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Design: Solarium at Wheaton Labs: Design Conversation

 
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Jen Tuuli wrote:In our case we'd have rafters, 1x4 tongue and groove, vapor barrier on that, then purlins, then metal.  


Do you want the rafters visible from underneath?  Don't forget a space for the insulation.  And I think you'll want a water proof layer above the insulation.  Not sure what kind of vapor barrier you're thinking of using.

If you do want the rafters visible, I think one option is: Rafters, tongue and groove (or ship lap), vapor barrier (or kraft paper), 2x4 spacers with 3.5" of insulation between them, then a layer of decking boards, then waterproof layer, then metal

If not, one option would be: tongue and groove (or ship lap), vapor barrier (or kraft paper), rafters with 5.5" of insulation between them, then a layer of decking boards, then waterproof layer, then metal.

In both cases, I think the "decking boards" could be spaced out so it's half wood, half air.  Just need to hit the decking boards with the roofing screws.  And they need to be thick enough for the roofing screws to grip into.

I'm not 100% up on my building standards though so more input on these options would be a great idea.  Note that the second option eliminates the 2x4s...
 
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Mike Haasl wrote:

Jen Tuuli wrote:In our case we'd have rafters, 1x4 tongue and groove, vapor barrier on that, then purlins, then metal.  


Do you want the rafters visible from underneath?  Don't forget a space for the insulation.  And I think you'll want a water proof layer above the insulation.  Not sure what kind of vapor barrier you're thinking of using.



Nah, rafters don't have to be visible from underneath. We might be getting wires crossed. From top to bottom: metal, purlins, vapor barrier (plastic sheeting probably), tongue and groove, rafters w/insulation between them, maybe kraft paper, then 3/8" siding as the ceiling boards on the bottom side of the rafters.

Are you thinking the insulation needs to go on top of the rafters/T&G instead of between the rafters?
 
Mike Haasl
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Insulation between the rafters would be the way I'd go.  What is the tongue and groove for?  If it's just to support the plastic sheeting, there might be other (cheaper) ways.  But the t&g might make it quieter in the rain.
 
Jen Tuuli
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The t&g is replacing the plywood in typical installations. I asked Paul if t&g or lapped boards were good enough replacements, and he was good with t&g because it's smallish and that wouldn't be too much of a cost. What are your alternative thoughts?
 
Mike Haasl
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I think I'm getting out of my league here and I'd love to hear from the other experts before I send you down the wrong path.  I'm pretty sure T&G would be awesome, I'm just not sure if there's a cheaper way yet to do it...
 
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My understanding of the solarium footprint was that it would be wider than the garage doorway, and thus that the main posts would be entirely inside (which would be distinctly better for longevity especially at the plinth interface.) A 10' x 20' space is significantly more roomy than 10' x 16', especially with doors at both ends constraining seating space, which might be something like 10' x 14' vs. 10' x 10'.

How much east/west roof overhang is desired? I wouldn't think to make it much more than required for a bit of door shelter.

The concrete apron outside the doorway looks to be separate, and would need to be removed to allow a continuous solarium floor without an awkward and irregular joint. Therefore, I don't think there is much difficulty with locating plinth rocks near the doorway corners.

The posts on the south wall of the solarium would be plenty strong enough at 6" diameter, so they can be made whatever size is desired for looks with no qualms. I think the beam atop those posts, with 8' or so spans, would only need to be something like 8" diameter.
 
Jen Tuuli
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Glenn Herbert wrote:My understanding of the solarium footprint was that it would be wider than the garage doorway, and thus that the main posts would be entirely inside (which would be distinctly better for longevity especially at the plinth interface.) A 10' x 20' space is significantly more roomy than 10' x 16', especially with doors at both ends constraining seating space, which might be something like 10' x 14' vs. 10' x 10'.



If it's much wider than 10x16' it cuts into the parking/backing up area available. Paul would like to keep as much back-up space available as possible. People don't always know the extents of their vehicle nor pay as much attention as they should when backing up, and there have been incidents in that area in the past because of such things.

