Wednesday, 31 December 2008

recent photos

time to add some recent photos showing the transparent qualities of the outer skin, reflecting the changes in light level and surrounding sky colour. When the sun comes out, the shape and material of the inner structure glow from within. The inter-relation between plywood & polycarbonate is very satisfying... of solid and transparent, material & immaterial, silence and light...

Roof assembly

I have begun to explore the assembly of the roof. This will consist of three elements; two small side gutter roofs either side of the horizontally spanning louvres across the 2m width along the entire length of the click-raft roof. This will enable a fully openable roof-skin, which will be operated by lego mindstorms robots with light, and temperature sensors.

construction update - outer skin

Time to update the blog at the end of 2008. Many small details have been further developed and refined.
Included amongst these was to finally choose to go for an asymetric mono-pitch roof structure which required taking off all of the roof beams again and re-cutting the click-joints to achieve this. (see construction photos)
The other work being carried out over the last period has been the realisation of the outer skin.
In the end I decided to realise both long side walls in 2500 x 1250 x 10mm vertically assembled polycarbonate panels rather than horizontal louvres.
See the sequence of shots showing their assembly - took a bit of fiddling around to get the right technique going, but with the help of a cake of soap my time per panel came down to 20 mins/panel (incl cutting and assembling joining pieces, the panels and the 200mm stainless steel rod fixings). In the long term with different kinds of fixings this technique could be radically refined and streamlined. For now this is a cheap and straight forward to achieve closure of the entire outer envelope.

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Frame completed, cladding skins under development

Sunny weather with the last of the autumn leaves made it possible to finally complete the click-raft structure. I'm continuing to explore and develop options for the roof and wall cladding skins. The long term aim for the roof is a fully openable louvre system. However for now it is much cheaper and quicker to realise a simple flat skin of polycarbonate. I have been experimenting with different slopes, one version based on a shallow arch held down along the edges and lifted at the centre with additional props. This has a pleasant symmetrical quality to it however would drain water to both sides requiring two sets of gutters and tanks. So the option I am working on is asyemmetrical with only one gutter to the back wall (east) requiring less material, and only one water tank. (not unlike the Citroen 2CV prototype minimal approach).
The wall skins will differ, the east wall will be 2500x1250mm vertical polycarbonate panels, while the west will be three sets of 2000x250mm horizontal louvres with rubber seal joints between. The challenge is to get all of the details sorted to work just as well thermally in winter with no gaps or drafts, as they do in summer with openable vents and louvres. Once these things are sorted out and realised, then I can move onto the ends.

Friday, 31 October 2008

Winter Sun

A magic morning of winter sun after so much rain and wind.
The plan for the weekend is to finish the roof, cut the final click-leaves and assemble the last roof panels.
Next will be the back wall panels, and then the louvres need to be re-glued with silicone.
I have been thinking through the end door hatches yet again. Contemplating a new lighter solution inspired by the TPV/2CV. My initial thoughts came from studying the TPV window, but this is too heavy so the idea is to learn from the roof and its folding mechanism. The difference is that it is super light, and tensioned fabric across aluminium tubes.

Monday, 6 October 2008

rain, rain, rain

continuous rain, and high winds prevented any useful work on the click-raft this weekend... had taken these photos of autumn leaves before the big winds kicked in...
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