Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Hardwood Gym Floor Being Installed!

Step by Step, Inch by Inch ~ One plank at a time~
our hardwood gym floor is being installed.

Follow this sequence of photos to see how these floors are built.
On the right side of this photo is the concrete slab for the gym floor. On the left is the vapor barrier that lays on top of the concrete.
On the right above is the vapor barrier. On the left side of the photo is a foam cushioning pad.
Here the foam is turned up so you can see it is about 1/4 inch thick.
On top of the foam layers of criss-crossing lattice boards are installed as the sub flooring.
After the third layer is installed it is ready for the hardwood finishing boards.
The wood has been stored in the space it will be installed and has cured to the room atmosphere and moisture levels for several weeks.
This photo above shows the depth of the floor. It will rise above the concrete nearly three inches deep and equal to the bottom of this entrance door sill.

Hand tools are a part of some of the detailing bu the majority of the installation is with powered tools.
Once an edge is set the hardwood is driven into place and then nailed to the sub floor.
This photo shows all five levels in one shot. From left to right concrete, vapor barrier, foam padding, lattice sub floor, and hardwood surface flooring.
Once installed our wood is a beautiful sight. It is unfinished and that will come soon.
This floor features expansion joints every 3 feet to allow for the seasonal swelling and changes in moisture content and thus preventing buckling.
I have color adjusted this image to approximate the finish that will be seen on the floors. You can compare that to the unfinished raw maple in the above lighter wood photos.
This crew of installers works along a single line progressing from one end of the gym to the other while nailing in about a 6 board section at a time.
The heavy rubber hammer is used to strike the power nail gun that drive the nails through the hardwood and into the sub floor. Moving to the right he swings down to the floor and strikes the wood plank first to set it in place and without missing a beat swings high to the nail gun and drives the nails in rhythm.
The boards are all culled and placed in advance of the hammer crew working across the row to be nailed into place.
In about one day they completed the section show below.
No, don't be alarmed, we do not have crooked flooring! This is a sorted but un attached section of planks.
It is a beautiful floor and it is very springy when you bounce your heel on it. I look forward to many years of Pioneer Sports play in this gym.

click on the arrow above for "hammer time"...

Basketball Backboard and Hoops Installed!

Our main gym has reached its goals!
We have 6 backboards in the main gym.
The main goals are glass. We will play on an East / West oriented main court.
Sound absorption panels are being installed. We also have a sound absorbing ceiling in this gym!The practice and PE backboards are on the North and South sides of the gym. They lift sideways and backward depending on which beams support them.
I am sure Pioneer round ball will elevate to new heights our new gym.

Auxiliary Gym

The auxiliary gym is awaiting floor installation. Base board and hardwood is being stored therein.
The goals have been installed.
There are six goals in the auxiliary gym.
This gym is a practice area and instructional area for all of our physical education classes.
Lockers have been installed in the locker rooms.

Stadium Bleachers Being Installed

Our bleachers are in place on the home side of Pioneer Stadium.
It was raining the day I shot this so I could not go out and get good photos.
Watch for an upcoming post featuring our stadium.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Our Uncommon Commons

As you step through our main entrance the first view you have of our commons area is this bank of clerestory windows flooding our commons with day lighting.
The photo above was taken on a cloudy and overcast day and yet there is ample light without additional interior lighting for this area.
Opposite of this bank of windows is the main stairway.
This photo shows the second floor mezzanine along the center of the commons.
This photo and the next one feature the lights that flood the commons with a direct down light.
The area beneath these lights is the dining area for the cafeteria and the lobby area for the gymnasium. We call it the "commons" since it shares function for all of the public spaces in our new school.
This image is looking south in the commons toward the serving area of the cafeteria.
Glancing up to the balcony of the second floor (the stacked boxes contain our theater seats!)
The cafeteria is beneath this walkway and behind those windows.
This view is from the north end stairway looking south. The cafeteria is at the far end, about the length of a football field from this point. In the center of the commons is the elevator column.
I am very pleased with some of the accent colors that are beginning to be painted. There is a warm, earthy, and pleasant harmony to the color schemes that have been chosen. Every attempt to avoid institutional color has been made. I think this will be a soothing and healthy environment to live and work in for students and staff.

It's Solar Tube Time ~ Lessons in Light!

Due to the architectural design some of our rooms do not have external windows. In spite of that restriction, the lighting in this room does have some amount of natural solar lighting.
You will notice there are two sources of light in this ceiling shot. We have hanging fluorescent lights. These lights are different from traditional fluorescent which only provide down lighting. These new lights are designed to shine upwards and reflect off the ceiling tiles. (Notice the glowing on the ceiling). The square section of light in the center of the photo is the solar tube lighting.
This photo shows the solar tube lighting with all other lights turned off. This photo was taken on a cloudy, gray, raining, and fully overcast day. And yet a full glow of light is emitted. How is that? Reflection and refraction amplify the amount of light!
In the photo above one can learn an interesting detail about reflection. These silver tubes are solar tubes being assembled out in the commons area. When installed these stainless tubes are attached to a louvered panel on the roof and provide a continuous "tube" from the outer roof to the ceiling of the rooms where the lens are installed. It is through these tubes that sunlight is captured.
If you notice the two tubes that are not under one of the lobby lights you will see they appear to be normal stainless steel and there is little difference in the outside and the inside of the tube.
Take notice of the tube which is on the left in the first photo and sits under one of the lobby lights. You will notice there is a highly reflective surface that glows and bounces light down the length of the tube. I thought this shot provided an excellent demonstration of how reflected light intensifies in a tube.

The tubes are then connected to the room and a 2 X 2 foot lens is installed in the drop ceiling panels.
This is a close up of the square lens plate shown above in the first two photos in this post.
Each of the small cells in the in the glass of the panel contains a refracting lens that distributes and amplifies the sunlight much like the glass lens of a lighthouse amplifies and projects light.

The next few photos show the sequence of the process of the closing the louvered panels on the roof that feed the solar tube.
You are looking up into the tube in each of these lens "eyes".
Nearly fully closed you can actually see the louver in the convex of the lens.
The mechanics are controlled by a motor and the switch is in each classroom that has these solar tubes installed.
In this photo a lesson in the physics of light can be found and taught. Notice the refraction of the light as it passes through the lens. Sunlight contains all colors of the spectrum. You will recall from your science study that when light passes through a prism it is broken up into the colors of the spectrum.

By focusing my camera lens precisely on the surface of the lens one can see the distribution of the full color spectrum through the lens. (Remember ROYGBIV ?)

It is in this manner that we receive "full spectrum lighting" from sunlight.
Upon close examination one can see the Fresnel lens in the center as concentric rings. Thus, our building as a teaching tool as well as a learning center!