Glenn Herbert wrote:How much east/west roof overhang is desired? I wouldn't think to make it much more than required for a bit of door shelter.



I was thinking 24" overhang. That's what the Love Shack currently has on its east/west sides, and the wood is handling age well. The north/south sides are 18" and the bottom of the wood was starting to show more weathering than I'd like to see.

Glenn Herbert wrote:The concrete apron outside the doorway looks to be separate, and would need to be removed to allow a continuous solarium floor without an awkward and irregular joint. Therefore, I don't think there is much difficulty with locating plinth rocks near the doorway corners.



It is separate and could be removed for this, yep.

Glenn Herbert wrote:The posts on the south wall of the solarium would be plenty strong enough at 6" diameter, so they can be made whatever size is desired for looks with no qualms. I think the beam atop those posts, with 8' or so spans, would only need to be something like 8" diameter.



Good to know. I'll keep an eye on logs around here that might fit the building and see if I can stash or claim them for this project.

Thank you very much for all this input, Glenn! If you have more thoughts about it, keep it coming.
 
Glenn Herbert
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To go under metal roofing, t&g boards are a waste of time or money. Common sawn boards will work just as well. You need spacers immediately below the metal roofing so condensation can escape rather than be held into the sheathing. 1" thick is enough for spacers, and generally 24" on center between them. You should have a waterproof layer on top of the sheathing, like tar paper, so drips from condensation on the underside of the metal don't soak into the wood.

If the rafters are not exposed on the ceiling, 2x6 roughsawn would work fine for 8' span. I would use 2x8 for a 10' span given possible snow loading. An air and vapor retarder under the rafters would be most appropriate for the Montana climate, with the t&g boards exposed for good looks if you want a wood ceiling.

I would want the main posts to be just inside the exterior walls, both for appearance and to protect the plinth seating from weather. Given that positioning, I would make the main posts about 8" diameter at the small end so they didn't take up too much room. 24" overhangs all around seem like a fine idea. They would give significant shading in summer while letting in sunlight in winter.

Is the garage door centered on the end wall? How wide is the end wall, and how high to the eaves at 20' wide centered on the garage door? The higher the roof is at the existing wall, the better for drainage. Metal roofing is safe at much lower slopes than shingles, however.
 
Mike Haasl
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So we're imagining that the posts are not exposed to the weather, correct?  If so, then the walls will be outside the posts.  I wonder if it would look neat to cut flats on the sides of the posts so that they fit into the corners of the walls better (first picture)

If we didn't mind exposed posts, notching them out to fit the walls to them might look pretty slick, especially since you have a swing blade sawmill (second picture)

Both pics are views from above with the south wall at the top of the image.

For that matter, why do we need round wood on the south wall at all?  Just use a load bearing south wall to hold up the roof.  Unless it's for looks

For the north wall I'd also be tempted to cut flats on the back sides of the posts and beam so that it fits flat to the garage.  Maybe screwed on from inside the garage with some long timberlock screws.
Flattened-internal-post.png
Flattened internal post
Flattened internal post
recessed-external-posts.png
recessed external posts
recessed external posts
 
Jen Tuuli
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Glenn Herbert wrote:
Is the garage door centered on the end wall? How wide is the end wall, and how high to the eaves at 20' wide centered on the garage door? The higher the roof is at the existing wall, the better for drainage. Metal roofing is safe at much lower slopes than shingles, however.



The garage door is centered within an 1/8th" on the end wall.

The wall is 293" or 24' 5".

If you wanted it to be 20' wide, it would push the solarium to the left, meaning it wouldn't be centered. The extra four feet would be on the west side to avoid intrusion into the parking/backing up situation.

If it were shifted to the west side, at 20' the eaves are ~26" above the opening.

