Very behind on blog posts now, so much has happened! I'll skip through what we've done over a few posts, looking at elements (windows, walls, roof etc.) rather than sticking to a strict chronology...
No posts for a while now, a perfect storm of internet problems combined with lots to do as the weather worsens! Following the insulating of the roof the pressure was on to get the breather membrane secured over the top, and to continue the external insulation of the walls, ultimately wrapping the whole building in breather membrane ready for cladding. The breather membrane works like a gore-tex coat, keeping water in a liquid state out whilst allowing water vapour trapped within the structure to escape. High winds led to a few hairy moments, and lots of extra battens used to secure flapping membrane.
The windows have been delivered - made of timber but fully finished and glazed in the factory they're warrantied for 30yrs against rot/ fungal attack. We installed the bigger windows to the south elevation to reduce the wind tunnel effect - as the membrane goes up more windows will be fitted.
Floor joists have been fitted to the central zone forming a link between the two ends at first floor level, adding a handrail seemed like a good idea. Rooflights have arrived, but won't be fitted until the new year now.
A busy work weekend at Wild Peak saw the ply sheathing and outer insulation fixed to the roof members. A dry weekend seemed like a miracle as we didn't want to trap moisture between the foil faced insulation and the plywood. The plywood braces the structure and prevents lateral movement, it also provides a strong deck to screw the final roofing material to. On a foggy monday we managed to get the breather membrane over it all, providing enough weatherproofing to keep the roof dry for a couple of months if need be. Final photos showing membrane to follow.
So having realised that the fragmented nature of work on the build means that roofing isn't going to happen in one go, and accepting the likely onset of bad weather before long, I decided to put a temporary roof of d.p.m. (damp proof membrane) and roofing lath over the structure. This can be rolled up to work on the roof, but means that the inside space is now relatively dry and timber can be kept in better conditions without spending a long time each day uncovering/ recovering materials. Although the d.p.m. is much tougher than the polyethene used to cover the walls, it will still be vulnerable in high winds so I'm looking to get the roof on asap. External wall insulation work continues, as well as prepping for the installation of windows and doors.
A great weekend, thankfully dry, spent with lovely members of the former Nautia housing co-op who came along to lend a hand. Floor joists were fitted at the north end allowing us to lay out sheets of ply to form a safe working platform at either end. The remaining purlins were raised into place and secured - almost at the end of the big-section timber jobs. So really satisfying and definitely getting a feel for the spaces. Now the big question is one of prioritisation in terms of weather proofing - whether to consolidate what we've done so far, or to crack on with the roof. I want to avoid the ply getting wet, especially on the outside where moisture could get trapped by the foil faced insulation that'll go on next...
Happy with todays progress if mentally and physically bruised!
So excited about todays work that the pun just had to happen, and some bigger photos. Very relieved to have the two big trusses now secured in place with temporary diagonal bracing until the purlins and plywood are installed to give the required structural integrity. The hand-cranked forklift proved up to the job and everything appears to be the right size. South gable wall panels to fit tomorrow, before the lift goes back to the hire company - boo!
In preparation for the trusses we set about lifting the north gable panels into place, using the Genie lift that we're planning to use to get all the big stuff up.
North gable all up by the end of sunday, spot the flaw with the blocks supporting the purlins.
Mike Hawkins is a co-op member and is responsible for the design and management of the build. He'll also live in it when its finished - hooray! He teaches future architects at Leicester DeMontfort and Birmingham City universities.