AQUARIUS 1 in UPSTATE NEW YORK
The Aquarius 1 is a medium-sized Enertia® home with a sunspace "tower" that rises the full height of the South side and provides a South view from the master bedroom. Aquarius 1 has a central chimney, perfect for additional thermal mass in a cold climate.
The Foundation and Subfloor must be completed by the owner/builder before the Enertia® kit goes up. The subfloor framing includes triple bands under the timber wall locations and open spaces (lower right) for the air flow between the double North walls. Anchor bolts set into the concrete walls stick up through the outer band and will firmly anchor the first wall timbers to the foundation.
There are some interesting images on a constructions site. In the picture above, notice the cutout in the concrete at the back for a lower North window.
The first timbers have large holes predrilled as wire chases for the snaking of electrical wires from the lower level up to the pre-cut outlet boxes in the lower rows of main floor timbers.
The door and window frames, included with the kit and cut to frame the Hurd windows, serve to strengthen the walls and to serve as guidelines during construction.
After a row of timbers is spiked down, a plastic lock spline is inserted in the top groove and adhesive tape is run down either side of the spline. The white paper covering will be peeled back before the next timber is set in place.
The verticals in the double North wall are Buttresses that tie the two walls together for extra strength. Metal struts also connect the two North walls at specified locations to further strengthen the wall system.
Each timber is pre-cut and numbered. Helpers can carry them to the main floor so they will be available when needed. The timbers are spiked in place all the way around the house and then another row is added as the kit goes up.
Window frames are placed were specified and are braced to maintain squareness.
The Buttresses are visible in the North Double Wall because in this "bay" of the house the North Wall is not doubled because this is the location of the North entry door.
The walls go up past the first floor door and window openings.
The timber framed South wall and the floor beams are set in place.
The solid timber walls of an Enertia® home continue all the way to the peak. The gable timber ends are pre-cut at the appropriate angle at the factory.
The porch rafters have been set outside. Inside, on the second level, pockets were pre-cut in the timber walls for the main rafters.
These timbers went from bundled components to a completed wall system in about 3 weeks of work.
The ridge beam will be set into heavy metal hangers. On the West wall a slotted buttress is installed beneath the hanger. Vertical support posts will be placed as needed.
A crane is rented to lift the massive ridge beam and rafters into position. The rafters are pre-cut at the bottom (the heel cut) and are site-cut at the top according to measurements pulled to the ridge beam.
Setting the rafters requires precise coordination between the crane operator and the crew. The rafters are set in pairs to maintain the balance of forces on the ridge beam. Pockets for the heel of the rafters are pre-cut in the wall timbers.
The crane also helps to set the heavy timbers in the South "tower" and the South timber wall. The Aquarius 1 will have a Sunspace "gallery" which is a wonderful space for plants, reading nooks and a small eating area, although it is not as deep as the full Sunspace in the tower.
Take a photo tour
of the completed home!