Picture indicates current VS proposed dimensions.
PXL_20210402_155000056.jpg
Top is current, bottom is 20ft shift
Top is current, bottom is 20ft shift
 
Jen Tuuli
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https://www.buildingconservation.com/articles/earth-mortars/earth-mortars.htm

Dez, here's a good article about earth mortar so you can decide if you want to go that route.
 
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Ash Jackson wrote:Hello there!

Paul's asked me to create a design for a Solarium at Wheaton Labs. This thread is intended to serve several functions:

- Design conversation between Paul and I
- Pooling Permie knowledge both to improve the design and help me make it more natural
- Probably other useful functions as yet unknown or unintended

The Solarium is intended to go here, on the South end of the Garage:






Hi Ash!!!
In taking point on the solarium project, Daniel and I have drawn up some preliminary sketches. The criteria I’m working with are
1) use Eric’s 1/4” tempered glass.. (we have 51 identical panes of 42.25”x59.00”, ready to use)
2) use all natural materials (how did people build things before glue and cement came along?)
3) A speedy yet robust build, by leveraging simplicity of design considerations (must be built in 2 weeks; and we have only 7 weeks to prepare and stage all materials).

Below are the drawings (old school pencil and paper).. if Mike or other engineers have input and or feedback or questions, please post here.

In my mind, The main structure frame is roundwood. The inner structure frame is dimensional lumber. The glass will be framed with dimensional lumber and inserted into the inner structure frame. Three Posts will be custom cut to sit on plinth rocks. The garage-mating wall will be mounted to existing structural members of the garage. Sliding glass doors will be custom made using Eric’s glass. Basically Eric’s glass is the building block unit of this solarium. Double paning is highly recommended by Paul.

Timeline for feedback and considerations for final design is 1 week. So by next Monday, I’ll post final design to begin preparations. This includes feedback from Josiah, Paul, and other engineers in permies, as well as other builders and solarium enthusiasts.

Feel free to critique the initial draft. Please keep in mind forward thinking by offering solutions, as well as simplicity of design (to keep criteria “3)” alive)

Sincerely Yours,
Dez :)
4E6ECF2A-568F-4749-91B5-4EDD8A19A2ED.jpeg
Front on view. General design of posts and purlin.
Front on view. General design of posts and purlin.
4B564C2D-0218-4532-B1AE-83282CB595C6.jpeg
With angle brace supports
With angle brace supports
EDAD4AAE-5882-4320-BE96-8E9286C5E729.jpeg
Top down view of five posts
Top down view of three posts and garage-mating wall
2DD6EF0D-1201-4470-B779-BD774F63E36F.jpeg
Roof slope
Roof slope
8B1EF317-7929-42BE-B696-82C7108A5E78.jpeg
Bedrock, plinth, footer stone wall, vertical post, horizontal brace, insulation. (3rd grade engineer skills)
Bedrock, plinth, footer stone wall, vertical post, horizontal brace, insulation. (3rd grade engineer skills)
147F09CB-ED0A-411E-9093-A58E88205890.jpeg
East and west walls (option-B, because Eric’s glass does not fit this set up)
East and west walls (option-B, because Eric’s glass does not fit this set up)
B5032ADA-FA36-4A0B-965D-974616A5D9C8.jpeg
East wall frame outline (option-A)
East wall frame outline (option-A). Left panel slides, right panel stationary.
0D5409F4-185E-4DEA-B032-11E82738493C.jpeg
South wall and roof outline. With 3 foot eaves considered
South wall and roof outline. With 3 foot eaves considered. Front-on and top-down view.
669BB5A2-B8FF-4686-A2C0-212587DA1A18.jpeg
South wall frame outline
South wall frame outline
85E46BDA-1E57-4E3D-992B-59F835B155FB.jpeg
Window frame design
Window frame design
 
Mike Haasl
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Hi Dez, do you have sketches for the roof structure?  Will the roof be glass panels or opaque?

How much pre-building can be done?  For instance, making the windows and door(s).
 
