Dust in the Wind – Session 4, Week 2 Begins!

45 year old milled pattern on our reclaimed barn wood.

45 year old milled pattern on our reclaimed barn wood.

On Monday, we had our first encounter with a desert wind storm. The high winds were blowing sand everywhere and it made wearing goggles a necessity. It was simply another reminder that we are living in the desert.

Everyone was very productive, although, cladding team did have to stop attaching metal panels halfway through the day due to the high winds. Parapet caps and flashing details under the cantilevered trusses have occupied cladding team all day for the past week but all steel cladding on the exterior of both cabins is scheduled for completion by mid week.

Parapet caps being prepped on Monument Valley Cabin.

Parapet caps being prepped on Monument Valley Cabin.

The interiors of the cabins are really coming along. We are very excited to soon be installing the reclaimed barn wood on the interior of Monument Valley. Prepping the reclaimed barn wood is a diligent process using a skill saw, table saw and planer to create straight edges from warped and distorted boards. The boards come in a variety of thicknesses and lengths also but a small team has been sorting and taking inventory of each piece of wood in hopes to minimize waste.

The Planing Station

The Planing Station

Table Saw Station cleaning the barn wood edges.

Table Saw Station cleaning the barn wood edges.

Barn Wood Team

Barn Wood Team

Steel Cutting Station

Steel Cutting Station

Ryan grinding steel pieces in the ladder.

Ryan grinding steel pieces in the ladder.

Bunk Ladder completed!

Bunk Ladder completed!

Bunk Ladder Detail

Bunk Ladder Detail

The bunk cubby hole with newly added barn wood.

The bunk cubby hole with newly added barn wood.

Becca working in the bunk.

Becca working in the bunk.

A little bit more mudding and sanding and the drywall should be ready for paint and primer next week. Also, the custom ladder up to the bunk bed is finished and is yet just another custom detail we have worked into these fun little cabins. In Blue Mountain Cabin, all of custom steel brackets were installed. These large brackets will hold up the cantilevered benches and concrete countertop that stretch along the west wall of the cabin’s kitchen and living room.

Interior Detailing Tools

Interior Detailing Tools

Sam sanding in white out conditions.

Sam sanding in white out conditions.

Sam's sanding face.

Sam’s sanding face.

Monument Valley Kitchen Base Cabinetry

Monument Valley Kitchen Base Cabinetry

Monument Valley Bathroom

Monument Valley Bathroom

Jason prepping jambs for the bathroom door of Blue Mountain Cabin.

Jason prepping jambs for the bathroom door of Blue Mountain Cabin.

Last, but not least, the patio slats have begun to be installed! These slats, also made of the reclaimed barn wood, are the overhead condition for both patios. Also, the formwork for the fire pit in Monument Valley is coming along nicely!

Cam works on fire pit formwork.

Cam works on fire pit formwork.

Arron mounting furring strips for the slats on Blue Mountain's patio.

Arron mounting furring strips for the slats on Blue Mountain’s patio.

Slats have begun going in!

Slats have begun going in!

With less than three construction weeks now, the group has a renewed sense of urgency as we pursue all of the interior and exterior details we’ve been planning for the past several months.

Dan & Ryan

Working For (Or On) The Weekend

A photo update of our full work day this past Saturday. Cladding, interiors, bathroom and patio teams were all working hard to meet their weekly goals!

Kathryn preps a full sheet of steel to be cut at the metal cutting station.

Kathryn preps a full sheet of steel to be cut at the metal cutting station.

Seth and Kathryn working on a corner detail on Monument Valley Cabin.

Seth and Kathryn working on a corner detail on Monument Valley Cabin.

The Interiors Team finishing OSB and beginning to install the first of the reclaimed barn wood in Monument Valley Cabin.

The Interiors Team finishing OSB and beginning to install the first of the reclaimed barn wood in Monument Valley Cabin.

Taking quick post-lunch power naps on the roofs!

Taking quick post-lunch power naps on the roofs!

Mud-master Sam continues to mud Monument Valley's interior.

Mud-master Sam continues to mud Monument Valley’s interior.

Robin finishes leveling the fabricated steel brackets in Blue Mountain. Nice work, Robin!

Robin finishes leveling the fabricated steel brackets in Blue Mountain. Nice work, Robin!

