The architects at 1:1 Arkitektur would like us to believe that they have built a home of the future.
And we may just believe them.
It's not so much the home itself that is futuristic but the manner in which it was built. And that manner itself does not involve futuristic technology -- it simply takes existing tools and materials, accounts for challenges presented to our current method of building homes, and completely changes the game.
The firm has built what they call a "Printable House" using little more than a CNC machine, a computer and many sheets of plywood. A design fed into the CNC machine tells it to make cuts in sheets of plywood that then get assembled in a specific order, sort of like a puzzle. Except at the end of this puzzle you get a house.
And it's a house that goes up in very little time (four weeks), requiring very little in the way of cost and labor and producing very little in the way of construction waste. Additionally, there is not much else besides the plywood that goes into the construction process. No concrete, no nails.
Sustainable, inexpensive, quickly-erected. Sounds pretty futuristic to us.
Our man Greg down at International Builders Show 2011 in Orlando is making the rounds on the showroom floor, reporting back on the cool and interesting products and advances in home building and renovation. He's taken a look at a few interesting products, including:
Generac's user-friendly and easy-to-install generators.
Gaf's "TruSlate" shingles that install with a special clip and come with a 50 year warranty and 130 mph wind warranty.
After failing to find a buyer, the house built entirely out of Legos in Surrey, England, is being dismantled brick by mult-colored brick. Built by James May of the BBC's Top Gear, the home was never intended as a permanent structure and was built on a vineyard without the necessary permits. It did however feature a working toilet, shower and a "very uncomfortable bed." One visitor apparently made off with the Lego constructed cat.
Alas, the vineyard needs to grow its grapes and May had to sell or dismantle. Legoland was interested but could not afford the moving fee. So the 3.3 million Lego bricks are coming down and will be donated to charity.
What do you think: Silly waste of time or Genius tourist attraction?
Have you ever tried to repair a cracked ceiling or wall? I love drywall compound—it slathers on and makes that great swipe. It covers anything in its path! So why, when I've completely covered the crack, does it come back? And, moving on to drywall 201, why can't I just make those popped seams disappear? Well, it turns out the two conditions require two different responses: retape the crack but smooth out the pop. Until it happened in my newly drywalled addition, I had no one to ask (okay, blame) for these errors—I'd always done the work myself. But as the drywall finisher came back for the third time, he explained that cracks will never go away until they are retaped. Who knew!?!? He covered the popped seam with a layer of joint compound that he feathered, returning two more times to make sure it was perfect. The cracked seam got a new sheet of tape and drywall compound, plus the extra visits for special care. Oddest of all, he said, was finding cracks after just two weeks. Looks like the moisture content in "kiln-dried" framing really is higher than we're thinking. Ah, but that is a discussion for another day!
There's no better time to sign up to win power tools than at the holidays! Ridgid, the tool guys, are sponsoring a 25-day giveaway of the new Fuego 6 1/2" framing saw on Toolmonger.com. The 'Monger bloggers have set up a contest where tool lovers write in with a project they'd undertake if only they had this light, fast, framing saw to work with. Each day the guys at Toolmonger.com select a new winner based on the project that really rings their chimes. So dream big and jump in. Send them a writeup and go for the saw. There's no limit to the number of projects you can submit. And, there are only 10 days left, so get cracking.
Hurricane season is here and coastal communities are bracing for the storms. Every year brings new building codes to protect homeowners in storm-threatened areas and new products to help builders meet code without sacrificing the bottom line. Norbord Windstorm OSB (Oriented Strand Board)provides continuous sheathing to connect directly to the sill and top plate and resist uplift and wind shear. Using a single panel to connect the sill to top-plate eliminates the need for blocking, U-straps, filler strips and wall uplift hardware. This means faster sheathing and greater exterior integrity that is code approved for communities with wind speeds in excess of 110 miles per hour. An engineer-specified nailing pattern operates in place of costly uplift hardware, saving builders time and equipment costs. This sheathing was used in the NextGen House at the 2006 International Builders Show, where contractors clamored for hurricane-proof building materials. Windstorm OSB is available through local building suppliers.