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The roof will be not-glass.
 
paul wheaton
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Based on many conversations with many people, I provide this proclamation:

    We will use the existing floor and bedrock

Doing the floor properly was making this project about ten times more challenging.   I am, therefore, making the executive decision that one of the requirements for solarium version 1.0 is made do with the floor/ground as-is.  Perhaps in two to five years we will make another pass on the solarium to something excellent with the floor.  
 
Dez Choi
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Mike Haasl wrote:Hi Dez, do you have sketches for the roof structure?  Will the roof be glass panels or opaque?

How much pre-building can be done?  For instance, making the windows and door(s).



Exactly—prebuilding is a must!.. I’m thinking to build to 90% of the windows and doors, so volunteers can get a taste of the final 10%. As for the rest of the structure, I would like to have also about 90% built so volunteers can experience the finesse of the finishing moves. ;)

Regarding sketches of the roof—not yet. It will be a simple metal roof with weather seals and some kind of insulation. Thanks for the question mike!
 
Glenn Herbert
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I sympathize with using the existing floor for the solarium for simplicity. I presume the post footings will be dug to bedrock to avoid possible settling. The post plinth rocks need to extend several inches (preferably 6-8" minimum) above exterior grade to keep splashes and groundwater wicking to a minimum.

I don't understand the rationale for notching the posts on the inside. I don't see a benefit on the corners, and I would want the garage door posts to be exposed on the interior for the appearance of the braced frame against the existing wall.

What sort of doors are available or can be constructed? Swinging doors are no big deal, but sliding doors require precise operating hardware to work well, not feasible to build without a good shop and experienced workers. They are trickier to seal effectively too.

The roof is a tradeoff: the steeper it is, the easier it will be to keep waterproof, but the shallower it is, the more clerestory window can be put above in the existing wall. I think the overhang should be not more than two feet on the south side, as that would shade too much of the glass in winter. I would advise drawing the profile with sun angles at noon for various seasons to see the best combination of shading and exposure.

Cob lower walls are cool, but need to be on a masonry base at least a footish above grade to avoid water wicking up and damaging them. A drylaid stone base will prevent wicking with less height, but will not help with splashing. If the existing surface slopes away from the proposed enclosure in all directions, fine, but if not you need to cut a groove to keep water from flowing from outside under the wall.
 
paul wheaton
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I'm thinking that the sliding glass doors will be purchased.  Just conventional sliding glass doors.
 
Mike Haasl
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I suspect, but might be wrong, that the insulation in the solarium may not add up to much.  With that much glass I think the a large percentage of the surface area will be a R1 or lower.  Making the roof and remaining walls a R20 will help but you're fighting a lot of heat loss through the glass.  

How well sealed is the rest of the garage?  If the soffits are open to the interior, the garage will act as a source (or exhaust point) for a lot of drafts.  If the solarium is really "tight" and doesn't leak, that will help a lot.  If the garage is also "tight" that would help a whole lot.  

I think the existing floor might turn out just fine.  Since bedrock is down about 2 inches it's not hard to excavate to it.  Getting a plinth rock for each post to sit securely on the bedrock might just take some precise jackhammer work to shape a recess for each rock to sit in.

I don't know enough about natural construction so this question might be silly.   What about building a stone wall that goes from bedrock up about 18" above grade on the S, E and W sides?  Mortar it together with something natural but rain resistant.  Then set the main posts on top of that rock wall.  And set horizontal logs on that rock wall to rest the windows on.  There wouldn't be any insulation in that lower part of the wall but much of it could be covered by the RMH bench.
 
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I agree that wall insulation where there is no glass would not help much, so an 18" stone lower wall would not be a huge issue. I understand double pane windows are desired, and not hard to do with a little bit of high-tech silicone sealant and spacer strips (and care to maintain very clean conditions during assembly). You can make double pane windows without fancy sealants (my father did it in 1960), but you will get spiders and possibly fog. Double pane gives R2, worth the effort (half the heat loss).