Jason has begun working on interior doors.

Jason has begun working on interior doors.

Weathered steel and barn wood detail for the bunk ladder in Monument Valley Cabin.

Weathered steel and barn wood detail for the bunk ladder in Monument Valley Cabin.

Becca prepped a piece of barn wood for Monument Valley's interior.

Becca prepped a piece of barn wood for Monument Valley’s interior.

Coop and Cam working on the formwork for Monument Valley's fire pit.

Coop and Cam working on the formwork for Monument Valley’s fire pit.

Jason planing barn wood.

Jason planing barn wood.

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Cladding team preparing to wrap the parapet flashing around Monument Valley's scupper.

Cladding team preparing to wrap the parapet flashing around Monument Valley’s scupper.

The group decided the long Saturday work day deserved a tamale dinner that night before a well deserved Sunday off!

The group decided the long Saturday work day deserved a tamale dinner that night before a well deserved Sunday off!

Hope your weekend was as great as ours!

- UCD Design Build Bluff 2014

Let there be water and metal!

Today we had our shower fixtures installed and more metal cladding put up. The cabins are looking better by the day. Becca and I were able to solve some problems with our “pirate door” (emergency egress) and Ryan was figuring out how our ladder is going to work getting up to our bunks. Johnny and Matt have been building cabinets and formwork and Sam has been cutting, drilling and grinding our metal brackets for our benches. There has been a lot going on and we are so happy with our progress this session so far. Here are some pictures to add to our first post updating you on what we have achieved since Monday!

 

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The Pirate Door20141105_154823

 

Until next time we speak, Have a wonderful night and a great winter!

Sam and Jason

Another beautiful fall day

 

The full moon rose today as the sun went down on the the other side of the horizon giving us another glimpse of desert beauty.  More parapet walls went up, with Blue Mountain nearly fully clad with steel.  It makes for quite a dramatic scene as the sun sets.20141105_170443

20141105_154910Parapet caps are almost fully installed on Blue Mountain. 20141105_154926

Ryan and Becca survey some pieces of salvaged barnwood we plan to clad much of the cabins with!20141105_155043

Safety is number 1!  Ryan giving us a thumbs up after a slight injury and a styling new hair cut.  20141105_163918

It seems like finish trim work will never end, but at the end of the day it is well worth the effort.20141105_164159

Pippsa installing the rain shower.

The crew is still hard at work with team leads delegating and prioritizing work in order to meet our week-end goal.  And hoping to finish most of the exterior work before the snow starts!

 

Sam and Jason

 

 

Remember, remember…

 

Today, the Design/Build crew was hard at work on cladding the exterior and polishing the interior. We managed to get a good amount of parapet caps on the east wall of the Blue Mountain Cabin, as well as sanding the first application of drywall mud. Wherever the drywall was already sanded, we began to apply a second coat of mud. It’s starting to look sooo good!

 

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Coop was busy pressurizing all the plumbing lines to test for future leaks.

 

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Congratulations, we passed!

 

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Meanwhile, Johnny began to cut out the various components for the kitchen cabinetry.

 

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We are all working very hard and learning so much.

 

Exhausted,

~Arron & Johnny

Chill Monday

After a week of much needed rest and outdoor excursions, we are excited to be back for another eventful session. It seems like everything that we have worked for and everything that we planned for are finally coming into fruition. It is a critical session for us, as we are expected to finish the majority of our work by the end of this three-week session. Kitchen and Bathroom teams are planning to cast two concrete counters and one concrete sink this session. Interior group is working hard on interior finishes and will start on interior built-ins next week. Exterior group is wrapping up on steel cladding and will move to reclaimed barn wood cladding this session. Patio group is finalizing the slat details and will cast the concrete fire pit. After a year of planning and hard-work, it is surreal that our objects of affection, the cabins, are coming into form.

johnny sun tanJohnny getting his tan on.

cam plasteringsam plasteringCam and Sam, our mudding masters at work.

ryanRyan snoozing working on the Monument Valley bunk bed.

dan+arronArron and Dan, Rock the Catspaw.

Kathryn and BeccaBecca and Kathryn testing the latest Bluff fashion, drywall mud clothing.

