Coastal Gridshell 2018 | Collective Design Build Logbook

Hannah Newton, Julie Leung, Zeiwei Zhang, Michael MacLean

Intro

In an effort to thread our separate understandings of the design build process of the Coastal Studio gridshell we have collected our logbooks into this one location. By putting our thoughts, concerns and documentation together we hope to highlight and illustrate better what has happened.

 

The Coastal Studio gridshell is a ongoing build project being constructed by students from Dalhousie University, University of Arizona, University of Toronto and University of North Carolina. The project is located in the Cheticamp River valley at the Robert Brook campground in Cheticamp, NS.

 

Our efforts, thoughts and concerns can be categorized according to the list located to the right.

Cape Breton, NS

Hannah Newton

Julie Leung

Michael MacLean

Lath Production

Julie Leung

In order to join the 10-feet oak pieces into 30 to 60 feet long lath, a table saw or a jig is used to cut scarfs at the end of the oak pieces. Engineered glue would be applied to the scarfs within a specific range of temperature and humidity, then dried and cured in four hours. Locations of nodes are marked according to the chart based on the computer model. The lath product is often brought to pre-bending before raising.

Julie Leung

Julie Leung

On site scarf cutting jig

Danger Level ***

Michael MacLean

Hannah Newton

Julie Leung

Julie Leung

Michael MacLean

Julie Leung

Zeiwei Zhang

Julie Leung

Julie Leung

Lath Marking Jig

Michael MacLean

Julie Leung

Zeiwei Zhang

Julie Leung

Zeiwei Zhang

Michael MacLean

Julie Leung

Hannah Newton

Michael MacLean

Michael MacLean

Michael MacLean

Michael MacLean

Julie Leung

Michael MacLean

Lath Raising

Michael MacLean

Michael MacLean

Michael MacLean

Laths are often raised one at a time, with some exceptions where two laths are tied together for extra strength. The raising process requires a minimum of four team members -sometimes up to seven – depending on the locations and the length of the laths. The newly raised lath would be temporarily tied or clamped to the main structure and the ends would be rested on props that help gradually forming curves.

Julie Leung

Julie Leung

Julie Leung

Julie Leung

Michael MacLean

Julie Leung

Julie Leung

Michael MacLean

NODING

Michael MacLean

Zeiwei Zhang

Michael MacLean

Michael MacLean

Michael MacLean

After adjusting the placement of the newly raised lath, teams of two would use structural screws and other handy tools to secure the nodes where two laths cross. The attachment of the screws and the placement of nodes requires high precision. To work on some-1600 nodes on one of the two complete layers of the structure, the team often plan ahead and node strategically.

Michael MacLean

Having trouble moving laths together by hands alone. Ratchet straps help considerably but are laborious. Canoe ties help and are fast. Essentially a ratchet strap without the ratchet, just a locking mechanism. They end up acting as the third hand you don't have.

Julie Leung

Julie Leung

Michael MacLean

Michael MacLean

Michael MacLean

Michael MacLean

Michael MacLean

Michael MacLean

Michael MacLean

Michael MacLean

Hannah Newton

Hannah Newton

Zeiwei Zhang

Zeiwei Zhang

Zeiwei Zhang

Julie Leung

Michael MacLean

Michael MacLean

Julie Leung

Jig Evolution

A crucial part of noding is using jigs to align and make sure the laths are completely tight. A series of jigs were developed by different team members throughout the three months. The evolution reflects the team’s close observations of the noding process, the discussion on productivity and attempts to streamline the construction process.

 

First noding jig designed by Liam

Hannah Newton

Noding Jig  development sketches

Michael MacLean

Michael MacLean

Michael MacLean

Michael MacLean

Zeiwei Zhang

Zeiwei Zhang

Hannah Newton

Michael MacLean

Jig Improvement Built Developments

The new jig developed by Zeiwei and Michael derived from a push towards something lighter and something that did not bend around the lath.

Julie Leung

Julie Leung

Julie Leung

Final noding jig design

Grid Shell Form

Hannah Newton

The structure is as organic as the oak lath themselves. It is, therefore, possible for the team to manipulate the form into a preferred one. The process comes in a later stage where a general form is formed by noding, and it includes improving the grid curvature using props, adjusting the angle between the laths and the edge beam by tightening through ratchet straps, and even shifting the grid on a plan.

