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Tilt-up post-and-beam: one way to go for the owner-builder.

Tilt-up post-and-beam: one way to go for the owner-builder

Modular, low-cost, and solar efficient, this metal-roofed house combines a centuries-old style of framing (post-and-beam) with a modern building method (tilt-up) used largely for light commercial structures.

The basic idea was to build all the exterior walls face down, from the inside out, then use a crane to tilt them into position on the foundation. Once walls were ready, it took about 2 1/2 days to assemble and enclose the shell. The system requires less skilled labor; this designer says it's also ideal for the owner-builder who wants to finish the interior. (This house cost less than $50 per square foot--as opposed to about $70 for conventionally framed construction.)

The 1,850-square-foot house has an insulated slab under the 27-foot-square main room--which contains living, dining, and kitchen areas. Four sets of insulated sliding doors and eight overhead glass panels run along one wall. The glass lets the low winter sun penetrate into the room during the day; at night, warmth stored in the slab is slowly released into the house. The owners use a woodstove for backup heat.

Above the main room, the ceiling rises to the ridge line, over an open second-floor office space. In the summer, openable skylights above the office vent heat that builds up near the roof's peak. Three bedrooms --one downstairs and two upstairs --fill the east end.

Architect Rusty Schuetz of Nevada City, California, designed the house for Lee and Jim Loree.

Photo: Tilt-up panels, assembled complete with windows, wiring, and insulation while flat on the floor, make the end walls

Photo: Inside and out, wood paneling adds texture to surfaces of south-facing house. Glass panels in pitched roof are actually replacement patio doors in door-size window mountings. They let sunlight warm the floor

Photo: Wall's layers include 4-by-4 posts (exposed indoors) and two layers of diagonal siding, running in opposite directions for strength. The siding sandwiches furring strips, rigid insulation, air infiltration barrier, and a cavity for wiring
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Copyright 1988 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Date:Apr 1, 1988
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