Angle BracketLastly, a gift from our saving angel, custom shelf brackets for our concrete counter and sinks. We are working on similar brackets for Blue Mountain floating benches.

sunset

terveiset kylmästä Bluffista

Lời chào từ Bluff,

Pipsa and Linh

Session Three End

As we began session three, we had come to the realization that we had fallen somewhat behind. In previous posts, we have discussed equipment malfunctions, minor setbacks, and material miscalculations. As the session progressed, adjustments to our schedule were made in an attempt to get back on track. In most cases, this would be a huge source of stress; however, we took these setbacks as a challenge, and made up for several days of lost time throughout the session. In fact, it is safe to say that much fun was had by the end of session three.

 

Today, we installed the concrete sink and counter top. A team of six was required to lift the sink, and as many as eight were working to get the sink through the door, and set in place. Although the labor was intensive, and the process to install was difficult, the results were astounding!

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Exterior cladding continued today, and a rhythm has been established throughout the cladding installation team. Progress has increased from one half of a wall per day, to over 1.5 walls per day, and now we have two cabins, with all major walls completely clad in weathered steel.

 

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Drywall in Monument Valley was completed today with the exception of some additional mudding and sanding. With that, attention turned to Blue Mountain, and significant progress was made as the ceiling and east wall have been completed.

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It is fair to say that this session has presented significant challenges for the group. However, it is also fair to say that these challenges were met with extreme diligence, hard work, and ingenuity. Ending this session on a positive note only makes us eager to begin working in session four.

 

We will leave you with this lovely sunset!

 

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Toodles-

 

~Arron & Johnny

 

Wednesday, Session 3, Week 3

Wednesday saw much progress and excitement for the productivity our “early morning” week and extended hours has afforded us.  Though everyone is a little more tired than usual, the quality and quantity of our work has kept the group in high spirits, almost racing to the site each day to get just that much further with our design (and to waste the first 5 minutes on site staring in awe at our cladding.)  Speaking of cladding, the crew, lead by Zane, has been exceptionally diligent making sure each and every piece is designed, cut, and folded properly before being bolted to the furring strips.

Cladding crew discussing window detailing

Cladding crew discussing window detailing

Dan and Arron cutting steel cladding pieces

Dan and Arron cutting steel cladding pieces

Detailing has been a huge driving force in both cabins and cladding is no exception.  Much thought was given to how the metal sheets would come together, giving us some amazing moments on the exterior finish.

Corner steel and bolt detail

Corner steel and bolt detail

Meanwhile, the interior team has been hard at work hanging drywall and finally creating the spaces we have imagined for so long.  In Monument Valley, Ryan took on the task of sheathing both beds, including the lit cubby holes that the interior and electrical teams collaborated on to create what we hope will be some wonderful details.  The ladder to the loft was further developed, channels were utilized to provide a small reveal at the base of the walls, and everybody who had even a few minutes of free time jumped onto the team to help the mudding and taping.  Though we always knew we wanted to pursue trimless window frames, it took several tries and lots of blocking to see that detail come to fruition, however we soon all agreed it was worth the effort.

Cam mudding drywall joints and screw holes

Cam mudding drywall joints and screw holes

Pipsa and Johnny spent much of the afternoon dropping the ceiling in the bathroom of Monument Valley to make the space more comfortable and to make room for the rain shower fixture which Pipsa specified.

Dropped ceiling in Monument Valley

Dropped ceiling in Monument Valley

After slaving away for weeks, Johnny was finally able to see the fruits of his labors as he took of the formwork of the dual kitchen/bathroom sink.  It looks amazing and everybody is very excited to place it in the wall though is probably weighs 600 pounds or so and will take a huge group effort to move without damaging it or ourselves.

Jonny removing the formwork from Blue Mountain's double sink

Jonny removing the formwork from Blue Mountain’s double sink

By the end of the day, Linh and Sam had the entirety of Blue Mountain insulated so drywall can start being installed, Jason had thresholds for the bathrooms fabricated, and Coop had made great headway with the shower mixers, all of which needed customized holders.  All in all, we left site in high spirits and came home to some awesome chili courtesy of Matt and Robin!