Hannah Newton

Hannah Newton

Hannah Newton

Julie Leung

Julie Leung

Julie Leung

Zeiwei Zhang

Michael MacLean

Zeiwei Zhang

Michael MacLean

Julie Leung

Julie Leung

Michael MacLean

Michael MacLean

Zeiwei Zhang

Zeiwei Zhang

Zeiwei Zhang

Zeiwei Zhang

Zeiwei Zhang

Hannah Newton

Michael MacLean

Michael MacLean

Julie Leung

Michael MacLean

Michael MacLean

Hannah Newton

Michael MacLean

Michael MacLean

Edge Condition

The edge beam is the meeting point of the oak laths and end blockings, stainless steel plate and tabs, galvanized bolts and concrete walls. It is also where the laths end and secured in place. The edge conditions required a thorough understanding of the construction sequence as well as the characteristics of each material.

Zeiwei Zhang

Michael MacLean

Michael MacLean

Michael MacLean

Michael MacLean

Michael MacLean

Michael MacLean

Julie Leung

Zeiwei Zhang

Michael MacLean

We made a new cutting jig for A lath, because when we cut A, we need to give about half inch space for moister to the edge beam. We used the half inch thinness of the plywood (for moister gap) and a piece of oak (same dimension with the lath) screwed them together. As the sketches showing on the right, when we mark the cut line on A lath, we put jig on top of the A, bottom surface against 1 surface of the lath, and the two legs against edge beam. (showing on the section drawing) some A laths, are really close to the B laths, so that the cycler saw can not fit in to the gap, the hand saw may be required. We also made a blocking jig, so when we cut the A laths, we put blocking between A and B laths, it allow us to have some space to cut.

Zeiwei Zhang

Welding | Griding | Tabing

Julie Leung

Michael MacLean

Michael MacLean

Michael MacLean

Michael MacLean

Michael MacLean

Michael MacLean

Michael MacLean

Michael MacLean

Zeiwei Zhang

Zeiwei Zhang

Zeiwei Zhang

This part deals with the metal part of the edge condition. The stainless steel tabs are where the lath ends would be bolted down, and they are welded to the edge plate. It is not usually to discover mistakes or make new decisions during the construction process, therefore sometimes the tabs have to be relocated. The tabs are removed from the edge plate by grinding. Another situation that needs grinding is preparing the welding of the pipe portion of the edge beam.

Michael MacLean

Michael MacLean

Michael MacLean

Zeiwei Zhang

Julie Leung

Julie Leung

Blocking

To complete the structure, oak blockings with various heights are screwed between the two lath layers. The blockings are made by gluing the remaining lath pieces. They are arranged and screwed to the lath layers in a specific pattern using construction screws.

Michael MacLean

Michael MacLean

A lath Cutting Jig

Alternative marking jig

Michael MacLean

Michael MacLean

Michael MacLean

Michael MacLean

Michael MacLean

Hannah Newton

Hannah Newton

Hannah Newton

Slate

The floor of the design is formed by slate with organic shapes. The slate pieces are cut and laid on the ground individually.

Michael MacLean

Zeiwei Zhang

Management | Education

This section discusses important aspects and potential improvements regarding the construction process and design-build education given the special positions of the project. The people management and safety on site focus on the roles and communications of team members, while the education aspect reflects on how this project situates in the larger context of design-build education network, and how the project can be tailored to student’s education.

Management

Julie Leung

Julie Leung

Michael MacLean

Hannah Newton

Hannah Newton

Thoughts on how to manage and use some of the waste materials from the scarf cutting. Alternate layouts to make solid blocks of wood. Could have uses in furniture.

Michael MacLean

Education

Knowledge transfer to Freelab Students

Michael MacLean

Michael MacLean

Michael MacLean

Michael MacLean

Julie Leung

Julie Leung

Julie Leung

Michael MacLean

End of term images

Julie Leung

Julie Leung

Michael MacLean

Michael MacLean

Michael MacLean

Michael MacLean

Michael MacLean

Michael MacLean