The plan for the CLT construction process was to do one floor a day. As days are short in December, and darkness comes soon after 4.30pm, we started as early as we could, from 7.30am. Here’s how Day 1 went…
New Leaf Custom Homes supremo, Chris, clearing water and sawdust off the slab before the start
Crew meeting. From left: Mikaela, architect; Steve, builder; Ian, timber-framer; Malcolm, Passive House specialist; Anne, builder; David, home-owner; Chris, head builder.
We started with the west wall, which had to be braced until further walls were put into place
The placement is crucial, down to the milimetre.
Vertical and horizontal alignment is precise
A smooth process means knowing where each piece is located in the storage rack and piles
The long north wall is hoisted into place. Each exernal wall and ceiling has an airtight gasket on the edge
With four walls in place, we have more stabilty
Each piece is joined to the others with 6-8 200mm steel screws
The area around the stairs needs particular care
The first of two drop beams is lifted into place
Ian’s timber-framing experience and strength proves invaluable with the beams
And that’s what the sacrificial planks look like when he’s finished!
Finally, some sun lights up the interior
The beams are in place…
…but there is a 4mm discrepancy to resolve
The first ceiling panel begins its journey
The ceiling panel approaches
Precision crane operation is required
And everything has to be flush
Afternoon coffee and cake for the hardworking crew
Sun on the trees on the distant side of Barrett Bay seen through a window opening
Such a beautiful opening – but it’s just the hole for the stove pipe!
Looking south through what will be the French windows, towards the barn and the crane.
By the end of the day we had done exactly what we had hoped and planned for: a complete first floor! And we were ready to start with the second storey on Day 2.
There is a lot more to see from this process too, which we will put up in future: Malcolm from the Canadian Passive House Institute put up a camera on the roof of the old house, which takes a picture every 5 seconds, so eventually we will have a complete time-lapse video of the whole process. Our architect, Mikaela, also took some hand-held video at several points during the day. And we have even more photos.
It’s really been quite amazing to see what we’ve been planning for so long actually happening… but, for now, it’s time for sleep and another early start and more hard work tomorrow.