An important note: don't clamp in the glazing edges very tight, as unless the base is perfectly flat all around you will be introducing stresses that will eventually crack the glass. My carpenters did that with very expensive triple-pane Heat Mirror glazing twenty-five years ago, and half of them have now cracked.

If the RMH is against the south wall, it is important to separate and insulate it from the exterior wall and bedrock.
 
Mike Haasl
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My house had a homemade double paned window in it.  Let's say the glass was 4' by 3'.  They had a wooden 2x6 frame that was 4' by 2' on the inside.  The 2x6s were oriented so the glass was touching the 6" sides.  There was a small square spacer strip in the middle that kept the two panes of glass apart.  Then additional wood blocks held each pane against the center spacer.  The 2x6 on the lower sill was beveled on the outside for drainage.

Glenn (or anyone), if there's a stone lower wall and the posts start 18" off the ground, do you think there needs to be any diagonal bracing in that south wall?  Or would the roof give enough support to keep that wall from moving?
 
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The stone would need to be mortared, preferably with lime mortar, to be stable at this scale. Given the reported fragility of the local stone in concentrated loading, it would need a sturdy sill full length for posts to sit on and spread the load - not a hard job. In that case, I think the posts would get sufficient bracing from the roof attached to the main structure that additional diagonal bracing would not be needed. 8' spans of the south wall roof beam would be short enough that that would not require bracing either, as long as the beam is at least 6-7" diameter (maybe 8" for softwood). Still, I think diagonal braces from corner posts up to roof beam on the south wall would look good in keeping with the braces for the garage door beam, preferably set inside the glazing plane, and would not hurt the structure in any case.

I wonder about having softwood roundwood posts located on the exterior of the structure - I think their durability exposed to weather would be questionable. I would be more comfortable building with the posts protected from weather. Siding is easily replaceable, posts are not.
 
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I suspect softwood posts exposed to the elements in Montana will do much better than if they were in WI or NY.  Especially with a 2' overhang and maybe gutters on the south side...
 
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[UPDATE 2]

New/revised criteria:
1) Use pre-fabricated sliding glass doors, 80”Hx72”W (per paul, to simplify the build) (this nulls the all-natural materials criteria from before)
2) Bedrock is 12” below gravel level so foundation may not be on plinth rocks. Dry stack plus wall sill may be the option here, instead of plinth. Or padstones on compacted local aggregate. Padstones is my personal favorite option. Thoughts?
3) Depth of the room is now 8’ (instead of 10’) from outside of the roofline to the garage wall. (Per Paul, to simplify build.)
4) Northern posts moved to the bedrock area, instead of on concrete slab. Still included in design for roof load consideration and aesthetics. Because of this the “door” part of the sliding glass will be on the south side instead of the north side of the profile (east and west) walls. Possibility of omitting three inner posts. Thoughts?

More info to come. Will be responding to your inputs later today! Some pics below.

[UPDATE 3]
Solarium
[I tried to compile/address the notes gathered from Glenn's post from 4/21/21, and forward, up today's post by Mike. Suggestions and forward-discussion welcome.]

