Posts Tagged ‘portland modern’

beach house completed

November 13, 2013

We’re excited to share some new photos of the Oceanside Beach House. On a recent sunny fall day, Portland photographer David Papazian made the trip to Oceanside to shoot a handful of images. We think they turned out quite well. Let us know if you agree.

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www.insituarchitecture.net

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fast forward

May 20, 2013

we’ve been too busy to post for quite awhile, but work has been progressing nicely on the skidmore house.  here’s a quick look around:

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we hope to be putting the final touches on in the next few weeks.  lots of catching up to do.  check back soon for more on this project and others.

www.insituarchitecture.net

stained cedar siding

February 10, 2013

siding work has mostly wrapped up.  the vertical siding is installed on rainscreen over rigid exterior insulation.  see this past post for more info on the assembly.

here’s a first look at the siding pretty much completed.

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the siding is off the shelf 1×6 channel made from tight knot cedar.  it’s stained with 1 coat of olympic semi-transparent stain in ebony.

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the large south windows (and doors) have exterior motorized aluminum sun shades supplied by hella.  the siding has been detailed to allow the shades to stack in recessed pockets.  in this photo the shades are down about 9 inches and just visible on the 2 living room units (lift / slide door and fixed upper unit).  more on the shading later.

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the “breezeway” features a south facing door / window with a wood canopy (to be painted black) topped with clear tempered glass.

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the entry door at left features acid etched glass for privacy and has a smooth accent panel adjacent that will be painted a deep red.  the wood canopy will painted black and features a simple galvanized metal pan roof.  steel rod will be used to hang the canopy from a bracket mounted to the wall above.  a mahogany deck will eventually complete the front porch.

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the north street facade also features a narrow smooth accent panel that will be painted with the same deep red.  the same siding runs horizontally to form an accent between floors.

check back soon for more.

www.insituarchitecture.net

thermal bridge free exterior

December 31, 2012

next up on skidmore passivhaus is installing the outsulation on the walls along with the rainscreen furring.

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the plywood sheathing was first covered by a weather resistive barrier with metal head flashings at the windows and doors.

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most walls get a layer of 3″ poly-iso, while the south wall will get 4″ to match the recessed pocket for the exterior shades.

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2 screws (with plastic washer) per 4×8 sheet hold it in place until the furring strips are installed.

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all seams and fasteners are taped.  the face of the insulation is treated as a second weather resistive barrier.

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additional flashings at all doors and windows will be taped to the insulation as the wood trim is installed.

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1/2″ x 2″ pt plywood furring strips run vertically to create the drainage plane.  they are held in place by just a few fasteners until the next layer is installed.

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since we are using vertical siding, a second layer of furring runs horizontally.  we used pt 1×4 as a solid nailing base for the siding.

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long fasteners secure the second layer of furring strips running horizontally through the foam to the studs.  the straightforward framing layout makes the studs much easier to locate.

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keep in mind that long fasteners get expensive.  we settled on grabber #10 x 6″ square drive coated screws (from nw staple).

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next up on the exterior is trimming windows and installing siding.

stop by again soon.

waiting for guffman (or looking through windows – part 8)

December 2, 2012

when we began this process, we only had a few rules.  one of them was real wood high performance windows.

at the conception of this project, we were thinking about making a pretty good house.  Super insulated, airtight, with triple glazed windows and a heat recovery ventilator, but not necessarily passivhaus.  since we ruled out plastic or fiberglass, US built windows were at the top of the list.  once we decided to build to passivhaus, it quickly became clear that we had to look overseas.

our initial pricing was from optiwin, internorn, and pazen.  optiwin was very appealing aesthetically but super expensive.  internorn provided fantastic pricing, but there was no rep in the US meaning distant communications and pretty much zero support. pazen offers a slightly different product with a fiberglass exterior cladding and more minimal frame profiles, but they only offered a stainless steel clad door.  because we had lots of doors, the price jump was huge and they were way out of our budget.

about the same time, our local loewen rep started offering unilux.  we visited another local passivhaus project to see them installed, and we were impressed.  the pricing was strong, and we felt most comfortable having a rep locally, although they only had a limited understanding of passivhaus.  we thought we’d made up our mind, until we stumbled onto zola windows.  nearly identical to the german and austrian made passivhaus windows, zola windows are manufactured in poland and offered at a much more competitive price point.  we worked through all the options, input the data into PHPP, and scrutinized the sample window section that we got our hands on.  it seemed like a good balance between quality, aesthetics, and price point.  decision made.

one of the biggest challenges of using european windows is the long lead time (for our order the lead time was estimated at 12-16 weeks).  we worked hard to have our window order ready to go by the time we were breaking ground.  once we placed the order, the race was on to make sure the house was ready when the windows finally arrived.  18 WEEKS LATER they finally arrived. when we finally opened the container door to check them out, 2 of the biggest units had broken free from their braces and had fallen over at somepoint during shipping.  while nothing was catastrophic, there were issues both functional and aesthetic.

fast forward 6 weeks.  zola has been super responsive and we’re confident that in the end everything will be as good as new.  the windows and doors are installed and are beautiful.  the house is dry, the first blower door test went well (.44ach at 50pa), and we are steadily moving toward insulation and sheetrock.

here’s a quick look at some of the process. first, prepping the rough openings:

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step 1 – use pink prosoco joint and seam filler at corners and joints of rough opening.

