Everything is officially clad! The plywood is cut! The benches are designed! The Cooling Porch is secured! The wiring is installed! The door is installed!
Rowe and Jeff are ticking big items off the Thermal Mass and Buoyancy Ventilation Research Project checklist. Let’s take a look at what the graduate research team has completed in the last month.
The Cooling Porch ceiling and Bottom Chimneys were clad last as they did not need the articulating man lift to reach. Now that the entire Test Building is clad with bleach-stained cypress, their form reads less like floating boxes and more like floating funnels. While the main function of the chimneys is to increase overall stack height and therefore air velocity within the system, they also signal movement to onlookers. Two wood-clad heat silos at your service!
Another TMBV jig on the books, this one helps break down large pieces of plywood with precise cuts. Jeff and Rowe designed and built the jig to make all the cuts necessary for creating the plywood thermal mass panels. Like the concrete panels, the plywood conforms to the slanted ceiling of the Test Building. There is also substantially more plywood panels as they cover the walls, floor, and ceiling of the interior.
Next up, the Cooling Porch finishing touches. Steel plates for future benches were installed in the construction of the Cooling Porch walls. However, the bench material was undecided. The team chose to use the same metal grate used on the stairs and walkway for these breezy benches. Over the next couple of weeks, the benches will be installed and reinforced with a bracket.
Last up for the Cooling Porch, a little tripping hazard prevention. The top course of the Cooling Porch walls were dry-stacked but untethered to the ground. To keep the course in place, the team used Tap Con masonry screws and small metal brackets to link the top course with the rest of the wall.
As future dwellings and experiments, the Test Buildings need power for people and sensors. The buildings are wired through chases in the SIP, accessible from floor outlets to keep the walls clear.
Last on our list of tasks completed is the installation of the doors! The test fit showed a bit more blocking needed, but the end result looks great!