Sunday, December 10, 2017

Whidbey Island Micro Buildings-WIMB

The Whidbey Institute is enlarging its accommodations for guests and as such hired Ross Chapin to design three new buildings called Meadow Row.  dbBrad was hired by Jade Construction to help out with the building, detailing and moving of the microbuildings.   

Dan Neumeyer of Jade Construction was hired by the institute to build the buildings.  Dan has built and even moved some small buildings but this was a big project and so he turned to us at dbBrad to help out because we have built so many Micro Buildings and have extensive experience with picking, moving, placing, designing and building small buildings.

It was all in all a very collaborative process between Dan, Scott and Mike who work for Dan, Ross the architect, and myself, Tristin, Josh, and Kevin.  All in all we worked well together, had lots of fun, kept up with Dan's schedule, and did some amazing on the fly problem solving.

dbBrad logo cut out of Tar Paper, our only publicity on this project!
Because building comes with lots of noise and disruption, the choice was made to build the buildings off site and move them onto the site when they were mostly complete.

The construction platforms consisted of 2-4x10's x 40' long for each
building which consisted of 3 separate structures to
be joined into one once on site.
 This came with many challenges.  The first being that each building consisting of two bedrooms with a common bath in between, would have been too big to move in one piece.  Rather, the structure needed to support them during the move would have been so substantial as to add enough extra height to the building that when loaded on a truck would have been overheight.

We left just enough space between each building to allow access for labor and materials.
Overheight may not be an issue in some places and you can get overheight permits, but on Whidbey Island where many of our power lines are low, extra attention needed to be paid to which route had the best clearance and not to exceed this.

Twelve Micro buildings going up together.
The decision was made to separate each building into three.  Thus the bathroom and the two bedrooms would each be build as a separate pod and then joined together on site.

Hansons sign in the background of the WIMB's
dbBrad sign also visible on one of the pods.
This is much more complicated that nailing up a piece of trim to cover the seam.  Probably the hardest thing to deal with was the wiring.  However Island County insisted that these small residences were commercial in nature and as such had to be sprinkled for fire protection.  This seems absurd to me to spend 10's of thousands of dollars so each of these 8x12 buildings could have a sprinkler head.

Framing the roofs while issues with the ADA units were resolved.
So right next to Hanson's, my favorite lumber and hardware store, is a lot that used to have cranes on it.  Dan was able to rent this lot for 6 months and use it to build and stage the buildings.

While these may be little buildings, they still have punch, drama and interest
inherent in the architecture.  True architectural interest comes
not from materials used to construct and finish, but from the design.
Temporary platforms were built consisting of 4x10 beams roughly 10' apart that we could build on allowing us to level, have access under, and later to pick with a crane or forklift.

dbBrad and MicroBuildings
Having Hanson's right next door was quite handy.  When we needed materials, we simply walked over to the counter, placed and order, found one of the yard persons with a forklift and had them bring our materials to within a few feet of where they were needed.

dbBrad recommended the Pro Clima system from 475 building materials. 
While Intello was not chosen for the interiors, they did go with Mento 1000 on the outside
which is the best moisture barrier I've ever used.  Strong, high performance, soft and non
toxic, it's like gortex for your house.
Dan put together a schedule and did a fantastic job.  The overall offsite construction which also included foundations and utilities on site, was about a 5 month project with framing making up 2-3 weeks.
The crew, Scott and Mike of Jade construction and Kevin and Josh of dbBrad.
Where the hell is Tristan?!  Not the first time I've said this!
We were able to complete the framing in this two weeks.  Amazingly enough, the buildings scheduled to move the first week of November were moved to first week of November.

The Mento applied and taped to the outside of our MicroBuildings
I give Dan Neumeyer great credit for this.  To build and complete 12 complicated microbuildings and keep to the 5 month long schedule delivering the buildings on the day projected was quite an accomplishment.
Squeezing the scaffolding between the units so we could pick up
the pre-made soffits which were built on the ground.

View of the MicroBuildings and simple shed roofs from above.

Many many times did we have to step over the 4x10 temp beams holding up
our MicroBuildings.

Scott moves one of the premade soffits into place.  The soffits
for the front have already been installed after being assembled on the ground.

Buildings wrapped, soffits on, this is about where dbBrad left the project
until it was time to move them.

Rainscreen, Roxul and siding going on.

Plastic installed to keep the buildings dry until they were ready to be moved.

The outside corners of the outside buildings were able to be completely
finished prior to moving. 

Other walls had to remain unfinished until moved into place.  


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