 

Kathryn and Becca

Session 3: End of Week 2

Saturday on site was a big working day for the cabins. The insulation blower was fixed and allowed for a much cleaner work site compared to the day before where we manually had to put insulation in the walls. By the end of the day, the blower worked out so well that we were able to complete over 90% insulation on Monument Valley Cabin. In addition to the insulation being blown-in, drywall was screwed to the ceiling to Monument Valley. Plumbing team also made progress, with passing their first of four air pressure test. No leaks makes for a happy student plumber!
On Blue Mountain Cabin, cladding team was preparing the weathered steel sheets. By mid-day, the first sheet went up which was such a pleasure to see! Our exterior vision of the cabins, at that moment, came to life. The treated material and the horizontal layout of the sheets united the Navajo landscape and the Design Build Bluff cabins together in a way that gives respect to the culture and new age of translating architecture.
Kitchen team also poured the complicated design for Blue Mountain sink after 7+ mock-ups.  Johnny, lead of Kitchen team, carefully managed the pour as 4 team members manually hammered the formwork to get rid of air bubbles.  The smallest of this year’s team members proudly put her stature to good use, as she was the only one who could fit under the formwork comfortably to hammer from below.
Last Monday, Sam, Matt, and Cam met with our client, Martha and 2 members of the council to give an update on the design.  A few weeks prior, some of the members mentioned some concern on how close the fire pit was to the wall, so patio team presented some new ideas to relieve their concerns. The conclusion was to go with a propane-fueled fire pit.  Electrical team had presented the lighting fixtures that were going in, and the council expressed excitement for the fixtures and what other designs the DBB team has to offer.
By the end of the work day, smiles and accomplished were upon us all.
The whole group came together to hand insulate the walls after the fiasco

The whole group came together to hand insulate the walls after the set-back.

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Matt & Robin cleaning the blower before cleaning themselves at the end of the day.

Matt & Robin, covered in insulation at the end of the day, setting priorities straight and cleaning the blower instead.

Plumbing test! Psi stayed at 52 after a 30min test.

Plumbing test. PSI stayed at 52 after a 30min test.

Cladding team weathering the steel

Cladding team weathering the steel

 

 

 

- C&C [Coop & Cam]

We love insulating!

We love insulating!

 

 

The Last Week of Session 3 is Under Way

Seth continues to weather more and more steel panels on site.

Seth continues to weather more and more steel panels on site.

With all of the insulation fully installed on Monument Valley, we have begun applying the sheetrock and it is about 60% complete. It is exciting to see a new layer of the ceilings and walls being applied which further create a unique sense of space within these tiny cabins. Once the sheetrock is fully installed on Monument Valley, we will shift our attention to finishing the insulation for Blue Mountain.

Matt, Robin and Johnny lift sheetrock into place in Monument Valley Cabin.

Matt, Robin and Johnny lift sheetrock into place in Monument Valley Cabin.

Matt and Becca installing an aluminum F channel.

Matt and Becca installing an aluminum F channel.

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Cladding team has been working exceptionally hard weathering the steel sheets and applying them to Blue Mountain. 2/3 of the west wall  is cladded and we are now starting to get a glimpse of how incredible these cabins will look on the outside. Cladding team aims to have six facades fully cladded in the weathered steel by the end of session and are off to a good start!

A group of students hold a piece of weathered carbon steel cladding in place.

A group of students hold a piece of weathered carbon steel cladding in place.

Students level a piece of weathered carbon steel cladding on Blue Mountain Cabin.

Students level a piece of weathered carbon steel cladding on Blue Mountain Cabin.

 

Arron cutting a piece of cladding at our metal cutting and bending station.

Arron cutting a piece of cladding at our metal cutting and bending station.

Seth has the steel weathering down to a science!

Seth has the steel weathering down to a science!

Finishing touches are being applied to the roofs and they are almost (99%) completely waterproofed. Bathroom and plumbing teams have been busy grinding the bathroom floors, finishing the rough plumbing (with pressure tests) and prepping the bathroom walls for wood cladding and cement board installation. Johnny, our kitchen lead, has also led the pour of our double sink for Blue Mountain Cabin on site over the weekend with the help of four other students and Atsushi.

 

Sam finishes adhering the EPDM to Blue Mountain's roof.

Sam finishes adhering the EPDM to Blue Mountain’s roof.

Exterior cladding on Blue Mountain Cabin

Exterior cladding on Blue Mountain Cabin

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We all look forward to using extended work hours this week to end session 3 strong and on schedule before a week break and our final 3 week session in November.

 

Ryan & Dan