  *TWO-PHASE BUILD: Phase ONE is build walls and roof with windows and doors. Phase TWO is sealing the drafts and building the floor.
  *There will be THREE roundwood posts in total. After discussion with Paul, it makes sense to simply join the north end of the solarium
to the existing garage wall. The south wall of the solarium will be supported by the THREE roundwood posts.
  *Footing for these THREE posts will be joined to a sill that spans from corner post to corner post.
  *The sill will seat on dry-stacked local rocks, from bedrock to 6-inches above grade (grade being cement floor level of garage).
  *The roof will be metal/traditional style (very much like the one on the lean-to of the red cabin). There will be SIX-inches overhang eave
on southern edge, with a gutter. East and west edges will have a TWO-foot overhang eave.
  *The roof will have a shallow-ish slope, of 1:8. This slope is near minimum, and we have room to go slighly steeper. The current reason
for such a shallow slope is the EIGHT-foot inner ceiling height. (Of course we can also lower the ceiling, to SEVEN feet, but man, that
kind of defeats the "roomy" feel of a solarium, doesn't it? Open to suggestions.)
  *Lower walls will be dry stacked stone. Simplicity. Mortar involves cement and/or degradation.
  *Insulation for the solarium will be addressed in phase TWO of the build. Glass insulation will be old school--two openable single-
panes, built about FOUR to SIX inches apart for airgap. See chickadee's video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AU8OROdDGjo. Phase ONE
will be outer window only. Is this going to be the perfect insulation?--No. It's one idea. Open to suggestions. Frame will not be too snug
on glass, to allow stress-relief, and prevent cracking.
  *Insulation for garage will be built by day-ZERO.
  *Roundwood posts will not be on plinths. Bedrock is roughly ONE-foot under grade.
  *RMH will be installed in Phase TWO.
  *Each of the THREE vertical posts will be SIX to EIGHT inches in diameter at thinnest end.
  *Each of the THREE vertical posts may be enclosed from the outside elements, but is currently not a priority in Phase ONE design.
(There's a chance I can leave room for panels and such with the Phase ONE design.)
  *Dimensional header board and vertical boards to be installed for the north face of the solarium for attachement points (not roundwood).
Only the THREE south posts and the horizontal beam (purlin) will be roundwood. Total FOUR roundwood boards, and the rest is dimensional.

More to come. Finalizing the design by end of week. Hopefully much sooner, to prepare materials.
CFAC20D0-83CF-4B7F-B19D-3F07FB1343DB.jpeg
Top down and south face views.
Top down and south face views.
3DB993E6-17E0-4D9D-AE9E-5AEDBD5E3930.jpeg
West wall door layout
West wall door layout
202238F2-EFEC-49F3-9DE9-3FCB915B991C.jpeg
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Mike Haasl
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Hey Dez, there's a proper header in the wall above the garage door, correct?  I suspect the north end of the roof could be supported by that header alone, no posts needed.  

My initial thought would be to not put posts on bedrock across the middle of the solarium.  Put faux posts on either side of the garage door.  Well, they'd be real posts but mainly decorative.  I'd be tempted to cut flats on the back side of them so they snug up flat to the garage wall.  Then put a beam across the top of the garage door opening (also flattened on the north side).  That beam could be bolted to the header of the garage door for stability and strength.  Then the roof can rest on that beam.  Its weight would be transferred both to it's faux posts and to the header of the garage door which should be able to handle it.

If the whole solarium is only 8' deep (N-S), I doubt the load on that roof will be that significant.  Worst case, if people are really worried about it, you could put a single small post at the center of the garage door opening to further support the garage door header and faux beam.  That post would be sitting on the garage floor (not the skirt) so it should have all the support it needs.  Realistically it would only have to be a 5" diameter post to hold everything up but bigger might "look" better.

I like the idea of a rock stem wall (or are they called pony walls?) to build up from bedrock up to a sill log that the southmost posts rest on.  The hard part would be scribing that sill log to sit nicely on the rock wall.  Unless some sort of lime mortar can make that go easy.
 
