, though fickle, is making for some lovely light.
The glulam columns had to be threaded through some of the existing walls and floor structure of the existing house. The connection is a surgical procedure performed on the existing house to graft the new structural language onto that of the original little stick-framed system. All the original services had to be shifted to make this possible.
The connection detail between the glulam columns and the second floor beams is through a hidden cross-dowel connection, like giant IKEA furniture. Cool!
The souther glulam framed wall will be infilled with sliding doors and fixed glass that opens the interior of the box to the yard, perfect for entertaining and livng an indoor-outdoor life during pleasant weather.
The 3x6 tongue and groove floor decking compresses the floor structure to a minimal depth and forms a consistent material palette within the new kitchen and dining core of the addition. This space becomes central to the life of the updated house.
The new double height living space allows a decompression from the tight and dark spaces of the existing house, prior to exiting to the outdoor decks and the back yard. The modulated light, coming in through clerestory windows, the extensive southern glazing and the double-height translucent wall, will make for a gradated transition from the shadowy interior of the existing house to the harsher Texas light of the outdoors.
A second story master-suite nestles itself against the gable roof of the existing house. This helps the addition recede into the background from the street, but proclaim itself proudly to the alley-way, a welcome surprise for the suddenly vibrant social life springing up with all of the alley-flats in this block.
Sparks have been flying on the shipping container project. The window and door have been cut and framed into the corrugated back wall.
A standard issue steel frame door from DeanSteel was wrapped in 1/4"x 6" steel bar to allow for the thickness of the corrugated wall and its furr out for insulation and interior cladding. This 6" frame depth is matched in the adjacent window frame, which will accept a thermally broken aluminum sliding window after the box is painted.
A standard Oxy-Acetylene torch was used to cut the 16 ga. corrugated sidewall. While there is a bit of clean-up grinding involved after the steel is cut, the torch allows for a quick and dirty opening up of the sides for doors and windows.
After installing the door and window frame into the openings, they were tack welded into place. The final seam finish between the cut and the window frame will be an epoxy putty that will waterproof the joint and readily accept the finish primer and paint, with out worrying about any warping of the corrugated panel caused by the heat of the welding process.
The interior surface of the wall is furred out with 1 1/2" hat channel that is run horizontally over the vertical wall corrugations, and will allow for sprayfoam insulation to be placed within the wall prior to a layer of 1/2" plywood.
Once the hat channel was tacked to the "high" points of the wall corrugations an unexpected amount of rigidity was created within the wall, that offsets the rigidity lost by the opening up of the sidewalls for the window and door.
Last week was a watershed for the lightBOX. The existing house's floor level is now connected to the level of the new slab, and the overall space is starting to be better defined. With the bulk of the North walls up and the vantage point offered by the new floor level, the scale of the addition becomes apparent. It will be an interesting juxtoposition of scale from the enclosed nature of the existing house into the more open and spacious scale of the new living spaces.
Once the old pier and beam floor of the existing kitchen was taken down to dirt and we moved around all of the existing electrical circuits and demoed back the defunct kitchen plumbing lines, a new LVL girder beam was inserted from which to hang the new floor trusses as they span across to the addition slab. That was immediately followed by 1 1/8" tongue and groove subfloor over the floor trusses. We'll now be able to extend the existing hardwoods in to the new kitchen before transitioning down to concrete at the living space.
As soon as the floor was decked, the interior walls that define the stair core and kitchen/utility core were put up. These few walls are conventionally framed and serve to seperate the stairs to the master suite from the more public areas of the expanded downstairs, as well as make space for the under-stair utility room and a mechanical chase that serves the upstairs master bed and bath. The stair framing followed quickly behind the wall framing. Now we wait for the rest of our missing glulams to show so we can finish the rest of the framing.