Case Study House Status
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The latest scoop on the construction of BUILD's Case Study House
With less than a day left of summer proper, and a couple months worth of blog posts since the last update on the Case Study House, it’s time to bring some of the buzzing activity going on at the site to the surface. The project is at the point where every day there’s something new going in or going up. A couple weeks ago, we shot cover photos of the CSH and since then, building paper, insulation, and the deck have been installed.
The interior walls are framed and insulated. Sheet rock is up as of this week (photos to come), and the interior spaces are starting to take shape. It’s an awkward point on any project when the drywall goes up, the interiors always look smaller all of the sudden, but the huge walls of glass help open things up to the light, view and forest beyond.
For the CSH, we opted to go with a stair concept similar to the Queen Anne Residence completed earlier this year. The clean aesthetic and added openness make the best use of an efficient square footage. The stair guardrail will also become a focus point of the main common area.
While on site, we got a chance to grab some close-ups of steelworker Skyler Holmes cutting the steel for the guardrails and handrails. These rails are for the interior mezzanine level overlooking the main living space.
One of the major noticeable adaptations from our original renderings was the decision to move away from the radiused roof. We had some bigger issues to deal with and the roof curve didn’t make the cut. However, the roof-to-wall concept was maintained, and out of the detail studies, we developed a couple concealed gutter details to address the watershed off the roof while maintaining the visual clarity of the profile. We decided on option 1 below which uses a thickened rainscreen to essentially contain the gutter. We like this detail as it provides a second line of defense to the constant exposure of water here in the Pacific Northwest.
The standing seam roof-to-siding concept was also originally intended to terminate at the ground. We decided to hold it off the ground, aligning it with the head of the garage door instead. The exterior walls where we’ll be applying a rainscreen are papered up and the skin is currently going up. The siding in these locations will consist of Hardie Panel and clear 1×4 cedar. Though we typically go with a tongue-and-groove with the cedar siding, the rainscreen application requires a skin that can breathe. The cedar 1x4s won’t have a reveal at first (or a barely noticeable one), but over time the gap will widen, allowing both the movement of air as well as a sharp aesthetic.
The decking is installed and it’s looking great. The views from the deck are also tough to beat — (on a clear day) Mt. Baker to the north, and a wooded ravine to the south. Constructed of ipe decking, the boards were pre-drilled and screwed into sleepers which sit on top of the roof membrane and framing.
The Case Study House has been a continuous learning process (and not quite over yet). Ideas generated in the design stage, as with any project, have evolved to fit within the realities of physics, the demands of time and money, and the regulations of the local jurisdiction. While we weren’t able to execute every slick design move we had in mind at the start, the intent has always been to see what we could accomplish within the specific and unique parameters of this site. So far, so good.