rs5thyears

The Emerging Story of the Emergency Shelters

Every year during spooky season, the Studio hosts visiting architects and professors for a day of “boos” and reviews. This hallowed event has come to be known as Halloween Reviews, and every student was “working like a dog” to prepare. Let’s look at “a day in the life” of the C.H.O.I.C.E. House team leading up to the big review, shall we? (Ps. Can you guess what the team’s costume was by the end of this post?) 

The team began by preparing all the drawings they would need for their presentation. They consolidated the existing plans, sections, and diagrams from “here, there and everywhere,” and completed any new drawings that were needed.

Next up, the team needed to make edits to their presentation and practice presenting to other teams in preparation for Halloween Reviews. This task is a never-ending process that the team seems to be working on “eight days a week!” But, they got it done, “with a little help from my friends.” 

team revises presentation
cohort meeting at cat drop

Once the team was confident in their presentation, they decided to “let it be.” Next, they started to “bang bang” their “silver hammers” to build full-scale mock-ups of two out of the four units. These mock-ups allowed people to experience the small space inside and the different porch conditions created by the units. 

assembling walls from abov

On Wednesday night, the team took a break to celebrate the annual Pumpkin Carve, an Auburn Architecture tradition. Everyone from the community is invited to “come together,” outside Red Barn to carve pumpkins and eat foot long hot dogs… because “all you need is love,” pumpkins, and hot dogs, right?!”

The day before Halloween reviews, the team spent “fixing a hole” and “filling the cracks” of the mock-ups and their presentation. After “a hard day’s night,” the big day had finally arrived. Under a “sky of blue and sea of green,” teams dressed in costumes the students presented and the reviewers, “speaking words of wisdom.”

team presents

The team received a lot of helpful feedback on their work that really help to “shake it up, baby!” Now, the C.H.O.I.C.E. House team is ready to get back to the drawing board and “work it on out!”

the beetles as beatles
Four beetles as Beatles: Ringo, John, Paul, and George!

“We hope you have enjoyed the show. We’re sorry but it’s time to go. We’d like to thank you once again.”

Did you guess our costumes by the end? 

Somewhere Under The Rainbow

After they pushed through “Neckdowns,” passed workshop season, and survived project selection, the new 5th-year teams are here and ready for their debut!

*Cue drumroll*

Hello from the C.H.O.I.C.E. House team!

team sitting together outside
Davis Benfer (Jacksonville, FL), Yi Xuan (Raymond) Teo (Singapore), AC Priest (Saltillo, MS), & Hailey Osborne (Ashburn, VA)

The team has been working hard these past few weeks to begin the design process of two emergency housing units in Uniontown, AL, alongside their community partner, C.H.O.I.C.E. Each unit is meant for thirty-day stays and will support C.H.O.I.C.E.’s rapid rehousing initiatives. To kick it off, the team met on site with the executive director of C.H.O.I.C.E. and the driving force behind the project, Emefa Butler.

team meets with client

She happily discussed her visions and goals of the project with the team to give them a better understanding of how to emergency housing can best serve the organization. With all the new information, the team immediately started to dive into design work with a goal of making sure the housing units remain dignified and comfortable, even though they are meant for short stays.

diagram of components of a dignified dwelling

This team loves a good charrette as much as the next architect, so there was no better way for them to start getting ideas on paper. They produced drawings, lots of drawings. The team explored ideas for the individual units and began to think about how these units replicate on the same site or how they could be implemented in different contexts in the future.

After having some time to work with the project as a team, the first set of visitors came to review the team’s progress. Hank Koning and Julie Eizenberg, founders of Koning Eizenberg in Santa Monica, CA, helped the students work through a site design exercise to start thinking about how the units will connect to each other and the activities of the site.

team working on site plan for shelter units

Following the review from Hank and Julie, the team has been iterating on the site plans and continuing to push the design of the individual units.

That’s all for now!

Until next time, we’ll be somewhere under this rainbow!

double rainbow over red barn

An Inside Job

With a shady roof finally in place, the team is ready to fit out Myers’ Home on the inside. This includes all interior walls but the “flex walls,” the staircase, and the attic floor. Once these are all set the team can move on to rough mechanical, electrical, and plumbing work.

Taking Shape

Framing interior walls is much the same as exterior walls. In this case none are load-bearing thus headers don’t require the same level of structuring. However, as the core in Myers’ Home interlocks with the staircase, funky framing conditions arise. Before the walls can go up though, the team lays sill plates again, sans gasket and caulk this time around.

Once sill plates were secured, Madeline and Judith framed the ground floor interior walls. The north bedroom was the first to rise, followed by its southern counterpart, the two bathroom walls, and the stair landing.

A Step Up

Judith and Madeline took the first stab at building the staircase. It’s been a while since the Studio has built a staircase! After a day of figuring up from down, they were off to the races. Once Riley returned from the woodshop — he’s been hard at work on some special windows — they really started moving. The platform for the landing is framed first and joists are placed atop before OSB flooring. Stringer angles are measured from marked distances and pulled string with an angle finder.

Once measured and scribed, they cut the stringers from 2×10 boards and leveled them across each step, from bottom to top. This became a touch more difficult on the second run when the stringers were fourteen feet long. Madeline stands on the newly moved scaffold between trusses to level the attic end. Judith pushes the lower ends in place and checks to ensure each step is level across stringers.

Floor It

After these three completed the stairs they moved on up to installing the attic floor. The 3/4″ tongue and groove OSB is hauled up through remaining space between trusses, interlocked, and tacked in.

