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    • Marrying Steel and Timber

      November 27, 2020

      Lumber is one of the most amazing construction materials -- it's tough and durable, and allows for incredibly flexible house designs. But sometimes, it's just not strong enough.

      That's the case at one of our current projects on Eagle Bay Road. This waterfront West Coast beauty features a great deal of glass to take advantage of the amazing Shuswap vistas. And because of that, our engineers prescribed steel to replace lumber in one particularly critical area of the home. It provides a great deal of extra strength for the entire structure, which will be particularly important during those occasional high wind events we get throughout the year.

      You can see the steel section in the photos below. It's called a moment frame -- a rectilinear assemblage of beams and columns, with the beams rigidly connected to the columns. Resistance to lateral forces (for example, high winds) is provided primarily by rigid frame action -- that is, by the development of bending moment and shear force in the frame members and joints. Now that it's been craned into place and secured, our expanded crew can get on with the rest of the framing and sheathing, hopefully before winter arrives in earnest.

      The entire site and garage have been backfilled with gravel which improves cold weather compaction and creates a nice clean working space with excellent water drainage -- ideal for fall and winter construction. Trusses, roofing and window installation are scheduled in the weeks ahead.

      One of the challenges with this build was the steepness of the driveway in the original plan. We made a decision to change the location after careful consultation with our onsite teams, in order to reduce the grade. To achieve this, we are taking advantage of the public access road west of the home and creating a simple U-shaped driveway. Not only is it much less steep, it's also less expensive for the home owner and allows for more room for the septic field.

      This is yet another challenging and amazing project that we feel privileged to be working on. Watch for more updates in the weeks ahead.