I've Never Seen This Before
Ok, so my firm has been holding its own. When the day is done, there is still outstanding work that needs to be finished. We like coming to work; we lament about not having enough but we are thankful for what we’ve got.
We’ve been getting more “one-off” projects these days. By “one-off” I mean those kinds of projects that are well beyond anything we’ve seen before. One example we’re scratching our heads over now is a “re”-relocation of an old church building to another site in a historic district. On that one, it’s a framing question: the building was originally constructed about 125 years ago. It was brought to the current site about 25 years ago but it needs to be moved down the road now, hopefully to its permanent idyllic site. The building is wood frame, approximately 28’ x 44’ and, of course, has actual size lumber (so Simpson connectors are much harder to use for foundation anchoring).
The part we’ve never seen is that the long centerline of the building is bearing, as the lumber used to frame the floor is approximately 14’ long. Ok, for the tricky part – the floor joists do not frame on top of or into the side of a beam of any sort. They just rest on top of a 2x8 laid on its side. Oh, the perimeter beam is 4x6, all the 2x8 floor joists are notched for bearing on the perimeter beam.
So my question here is, “When you’ve never seen a particular condition before, how do you go about solving it?” Obviously my approach is to a) research the known or determinable factors, b) define what the issue or problem is, c) find resources (people, vendors, engineers, whatever) who might have insight, d) work to the answer.
I admit, sometimes I just sit at my desk staring out the window waiting for the divine inspiration on where to look for the answer…How 'bout you?
- Lisa Stacholy, AIA