Dez Choi
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Here are some renderings of the framework. (Thanks Jen!)
Paul is thinking there may be a need for "more triangles" or angle bracing--to keep the solarium structure from wanting to lean south, due to its own weight. He's asking if the experts have any say on the matter. Please leave any comments/concerns.
1) the rafters are sitting inside notched logs (approx 10" diameter), which are the header beam for the south wall and the header beam for the garage-port. (In other words, the headers are acting as hangers for the 2x6 rafters)
2) the top of the roof is 108.5 inches from the 0-level. The 0-level is approximately 1 foot above bedrock (where we dug), and also where the concrete level is inside the garage.
3) the roof is 20' wide. Each rafter is 8' long. So, an 8'x20' roof.
4) the base sills will lay across a dry stack stone wall wrapping the perimeter of the solarium. The east and west walls have 2 feet of concrete on the north side of each base sill; the rest is dry stack stone wall. The dry stack stone wall will be approximately 1 foot tall (depending on what we find once we dig down).
5) the base sills are hewn logs from our round wood.
6) on the south wall, 3 posts and upper beam are full round wood logs.
7) on the north (garage port) side, , 2 posts and upper beam/hanger/header are half-round logs mounted to the existing garage-port frame.
8) the hand-drawn picture is a potential extra angle brace, which is not illustrated in the computer rendering.
Solarium_top.png
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Solarium34.png
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SolariumEast34.png
[Thumbnail for SolariumEast34.png]
SolariumEastWall.png
[Thumbnail for SolariumEastWall.png]
CE384716-DEC6-49D4-84DC-B112CA7AC45C.jpeg
depicts a head-on view of the east wall frame, with top diagonal line as the roof. An angle brace above the door.
depicts a head-on view of the east wall frame, with top diagonal line as the roof. An angle brace above the door.
0BAC4AB5-55AF-4D0E-B096-D5F4612C4DDE.gif
Additional illustrations
Additional illustrations
4C8F1B03-C7F4-4E9D-B5FD-E30EB9408734.gif
[Thumbnail for 4C8F1B03-C7F4-4E9D-B5FD-E30EB9408734.gif]
 
Mike Haasl
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I like it... I hope that's a good sign

I was thinking the roof would overhang a bit more to the South to protect the sill/wall.  If there are gutters it might reduce the criticality of having extra overhang...

Regarding the extra triangles, I don't think they're needed IF:
  • the rafters are nailed properly to the beams at both ends
  • the north "half beam" is well anchored to the wall of the garage

  • The only bracing I think might be needed would be to keep the South wall from swaying E and W in the wind.  But the roof might be stiff enough to keep that from happening.  Some braces from the corner posts up to the South beam would help keep that from happening as well and might look nice.
     
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    The closing wall above the header on the ends to the rafter will act as the diagonal brace to the south.  As Mike Hassel said a 45 brace on the outside of the ends of the south beam would brace endwise movement and you have been practicing those on the underground greenhouse.
    I eliminated having to buy rafters by running 4 inch round wood from end to end at 2 foot spacing with 8 inch posts and beam in center and ends. My glazing is aluminum framed door sliders with acrylic roof panels fastened directly to .the 4 inch round wood.
     
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    Glenn Herbert
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    If the roof surface is exactly 8' long to maximize economy of materials (a reasonable move), the actual horizontal distance of the roof edge from existing wall will be less since the roof is sloped. Call it 3:12, which is 2' rise in 8' run, and you get 7' 4". Allow 8" overhang and you get 6' 8" , minus at least 8" wall framing thickness on the south, leaving barely 6' 0" for doors, not accounting for any framing against the existing wall. This seems like hardly enough additional space to justify the work and expense of building it.

    If the roof surface is 12', that gives 11' 0" horizontal distance, minus say 16" for decent solar shading overhang, minus 8" for south wall framing and 8" for framing against garage wall, gives up to 8' 4" space for doors, 9' 0" added internal space, and 9' 8" external projection on the ground.
     
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    I don't understand the benefit of cutting north wall timber framing logs in half to bolt to garage wall. As the posts will now be encased in the thickness of the east and west walls, whole logs would take no more floor space, and a whole beam would be twice as strong, all while lessening the work of timber preparation. The garage wall could still be through bolted to the logs if desired, and the look of natural materials and timber framing would be considerably enhanced.
     
    Glenn Herbert
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    I am a strong supporter of drylaid stone walling, and think it would work fine to support a sill beam. If you want the assembly to be weathertight, it would obviously need to be at the least plastered on the inside to seal under the sill. Given that bedrock is about 12" below floor level, that is a simple stonelaying job and not critical for highly skilled workers, just neat ones who can follow a plan. How much is existing floor level above existing driveway grade (theoretical floor level if the garage floor were to be extended)? The east and west sill plates will need to be not much above that level for daily convenience, which means those sills' bases may need to be at or even below driveway level. The south wall sill does not need to be at ground level (which is very bad for untreated timbers exposed to potential eave runoff), but can be a foot or so above grade, safer for post and framing longevity.

