Too big to carry
Back in the early design phase, we were advised that the best system for constructing the new rear wall, and the front and rear walls for the two additional floors, would be SIPs (Structural Insulated Panels). These would be manufactured elsewhere and simply installed on site. This approach not only dramatically reduced construction time, but gave us far better insulation, and reduced wastage. Little did we know about the excessiveness of New York building regulations. It turned out that our building had to be strong enough to resist high winds as if the buildings alongside us had been demolished. Given the value of land in Manhattan, can you ever imagine that happening?
Anyway, given the height and narrowness of our building, this required the SIPs to be much stronger than is really necessary, so the manufacturer decided that the best way to make them that strong was to make one panel for each floor - five Meters wide by over three Meters high. They ended up weighing nearly a Ton each and would require a Wide Load transportation from Calgary - nearly 4000Km!!
After we and our contractor tried all sorts of ideas for how to crane the panels between the trees and over the top of the building, we all gave up and accepted it couldnt be done. So the manufacturer had to cut them up into smaller sections and provide us with strapping to assemble them back together on site and make them strong enough.
They will be arriving next week, and we have planned an open event on 2nd Oct to share the experience, and actually demonstrate installing some panels.
More lessons learned. It really bugs me the wastage of materials necessary to comply with such excessive regulations, but I guess that is the nature of regulations, they require some things, prohibit others, and are always behind reality.
Meanwhile, here is a picture to show our own little cathedral. This is what a tall narrow building looks like when you take out the floors.
It all looks very different now, with the steel joists installed and the floors reinstated, the old staircases removed and new temporary ones in place. It will look even better when we arent missing a back wall.