The attic will soon be partially divided by the enclosed volume of the stair. These folks are in the process of framing those small but tricky little walls. Judith and Madeline will be getting into electrical, mechanical, and plumbing next while Riley returns to the shop for that mysterious window fabrication. All will be revealed before too long. So long for now.

Gimme Shelter

Myers’ Home team is flying high as they install the roof on this generational home. Goodbye errant raindrops, so long harsh sunbeams. Say hello to a cool and shady workspace!

After nailing the sheathing and taping the seams, the team can’t get straight into roof metal installation. The edges of the corrugated metal sheets must be finessed. This is all accomplished with honed and tight flashing details. Way back when this team reviewed such details with Jake Labarre and Dan Wheeler. They tested them in a mockup and it’s finally time for the real deal.

Sneak peek of that roof on a shady morn!

Done in a flash

The flashing is ordered custom and is produced from sheet metal with folds and smash joints as specified. It provides a clean edge for roofing and siding panels to run into and weatherproofs by serving as a drip edge from openings. Later down the line door and window flashing will also be applied before siding to protect the home’s openings.

The team also installed what’s called a “vapor diffusion port.” This consists of a strip of Tyvek paper taped across the gap in the peak of the sheathed roof. Once open-cell spray-in insulation is installed it will serve to diffuse moisture from the home through the attic space.

Up and at ’em

With flashing up, it’s about time to start slinging metal up of Myers’ Home’s 10/12 pitch roof. The team went with a larger corrugation width, 1-1/4″, than that of the siding, 3/4″. This creates distinct planes with similar textures.

Thanks to extra hands Andrew, Steve, and Chelsea, the process was about as smooth as can be. The roofing began with Andrew at the peak and Judith on the roofing ladder at the eave manned with drivers and screws, Madeline and Steve manning the scaffold positions, and Riley and Chelsea pre-drilling and hoisting sheets up.

The front slope of the roof, shortened because of the heeled truss, was completed with just one row of 12′ panels. The back of the house however has a slope length of nearly 20ft. To roof this with a single run of panels is slightly more unwieldy to install with the small crew on this project. The team split the back into two portions; an upper 8′ run and a lower 11′ 6″ segment.

In the home stretch!

The final upper portion proved trickier to maneuver with a lower row already installed. The previously designed rope system continued to prove its worth in this area. Down on the scaffold, a string is pulled across the bottom edge to mark where the roof overhang ends. The scaffold hands push the panel into place and align corrugation to the sheet adjacent before those further up secure the metal.

These folks completed the whole job in two mornings of sunrise starts. All that remains is installing the ridge cap once the team gets their hands on the elusive closure strips. These corrugated foam strips seal large gaps in between the roof and ridge cap across the house’s peak. A complete roof is well in sight!

The Great Indoors

With the roof and sheathing complete, Myers’ Home team finally has that shaded interior workspace. They’re jumping into the first steps of interior wall framing, which will be the core unit of the bathroom, laundry, and staircase. The team has also hit the shop with the first pre-fabricated cypress window unit well underway.

Soon to be released, the woodshop tell-all and the beginnings of plumbing and electrical!

It’s ZIP To Be Square

The summer sun has inspired the Myers’ Home team to get that roof on quickly! They’ll be rising with the sun and reporting to Newbern at 6 o’clock sharp to beat the heat until that roof is high and dry.

Before corrugated metal can wrap this house, it has to be layered with sheathing, waterproofing, and a vapor barrier. Myers’ Home Team is using ZIP System structural sheathing for this endeavor, which combines OSB exterior sheathing and weather protection into one tidily engineered sheet.

On the Up and Up

The team is squaring and stabilizing the framing as they install sheathing. It acts as shear bracing for the trusses and keeps the house in line. At 4′ x 8′ feet, the ZIP System sheets are near identical dimensions as typical OSB sheathing. And they’re applied just the same too!

The install process goes as follows; Madeline holds the sheet from the top, Riley ensures it’s flush to its neighboring sheet, and Judith checks that it’s level. Riley tacks the board at the bottom and Madeline moves outside so it can be secured on all edges.

Next, the crew installs the sheets over window and door openings and cuts out openings with a reciprocating saw. Quite of few of the scraps from this process can be used on the second row of wall sheathing, as well as angled gable ends. These guys also site measure to check that they are aligning with studs and have adequate support.

This keeps on going all the way up to the beginning of the roof pitch. Let the scaffolding saga begin!

Theories of Roof

Hey, remember back when Myers’ team was discussing that attic and those trusses? They picked a 10/12 roof pitch. This incline certainly makes for a trickier time getting those big ZIP sheets up and secured. In addition, due to high prices of lumber right now, purlins proved to be budget-prohibitive and didn’t play well with the existing roof flashing detail. All things considered, these folks had to make a special plan for the ascent.

How’d they do it???

What do all the members of this group have in common? Rock climbing–and they’ve got the gear to prove it. They’ve all gone through safety training and designed a system of secure anchors at the roof peak. It sure doesn’t hurt having a retired rock climbing wall manager hanging around either, top-notch rigging Riley! This rope setup allows for relatively quick and easy movement up, around, across, and down that big, wide roof. Want to see it in action?

Stick Around, Why Don’t You?

After the sheathing is installed, the seams between panels must be sealed to complete the weatherproofing. The team uses ZIP System tape and special rollers to apply this across the whole field of sheets.

The previously introduced “shell method” for Myers’ Home relies on this sealed up ZIP System box that provides a dry and durable layer for the house.

Concept still holds water…or sheds it

Riley, Mad, and Jude are dodging pesky summer showers to square away this task. Next up? Look out for roof metal, quite a few cross-state order pickups, and soon-to-be-introduced pre-fab window units! Until next time…