    As the plan for materials is to avoid treated lumber and use natural materials as much as possible, and the floor/door level will be necessarily almost at ground level, I thing significant overhangs on all sides are important to protect the structure from weather deterioration. The climate in Montana may be significantly drier than elsewhere and thus less problematic, but if the idea is to demonstrate good natural building practices to people from all over, I think it would be a good idea to show awareness of and adherence to what generally works in average temperate climates.
     
    Nicole Alderman
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    Unless I'm interpreting these pictures wrong, they've started laying the foundation!

    From Dez's thread


    rocks ready for stone foundation
    Dry stack




  • https://permies.com/t/146265/a/147154/thumb-7E6B4CD1-F1A8-4D4C-8A3C-F4A360593A1C.jpeg caption="J hard at work"



  • And from Magdalene's thread

    building dry-stack stone foundation
    Popsicle break, a spectacular view and a rainbow appearance

     
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    Chris Kott wrote:Travis, I love the idea of producing glass on-site, but it's really, enormously energy-intensive, especially if any glazing at all can be sourced from waste streams, like sliding glass doors and such.
    -CK



    Not only is it energy intensive but getting glass that will not shatter into knife like shards at the slightest tap is neither easy not achievable without very fine time/temperature control. Even with a Master's Degree in Materials Science I would prefer to scrounge for glass that I could recycle than to try to make my own. It can be done but I would expect that by the time I could make a few panes, I could scrounge enough for the whole project.

    On another note, have you considered double pane panels to achieve some level of insulation?
     
    Nicole Alderman
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    Chris Tully wrote:

    Chris Kott wrote:Travis, I love the idea of producing glass on-site, but it's really, enormously energy-intensive, especially if any glazing at all can be sourced from waste streams, like sliding glass doors and such.
    -CK



    Not only is it energy intensive but getting glass that will not shatter into knife like shards at the slightest tap is neither easy not achievable without very fine time/temperature control. Even with a Master's Degree in Materials Science I would prefer to scrounge for glass that I could recycle than to try to make my own. It can be done but I would expect that by the time I could make a few panes, I could scrounge enough for the whole project.

    On another note, have you considered double pane panels to achieve some level of insulation?



    This reminds me of something I learned recently. During the early medieval era, most places lost the technology to create glass from scratch. BUT, they were able to continue to make glass objects by using older glass to recycle it into new objects.

     
    Nicole Alderman
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    More pictures of the solarium from Dez's thread

    Dez Choi wrote:

    dry stack foundation for solarium
    closer


    Wood coming soon


    solarium foundation



    And also from Magdalene's thread

    Magdalene Bolton wrote:

    Coming along on the solarium

     
    Nicole Alderman
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    I spotted more pictures of the solarium build!

    From Dez's thread

    Covered and filling with gravel




    two sills




    Kyle has some great pictures of making the sills in his thread

    Here is Grey using a chainsaw to hew one side flat.


    Some finer shaving had to be done on this side.


    It is slightly smaller than needed, keeping some room for error


    Nice and pretty, ready to test fit.

     
    Nicole Alderman
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    More progress happening on the build!

    Kyle got some great pictures of the building process (I love the epic drill press!)

    Kyle Noe wrote:

    antique drill press in use
    Thanks Mike! We used the hand cranked drill press to make the holes for the rebar. It worked really well.


    https://permies.com/t/157417/a/152360/thumb-BisectingLog.jpg


    Here is where I got to before the end of the day. Just getting the big stuff out. I'm going to fine tune it after.



    Magdalene snapped a great picture of the posts being erected!

    Magdalene Bolton wrote:

    man standing large wooden post upright
    Grey putting in a post for the solarium



    Grey posted a video of that same being put in place!

     
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