Renumeration Opportunities with Green Building Concepts & Cloak Media

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Somewhere in 2009, I had an idea to device a scheme to build a residential addition with just 2 people, and when necessary heavy equipment like forklifts, cranes, pump-jacks, and other material handling rigs. Some tasks became untenable, and I had to bring in specialized sub-contractors to get the job done quickly and safely. I’ve utilized a lot of volunteer labor, but I cannot expect altruism on a regular basis, but often on a quid pro quo status. If you come help me set a few fiber cement panels, I can home help you move some boxes, or access some online service.

As my project enters a more time sensitive window, where the sun’s UV radiation, can regrade certain elements, I need to expedite the installation. If you have the tools, interest, and courage to come on an adventure with a demanding building scientist, please contact me. Direct message me through my @greenconcepts twitter account, or a phone call to +1-818-308-5773. I don’t have much to offer, but if your financial requirements align with my renumeration model, and you see an opportunity not just to contribute to the Dark Green Sandwich Panel Addition, but participate in an ongoing research platform, we can publish our journal articles together. I have opportunities in the construction of both the information and physical world for the next six to eight months. I Look forward to our discussions (Accepting applications on a continuous basis, 1st round interviews from 13 March – 18 March 2015).

Working with a Scaffolding Contractor

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Some aspects of construction I’ve not had the pleasure to perform. I did not handle the live electrical leads from the local power utility to the service panel. I did not make the final circuit connections at the main or sub-panels. I could have purchased scaffolding frames, planks, and level legs, but chose to select a local experienced scaffolding contractor instead. I hope in the short run, it will save money.

The assembly crew arrived at 7 AM for a 3 hour assembly of approximately 100 linear feet by 18 ft high scaffolding. My roof line is quit complex, so the various levels of the scaffolding also varies considerably to accommodate the level changes. I have learned many tips for the next scaffolding order, and wanted to share them, so the reader does not share in the frustration I’ve experienced while the planks and frames on my jobsite.

Safety is the 1st concern. Clear the jobsite on any obstacles for either the plaster or masonry scaffold frames. Have a plan for the contractor to work their way around the building, noting any special restrictions when it come to locations and widths. I have several constrictions around the building, and my contractor especially fabricated some frames, which is very convenient. Where lower roofs or ledges may interfere make sure the distance from the workplane to the first scaffold plank is maintained. One several locations around my building, the frame is pushed out beyond the maximum safe distance, or impedes flexibility by not allowing plank movement.

OSHA guidelines recommend a maximum of 18″ separation from 1st plank to work surface. International standard use a 0.5 meters standard, so technically you can maintain a 19-5/8″ gap between the plank and wall, and not violate any safety protocols. As the jobsite installation requirements moves from windows, flashing, weather proofing, to exterior cladding, the planks need to accommodate that variety too. I tried to maximize my plank location to 18″ from the wall surface, but there are several frames that were set too close, and I had to remove a plank, making the 36″ walkway just 24″ which can increase fall risk.

I should have made a scaffolding floorplan or elevation plan, and signed off with the contractor exactly where each level and position fell, to aid in window and door installation. I found myself upside down on the scaffolding planks installing heavy large windows. In one location, the headroom from level to level is under 5′ which forces a constant assembly and disassembly of the planks. With a complex roofline, I would have preferred a slightly higher final plank level, instead of going up and down discontinuous plank heights.

The contractor, for unknown reasons, on a few levels, left just one 12″ scaffold plank, instead of the 36″ wide plank boards, removing any margin of safety. I have not found any difference between solid wood planks to engineered planks in terms of stiffness. It took weeks to get used to the springy nature of the scaffolding, but if installed properly, that becomes an irrational fear. My contractor agreed to bring additional planks, once I complained too.

The scaffolding system allows me to perform faster and safer than any ladder jack, pump-jack, or other system. Careful considerations before the scaffolding crew arrives makes the job so much better.

Installation of Exterior Cladding

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I need every component of the finished siding on the site prior to starting installation. I processed the 15/32 CAT plywood sheathign into 2″ and 3″ strips and practiced ripping the HardiePanels. With the appropriate tools and blade, cement board cuts without dust or ColorPlus damage. The Ridgid R3400 fiber cement circular saw with a MK Diamond Plank Kutter easily cuts fiber cement expelling the dust into a 5 gallon bucket. The minor dust generated gets ejected under the workpiece away form the operator.

Since the majority of building does not have regularly spaces studs I’m using an alternative attachment protocol. I am using 1-1/4″ Paslode finish nails to temporarily attach the rain gap plywood battens prior to the stainless steel fasteners going either through the HardiPanel or just the aluminum reveals. The fiber cement panels get a 1-3/4″ SFS TW-S fastener while the bulk of EasyTrim Reveals get a 1-1/4″ Simpson Strong-Tie Wire-Lath Screw with a large 10.7 mm head diameter.

If I get the spacing layout of battens correctly, the panels and reveals should go up smoothly. Using a rotary laser level and detector, I can set a reference line around the entire building horizontally followed by a brass plumb bob for the vertical level. At the water table and over windows and door goes the window flashing trim attached under the battens, followed by the rest of the vertical reveals. I have a jig to speed up the pre-drilling of fiber cement panels to get the fasteners in just the right orientation and spacing. Z-flashing terminates each course of panels up the the soffit.

A Hitachi Miter Saw with non-ferrous blade make EasyTrim Reveals cutting a snap. Instead of a vent flashing at the start and stop of a panel run, I’m going to use a three dimensional mat that will keep out the bugs and other vermin who might want to take up refuge under the panels. It will take a little more time to get some all the fasteners and supplies, but I’m confident that the installation will go smoothly and effortlessly.