Pole Barn Research and Review

Hello from the 2020 20K Team!

Based on our design development thus far, we have decided to incorporate a pole barn structure into our 20K Home design this year. In order to learn more about these type of structures and who is already building them in our community, we set off to do more research.

Typically, pole barns in this area are constructed using treated 6×6 wood posts and trusses composed of metal tubes, with either wood or metal purlins. We started talking with local contractors and manufacturers to get a better sense of pricing, construction options, details, and construction timeline.

After talking with Allen (one of the local pole barn contractors) he invited us to shadow him as he put up a 40′ x 120′ pole barn with his crew. On the first day the team installed all of the posts and cast the footings. We also helped them as they prepared for truss installation by establishing a datum to measure from.

On the second day: the team chopped the tops off the posts to level them, bolted the two halves of the truss together, and then raised them up atop the posts. It was helpful for us to observe the process and ask questions of the guys who do this every day. They’ve been an invaluable resource in helping us understand the possibilities and limitations of pole barn construction.

In conjunction with our research, we are continuing to design. We’re focusing on the “L” scheme with porches on two adjacent sides. We’re now diving further into the sectional implications of putting a small house under a big roof. We’re investigating different facade and insulation strategies and diving further into the details.

Devin & Charlie displaying their drawings and truss sample at last Friday’s review

20K Ann’s Home is complete!

On Saturday, September 21st, we celebrated the beautiful work of our 5th-year students, Ayomi Akinlawon, Jed Grant, Madeline Gibbs, and Yikuan Peng, and our lovely neighbor Ann at the ribbon cutting ceremony of 20K Anna’s Home. Thank you to all of our supporters and community! Without your support, none of this work would be possible!

20K Ann’s Home has a research and design focus of “aging-in-place.” The team took on the challenge of designing a home for the entire life of its occupant, not simply accepting the narrow understanding of “aging-in-place” that considers life following retirement. This meant providing spaces that are flexible and remain suitable as a family expands and contracts during different phases of life.

In addition to providing a living room that can easily transition into a third bedroom if required (when those teenagers need their own space or the favorite niece comes to stay), the design creates a strong connection between the interior and the porch with double doors. Not only does this approach create accessibility for someone in a walker, wheelchair, or even a hospital bed, it also provides space for families to gather and support one another. The house also prepares for this life cycle with details that are both durable and affordable to maintain.

Learn more about the 20K Ann’s Home on our website.

The End of the Beginning

With July drawing to a close, our team is coming to terms with the reality that this phase of our project is also coming to an end. We’d like to celebrate the paths of each teammate as they move forward from the legacy that will be the 20Kv22 project, while also ensuring that our research and occupancy studies live on at Rural Studio.

Sarah has very recently been inaugurated as AIAS’s National President. She has already moved to Washington, D.C., where she will complete her year-long term as President. During this time, she will work to improve issues, programs, and policies essential to architecture and the experience of architecture students, while also traveling across the country and visiting dozens of AIAS Chapters. 

Chelsea will remain at Rural Studio and begin working as a Third-Year Studio Instructor, with Emily McGlohn. She plans to continue analyzing and living in one of the homes (either the Baseline or the Revised Home), while a future graduate student stays in the other. They will collect data from the homes and ensure that our team’s research is continued and utilized by future 20K projects. 

Kenny will join Community Rebuilds as an AmeriCorps VISTA. He’ll move to Moab, Utah where this group has been building affordable, low-carbon straw bale homes since 2010. As the new planning and development coordinator, he’ll help them evaluate their built houses, build new houses that meet the Living Building Challenge, and expand their work throughout the Southwest.

Michael is preparing to move to New York City and work alongside another Rural Studio alumnus, Lucas McCarrell, at the highly-praised, Manhattan based, architectural office of Cicognani Kalla.

We’re excited to see how our studies continue throughout the progression of the 20K Home, and we hope to see a change in the way homes are built and a decrease in the overall cost of dignified homes.

Please enjoy the following photographic tour of our project’s timeline:

Stoop Kids

Posing on the stoop of Dave's Revised Home

These past couple of weeks, while we’ve been collecting and analyzing data, we’ve also been doing a bit of construction work. We built a stoop for the back entrance of the Revised Home!

The back stoop, made up of a wooden deck-board platform and a concrete step, helps bridge the tall transition from our back door down to the ground plane.

Construction for the stoop only lasted a few days, and we can now enjoy a safe exit as well as a nice place to rest behind our house.

Never leaving the stoop,

The 20Kv22 Team

Back from Break

The week after the break was a time for the team to get back together, finalize some decisions and get on site. We have began to engage more closely with the site, marking out the location of the house, where the driveway goes and presenting these suggestions to our client. With their blessing, we were able to move forward setting up a power pole and ordering materials to prepare the site for construction. We hope to be excavating, pouring footers and setting blocks in the coming weeks.

Our site has a beautiful view down a hill and across the road to a pasture, where a curious cow likes to come investigate the bobcat.