So the first session comes to a close, Concrete slabs are poured and the Big D order came in! one week off for some well deserved rest and relaxation with some lake Powell, hiking of the narrows, and backpacking Zion! I hope everyone has a wonderful labor day, stay safe, have fun and we will all see you back here next session for some wall framing and roofing!
here are some pictures for your viewing pleasure!
The last week was very exciting and a good end to Session I! The team began pouring the footers on Monument Valley cabin Monday while the rest of the group finished formwork for Blue Mountain cabin. Each day saw a new slab poured and finally today finished up with the most complicated pour: the patio for the Monument Valley cabin that included the to-be-cast-in-place fire pit. We have all decided that if the firepit on the patio does not get final approval from the group that it will instead be the first hot tub that Design Build Bluff will inaugurate… only in our dreams after working hard, hot days moving earth!
On Thursday night school, Becca treated us to a wine tasting lesson, sampling a smattering of 4 reds and 4 whites from around the world. In addition to building two cabins, acquiring donations, leading specific parts of the build and designing both architectural and structural details, one person per week presents on a topic of their choosing outside the realm of architecture in order to have a break and learn about the larger world outside of our regular schedule in Bluff. Can’t wait for more!
At the end of the day on Friday before the big weekend and our first week off in the semester the truck from Big-D came with our humongous lumber order. Because our site is at the end of a bumpy dirt road we had to shuttle the rest of the load with our vehicle and trailer, using lots of manpower to move the pieces. In short time, too, when the group returns they will be treated to a wonderful paella served up by Sam and Jason. Nothing like grilling out on a Friday night before Labor Day weekend. Many people are looking at maps to head to Zion and other adventures for their week off. We will report back, possibly more tired than when we left, but full of adventures for a lifetime!
Until next time, this is Sam (aka Raptor) signing off!
Week 1 was a great success!! Since our site is a part of the Mexican Water Chapter’s infrastructure plan, it is located close to the existing chapter house and therefore has access to the many amenities the chapter house has to offer future visitors. We were given a site plan but, after receiving approval from the chapter house, decided to orient the cabins so that the views would directly face Monument Valley and the Blue Mountains. This decision prompted us to name the cabins based on the views.
Initial site prep comprised the majority of the first week. Our two cabins started to take form before our eyes in just 4 days, thanks to an excavator and the determination of the group as a whole, despite the difficulty of working with the fine sand and tough dessert vegetation. The tamping and shoveling crews worked exceptionally hard to create a strong, stable base on top of which all of the gravel would later be placed. By Saturday, we had managed to set the blue board insulation, form work, and plumbing in anticipation of pouring footings and slabs for both cabins.
Even though the whole group enjoyed a full day of hiking, frolfing (frisbee golfing), and/or mountain biking in nearby Moab and Arches National Park on Sunday, everyone was ready to hit the ground running on Monday. After the success of reaching our goals on Saturday, we were able to spend the day finishing up the form work for the Blue Mountain cabin, filling both cabins’ foundations with four inches of gravel, and establishing the rebar for the slab of the Monument Valley cabin. This left Tuesday available to begin pouring our first footings.
The first safety lecture was filled with the ins and outs of harsh working conditions in the desert of the southwest. Besides heat exhaustion, dust storms, and lightning, the regularity of seeing black widows and rattlesnakes makes us highly aware of our surroundings, and foremost, that the closest medical facility is over an hour away. WMA’s, WFR’s and W-EMT’s are a plenty on our student crew, making everyone feel a little more safe in case the worst happens.
Regular maintenance of tools to clean out super fine-grain sand and protect them from high heat is taught at the outset in order to keep the project moving without any preventable delays.
Welcome to the beginning of Design Build Bluff 2014! Even though this is the first you are hearing from us we have been busy designing and creating construction documents for the past 8 months. This year is going to be a little different because we have been charged with the task of designing two short stay cabins for the Mexican Water Chapter here on the Navajo reservation. These cabins are going to be around 288 square feet each of interior space and a total of 400 square feet each including outdoor spaces. The cabins are primarily going to be for the renting out to tourist visiting this great location. Mexican Water is central to some great locations such as MOAB, Blue Mountain, Monument valley, Bears ears, Lake Powell, Four corners and many more sites, making it a prime location for these rental cabins. You will see the progression of the semester starting with some of these pictures of the first two days of the semester. Hope you enjoy them and we are excited to show you all what is to come!
~ J-Bird (Jason Patel)
Thank you to all the supporters of Design Build BLUFF
Thank you to:
Big -D construction for all the raw building materials
Big Ass Fans for the amazing low energy fan
Left Hand Masons for the construction of the heater
Mountain Land Design for all the hardware in the house
Arizona Tile for the Bathroom and Kitchen tile, thin set, and grout
RJ masonry for the heater bricks
Mountain Fiber Insulation for the Cellulose
Simpson strong tie for the roof hangers
Lightexture for the Kitchen pendants
Wilson’s paint for the primer and paint
JRC Lighting for all the home lighting
To all that assisted in giving us the ability to design and create SolRose