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step 2 – use red prosoco fast flash to coat rough opening and extend approx. 6″ out onto sheathing.

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to apply these prosoco products, simply lay down a bead from a caulking gun and spread with a cheap plastic spreader.  the result is a waterproof, airtight, and vapor permeable flashing without the usual complications of peel and stick flashings.  of course no through wall metal flashings on a passivhaus.

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next, windows arrive and are unloaded.

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not what you want to see when you open the door of the container.  i think they forgot to do the ACTUAL bracing at the factory.

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some of these units are HEAVY!  thank to Doug Marshak and his Awesome Framing Crew for doing the very heavy lifting.

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small tilt/turn unit for the kitchen.

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Doug and Jesus installing the small window in the 2 story living room.

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the big units waiting to be installed.

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after a few nervous hours, the biggest unit finally goes in.  thanks to Graeme Thomson for the smart hoisting method.

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the large fixed unit installed above the lift/slide door.

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front door with translucent glass and large window to the street.

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breezeway with tilt/turn terrace door and fixed sidelite.

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studio with tilt/turn door and fixed sidelite.

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check back soon for more as we try to catch up with construction: HRV rough-in, steel stair installation, flashing the windows, installing the exterior insulation, and rainscreen furring.

framing for efficiency

September 22, 2012

framing has been moving along at skidmore passivhaus since we placed our slab on grade.

the house is quickly taking shape thanks to dam framers (doug marshak and crew).

there are a few things that make the framing on this house just a little different from the typical house:

  • untreated bottom plates on 30lb building paper
  • 2×8 wall studs at 24″ o.c. (roof trusses align)
  • balloon framed 2 story walls
  • upper floor hung from ledgers
  • single top plates that interlock at the splices
  • open corners with minimal blocking
  • open web trusses with sloped top and level bottom
  • header free openings (except for the living room doors)
  • long walls on plywood module

All of this results in more space for insulation!

Plus there’s less wood used and less material cost.

Some of the many next steps include:

  • taping the plywood with SIGA to create the air barrier
  • installing the single ply membrane roof
  • prepping the rough openings with Prosoco Fast Flash
  • roughing in plumbing, HRV, and electrical

Check back soon for updates.

in situ architecture

notes on placing an exposed slab on grade

July 22, 2012

Here are some quick notes on our Exposed Slab on Grade (placed on top of continuous 15mil vapor retarder and 4″ of eps insulation):

Placing concrete on a continuous vapor retarder definitely ups the degree of difficulty when it comes to finishing and curing the slab.  Water in the slab can only move out the top, meaning the slab can dry unevenly, crack, and even curl.  To compensate we are trying a wet “flood” cure.

We decided to use fiber mesh reinforcing and eliminate the steel reinforcing altogether from slab.  Apparently the fiber can make finishing trickier, but it typically results in strong slab with less cracking and for a bit less cost.

The type and location of joints is always a question – we even considered for awhile not using them and letting the slab crack more randomly (it will crack).  In the end we decided to use a tooled joint (in this case made with a custom tool from another project) and to place them strategically under walls so they are barely visible.  Tooled joints can be made almost immediately before cracking can happen whereas sawcuts have to wait until slab is firm enough to handle the saw, and potentially after random cracks have already occurred.  Saw cuts also have a risk of spalling, but when they are executed properly they certainly look best.

After knocking around options for curing the slab, we decided to go old school and use a wet flood method.  The idea is to cure the slab slowly and evenly by keeping it wet and cool, allowing it to gain as much strength as possible before subjecting it to the stresses that occur when it dries out.  The slab edge formwork was already above the top of the slab, so it was relatively easy to keep the slab underwater.  It uses a fair amount of water as there are minor breaches in the perimeter formwork dam, but it eliminates the use of expensive chemical curing compounds.

So far we have kept the slab wet for 5 days (flooded most of the time) and we’re still babysitting it.  It’s time to get set up for the last small concrete pour (a plinth for the stair which doubles as a landing), so the wet curing will come to an end. Only time will tell what the result will be, and we’ll never know if our methods were better or worse.

beach house

May 13, 2012

we recently made a visit to the coast to have a look at the oceanside beach house.

designed in 2010, the owners have been completing the house in their spare time.

www.insituarchitecture.net

warm and dry

May 9, 2012

work has been progressing.  enclosure is complete, heat is on, and drying is underway.

more updates soon.

www.dtcportland.com

forest lane residence

March 28, 2012

we recently whipped up a design proposal for a new residence in the northwest hills of portland.  we had a great time with it but unfortunately it looks like this one will be staying on the shelf.  let us know if you want to take it for a spin.

www.insituarchitecture.net