Retrofitting older homes and buildings with energy-efficient systems is as much his profession as it is his mission… “Building new energy-efficient homes is very important but it won’t solve our energy problems,” Pedrick says. “There are a lot more existing residential buildings hat rely on outmoded, over-sized heating and cooling systems and would benefit from system upgrades and improved insulation.”
Timber framing has a strong tradition in the Himalayan region of Asia. In October my wife, Nan, and I ventured to the Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan.
The most striking examples of timber framing are found in the Buddhist monasteries (photo 5995).
The Bhuanese also developed an elaborate system of timber framed cantilever bridges. (other 2 photos). This specific bridge was rebuilt about 10 years ago as a joint Bhutan and Swiss project.
These photos are of the work in progress on the Timber Frame Studio in Massachusetts. The detailing of the exterior is exquisite, utilizing red cedar shingles, and detailed with 2 shingle flare-outs. The main gable end is fenestrated beautifully with an upper curved top set of 3 windows and curved muntins. Below, the 3 window set is trimmed below with vertical cedar paneling. Elegant Greek Revival fascias and soffits trim on the roof, which will be done with standing metal roofing.
The interior photo shows the Structural Insulated Panels on the walls prior to any interior wall finish. Note that the Sips are put on the exterior of the Timber Frame, so that the insulation entirely wraps the timber structure and maximizes insulation efficiency. On the ceiling, white washed pine tongue and groove boards were applied over the purlins prior to putting the roof SIPS. The loft area is being planked with structure tongue and groove boarding. A concrete slab win radiant tubing in it will be poured for the floor.
With its complete SIPS enclosure system, high energy efficient windows, and a radiant in floor heating slab, the Studio will be toasty and easy to heat.
I just received some photos and an update from the folks for whom we built the Barn Timber Frame in Canton, NY, back in May. The roof is now on, and the walls mostly sided. Doors are in, and the windows were picked up last week from a local Amish millworks shop.
Perhaps more importantly, the goats and chickens have already taken up residence. And I am informed that while picking up the windows, some baby bunnies came home to the barn as well….
Like the traditional timber frame barns of the Northeast, this one was sided with locally milled, rough-sawn pine planking, sheathed vertically, i.e. the way the lumber grew in the tree. Boards are gapped about an inch, and then vertical batten strips will be nailed over the gaps to make the barn more weather tight. It will weather to a nice dark grey without any stain or paint.
This project is a timber frame for the studio of a metal sculptor, who does fabulous and intricate kinetic sculptor. We raised it in coastal Massachusetts in June.
It utilizes curved laminated timbers (glulams) that transition from the posts to the principle rafters, and in turn are held together with custom steel bands that are tightened with oak wedges. It was a unique, challenging and enjoyable project for us, with a great collaborative effort between us, the general contractor and the engineers.
The timber frame just barely fit on the truck, but boy were we glad we pre-assembled the post to rafter with curve with all its hardware components here at our full shop. It took close to 3 days to assemble the 12 sections…We had the engineers model a truck loading plan of the assemblies and other timbers and it just fit on the 48’ long semi.
The raising was honestly easier than anticipated. We raised with staging, as per photo, and accessed all purlins up to and including the 4th purlin up from the bottom. We then put 16’ aluminum picks across from 4th purlin to 4th purlin, and thus accessed the 5th purlins, ridges, and cupola jack rafters. A hard frame to climb on, even with full harness rigging and static lines, etc…. Not comfortable.
Inside timber frame finish view….the client loves it! He is a great guy….
Consider this: The average American house size grew from 1800 square feet in 1989 to about 2600 square feet in 2008. That is an in increase of 44%. And amazingly, this happened during a time in history of dramatically increasing material and energy costs, and increasing concern and understanding about global energy issues.
In her well-articulated book, “The Not So Big House”, Sarah Susanka discusses the trends that have grown our houses so large, and makes a very compelling case for smaller homes. At the heart of her story is the notion that one can design a house that has no wasted space (including getting rid of rooms that are generally unused), and therefore can be smaller. She makes a point of prioritizing quality over quantity – a fine recipe for very unique and personal homes.
I first met Ernie Bedard of What Knots? Lumber Company in about 1997 when a retired forester named Mitch who lives 6 miles up the road, asked us to build a turn key timber frame addition for his late 1800’s home. Mitch wanted to harvest his own spruce off one of his wood lots and have it sawn into timber, and he knew a chap who had a portable band saw mill who could do it. I confess I was skeptical about this, for I was concerned about the sawyer’s attention to accuracy and how well the mill was tuned up, and I had seen good sawing on such machines, but also a lot of bad sawing. That was before I met Ernie…
In the building industry the local movement refers to more than just good produce. In the timber framing business here in the Adirondacks, it also refers to my favorite building material: wood. I have a great love and reverence for wood and my craft allows me to work with wood in a relatively natural state.
One of the great joys of timber framing is working with real (and frequently large) pieces of wood, rather than many of the building materials in the construction industry that bear little resemblance to trees. Like any business, procuring materials for timber framing is a challenging mix of cost, availability, and quality. And of course, finding good suppliers who say what they are going to do, and then do what they say.