August 22, 2009
Jim and I went by Pink Fog to inspect the steel connections on the stair to the loft.
Due to existing conditions, we designed a stair that would avoid placing a post in front of a window. The design required both cantilevered upper floor framing and a cantilevered stringer. In order to make this work, we utilized a unique structural design with a bent frame to handle the torsional force and the cantilevers.
August 18, 2009
AIA Denver is hosting its Annual Award Gala on September 11th at the Pepsi Center. Bruce Fowle, FAIA is the jury chair this year.
This is my fourth year as chair of the AIA Denver Awards committee and the eighth year on the committee. I recently attended the awards jury in NYC and we’ve got some great winners.
August 18, 2009
I dropped off a letter to Steve McCreery today at the house on Fillmore. The City and County of Denver generally likes to see a letter at the end of the process detailing the inspections that I did for the house. The project is very close to finished.
August 15, 2009
Habitat for Humanity of Metro Denver offers a service for those renovating a home. They have specialized volunteers who will go to your site to pick up anything that can be salvaged and sold at Habitat’s Home Improvement Outlet. Almost everything can be re-used from cabinets, appliances, hot water heaters, light fixtures, toilets, and bathtubs to doors, carpet, thermostats, and fireplace inserts.
Not only will you be helping the environment, but you will be saving money by reducing demolition costs and you will also receive a tax donation receipt.
Habitat typically offers this service on Saturdays, however they can work around your schedule depending on the size and scope of the project. Visit Habitat for Humanity of Metro Denver for a more complete list of accepted items.
August 9, 2009
Denver Zoning requires that off-street parking angles other than 90-degree, be between 30 and 75 degrees with the stall sizes remaining the Universal standard size of 8’-6” x 17’-6”.
For all off-street angle parking, the minimum aisle width for two-way traffic needs to be 20’. If the aisle happens to be a public alley or access to adjoining parking spaces, the projection must be lengthened to provide a total aisle width of 20’ for 0 to 75-degree angle parking, and 23’ for 90-degree angle parking. This applies to all new uses except for single unit dwellings and duplexes.
August 5, 2009
EVstudio has produced a course on what real estate brokers need to understand about the new Denver Zoning Code and form based codes in general. It has been approved by the State of Colorado for one hour of continuing education (CE).
Upon completion of the course, the real estate broker will:
- Understand how a form based code differs from traditional zoning
- Know the latest on the time line for adoption of the code
- Be familiar with the seven neighborhood types
- Understand the new naming conventions
- Be familiar with the building forms
- Understand the likely impacts and strategies for property owners
If you are buying or selling real estate in Denver, you should understand how the building code is changing, and you might as well get the hour of CE. Over the next few weeks we’ll be working with Realtor associations and real estate offices on offering this seminar to their members. We’ll also have a session put on by EVstudio.
For more information contact Sean by email or phone at 303.322.4964.
August 2, 2009
When I’m requested to investigate a house with structural concerns one of the first things I check is proper floating sill plates on slab-on-grade floors. I’m always amazed how so many basements are finished without a floating sill plate or some way of allowing the slab to move without moving the structure. I believe the problem starts with engineers not specifically detailing a floating sill plate. If they do, many of them are detailing it wrong. Compounding the issue is most basements are finished by the homeowner with the help of contractors with no information on a proper floating sill plate detail.
The first thing everyone must understand is ALL slab-on-grades have a good chance at moving. The amount of movement, up or down, depends on the soil type, backfill compaction and existing or introduced water percentages. A soil report by a geotechnical engineer will typically provide you information about the risk your basement slab-on-grade may move. The risk can vary from low, moderate, high or very high. When a high or very high risk is encountered an elevated structural floor is typically the best choice, so the soil movement does not translate into the structure. With low to sometimes moderate slab risk a slab-on-grade can be used with precautions to isolate the slab-on-grade from the rest of the structure.
The most common error that contractors or even some engineers make is assuming the gypsum board wall sheathing will just crumble if the slab pushes on it. This is not a good assumption to make. Yes, gypsum board is brittle and falls apart fairly easily compared to other building materials, but it does have strength. When the gypsum board is placed full height from slab to ceiling any movement in the slab can be translated into the structure.
Jim Houlette observed this incorrect floating sill plate while working at a previous employer, MNA.
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