Sunday, March 30, 2008

I just need to be better at this

Perspectival View of the Primary Steel Framing, looking South.

First Draft of a Column-to-Rafter Joint Detail - The HSS is held in a custom fabricated steel bracket and then bolted together. We are trying to minimize the amount of structural welds that we would need since we can't legally do any of them. So we're trying to do as much as possible as bolted connections - that way we get to do as much of the assembly as possible.

Column to Floor Beam Joint Detail: The column sits in a bracket which is bolted to the Steel Wide Flange Beam. The Beam is dropped on to Plates which are Epoxy anchored into the Masonry walls below - these plates also hold the Beam up off the Plank to maintain drainage underneath and to make sure that the Plank isn't taking any of the weight - only the walls below are.

Well - I didn't get NEARLY as much done this weekend as I had hoped. But I at least have a semi-completed scheme to present at our little pin-up tomorrow. I sized and designed the main structure of the PV roof as a fairly traditional post-and-beam construction. Johnny is working on our other version of the main structure which is a little more creative in the way its put together and how it deals with the loads.

Anyway - this version is made up of Steel Tube, 8x8's for the Rafters, 4x4's for the columns. There are some wonky bits where things cantilever, but the real weirdness is in the floor beams - We were pretty much told by Harriett to figure out the structure as if the concrete plank roof wasn't really there - it can't take any point load to speak of and so we really can't land any of our columns on it at all. So I embedded W's in the floor which span from bearing wall to bearing wall which the columns will all land on - they ended up having to be pretty beefy (W12x53's) which means we are looking at like 1000 lbs per beam. Sigh.

But - not the end of the world - about 12,000 lbs of steel all together - if we figure $1,50 / lb-ish that is like 18 grand. Not horrible if you figure it is the main structure for the whole thing and everybody is gonna be hanging their pieces (the low roof, the greenhouse, the walls, etc) off of it. Still - kind of a lot considering the size of it and how little its actually holding up (The PV is really light - all things considered) - its really the fact that we can only touch down in such few places that makes it such a pain. We'll make it work somehow - I have faith that my spreadsheet can figure it out ;)

But really though - I need to get waaaay faster at this and do better at prioritizing and planning my work out before I get lost in it. Cus really - I could spend hours and hours modeling bolts and making pretty drawings and what not - but we have only like 4 weeks left and there just isn't time for me to be screwing around any more. I dunno. Also - in case it wasn't obvious from the super clunky joints up there - I'm kind of shootin' blind here with this whole steel construction thing. Not exactly one of my areas of expertise - but what the heck - gotta give it a shot right?

Other than not getting enough done - the weekend went ok. Everybody went out after they closed studio on friday. I ended up leaving a little early cus' of some stuff but it sounds like everybody (with the exception of the guy Star threw her beer on) had a good time. Also - Stanford sucks. Cost my broke self 10 bucs. Couldn't even win one simple game . . . ;)

Anyway, Its midnight right now and I just finished printing out my boards for tomorrow so I think I might take a half-day today and head home early. Maybe I'll watch a movie or something . . .

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