So there we were, building away, with the structural contractor installing the new joists in the extension, working up one floor after another. The workmen were working efficiently and everything was coming out level as you would hope.
Then I noticed that the wall that the joists on the fourth floor at the south east corner had been set into is an external wall. This is the next floor up from what you can see in the above photo. As the men have worked up thru the building, the walls either side have had occupied space on their other side, so we havent needed to worry about insulation. Suddenly this section is the neighbors roof patio, so is exposed. The metal joists set into the cement mortar are a serious thermal bridge, in other words, heat will pass along the joists in the winter and out thru the wall.
You may look at this photo and say 'that all looks neat and straight, so what is all the fuss about? Isnt that normal building practice?'
Well the German academics who developed the Passive House system, did all sorts of tests, and found that air sealing and thermal sealing are absolutely critical in reducing heating and cooling demands of buildings, and if we want to create a house that has no energy costs, then we have to eliminate all heat losses and gains.
New York demands joist be made out of metal, which conducts heat very effectively.
So now we have to create a new support and cut out the ends of these joists. At least, as everybody is saying, its not too late, and wont cost too much money. This is an example of our inexperience at building to this exacting standard. Lets just hope that we can identify other issues in time too.
Oh, and by the way, the Verizon men came along finally. Well the engineers came and worked out what to do. Now we wait for the workmen to actually do it. Dont you just love the speed of utility companies.