Monday, November 19, 2012

Temple Walls are Up

Mark, Josh and Vanya grab wall section to add to the temple

After a bit of a disaster a week ago, we got some walls up at the Temple of Life. In October a group of us put up the central tower of the temple. It was the framing only. Everyone was excited to see the temple off the ground and we were all thrilled with ourselves. On Friday, November 9th, a huge wind came up in the area and blew all of our new walls right off of the floor and onto the ground. Needless to say, we were not happy. A lot of work got wrecked.

This past weekend we went up to assess the wreckage and start the rebuild. Most of the lumber was just fine, fortunately. We also learned some things. First, that the power of the wind is quite humbling! Second, that we have to do a much better job of building this structure. I spent some time online reviewing literature about how to build houses in hurricane areas. I also had an email discussion with a friend who knows a lot about framing buildings. Thus armed with information and lots more nails, a few of us dug in and built new walls.

The view to the west through the framed walls
Instead of building the tower first and then adding the wing framing, like we did in October, we built all the lower level walls and got some sheathing on the corners. It turns out that sheathing is one of the main things that holds a building together in high winds. I also spent a lot of time adding more steel straps and anchors to attach the walls to the floor framing and the floor framing to the concrete piers that make up the foundation of the temple.

We hammered until our arms were so tired we could barely hit the nails and got most of the sheathing on by Sunday afternoon. Success! And the temple structure will be even stronger than it would have been had the big wind disaster not happened. Thanks to Vanya, Mark, Kismet, and Josh for coming to Gateway Ranch last weekend to help rebuild the temple walls.

This is how far we got last weekend.
The next work party will be in early December and we will finish the sheathing on the lower walls, build the upper walls and sheath them, and maybe be able to put the roof deck framing on top of the tower. It will be either the first or second weekend of December. If you want to help, and one of the weekends is better for you than the other, let me know.