Friday, December 11, 2015

Lena 1 and 2 updates:

Hello, faithful readers!

It's been awhile since our last posting, but we are back.

The two houses out in the Lena area are going along with out any major difficulties and the students from both the University of Alaska Southeast and JDHS are getting a great learning experience.

Lena 1 is now completely roofed. JDHS students did much of this work and learned about OSHA requirements regarding fall protection and scaffolding set up along with technical aspects of roofing including types of underlayment to use and how to install shingles.

As some of the students were roofing, other students installed TYVEK on the exterior walls and other students did interior framing of walls. We have a big class this year, so it works great to spread them out.

Upon completion of the interior framing, Auke Bay Electric and All All American Plumbing and Heating came in and did their respective jobs and as always did a fantastic job.

Once these subcontractors were done, the students installed batt insulation and vapor barrier with Justin's expertise and guidance.  Students learned about the importance of sub contractor scheduling, R Value, condensation, and the importance of doing all detail work accurately when weatherizing a house.

During this time, Justin was working with his tenacious college students and installed several windows and started installation of the rigid foam insulation on the exterior of the house.

As this work was taking place on Lena 1, Justin and his college crew diligently framed the floor of Lena 2 and framed, sheeted, and stood all exterior walls of Lena 2 including the two big Rake walls.

We are now working on final straightening of the walls as Kelly from Juneau Truss has our trusses done and ready to set!

Things will slow down a bit over the Holidays, but we will hit it hard when we get back:

Currently we are prepping for our next big push and are hoping to get all of our drywall stocked in Lena 1 before break and walls straight and braced in Lena 2. We will call Walt or Dave at Valley Lumber today and try to arrange for a delivery on Monday.

Drywall installation and setting of trusses are two big construction milestones, and we hope to have these completed soon after we return to school after the holidays.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Juneau House Build Project...Reboot!

Over the past eight months the Juneau House Build Project has been retooling and preparing for the next wave of development.  After the completion of our Churchill Way project, the partners were still earnestly seeking a parcel of land for this 2014/15 project year.  We vetted over a dozen potential properties but cost remained a barrier to achieving a development costs in sync with our goal of creating affordable housing.   Eventually, we negotiated a very reasonable price for a parcel of land and the wheels began to grind forward.  The House Build partners are happy to announce that we are constructing two new affordable homes on the corner of Lena Loop and Oceanview Drive.

While the land purchase was being fine tuned, we had some other exciting developments.  The University of Alaska Southeast became one of the three, full-fledged, House Build partners, along with the Juneau School District and the Juneau Housing Trust.   Students from several of the University's Construction Technology courses will now be getting their hands dirty on the House Build Project.  This new partnership will also give us access to the fantastic resources of UAS's Technical Education Center and UAS faculty will be managing the construction process. 

Once a building site was identified it allowed us to proceed with the design process.  Lead by UAS Assistant Professor Robin Gilcrist, the team designed two homes to be built at the Lena site.  The homes are efficient, 860sqft, two bedroom, one bath, energy efficient units. Below is a preview of our construction drawings

Last but not least... What have our students been up to?  During fall semester UAS and JSD students worked on a number of projects.  We constructed a Tiny House here inside of the Tech Center, a deck was built for a community member, a mobile green house is underway for the Southeast Conference's Grow Southeast and the Sustainable SE Partnership (Juneau Empire Story), and we prefabricated much of the floor and wall systems for our first unit in Lena.

All in all, our "down time" was anything but down.  The House Build Project is rebooted with some exciting new features and we are excited to get our hands dirty again.  We've broken ground in Lena and expect to be pouring our foundation in the next week.   Here are a few parting shots from the site.  Thanks for following us and keep checking back because the action is about to start!

Justin Fantasia
UAS Assistant Professor of Construction Technology