shop setup


shop setup

The team setting up tool boxes.

Building shop floor between equipment containers.

Pulling the generator with Bobcat.

Organizing screwdriver bits.

Building shop roof.

Building shop roof.


steel prefabrication

steel prefabrication

Making footing cages

Drilling steel components

Every hole was measured and then marked with metal markers and punches.

Hand Drill

Drill Press

Metal Cutting Band Saw

Portable Band Saws



All steel components were delivered to a galvanization factory in New Jersey.

Caustic Cleaning, Pickling and Fluxing prior to the hot dip.

Columns and brackets getting hot dipped galvanized in the 860°F molten zinc bath,


wood prefabrication

wood prefabrication

We ordered ACQ pressure treated lumber. 2x12 is easy to get. Anything larger than that requires special orders and longer turnaround time.

Every piece of lumber were measured twice, cut to length and numbered.

Bolt holes were measured, marked and drilled.

Most beam and girder pieces were notched with plunge router.

Then chiseled.

Then sanded with belt sander.

After days of teamwork, all lumber components were prefabricated and ready to be assembled into beams and girders.





The location of column footings were surveyed and 'pinged' with chalk line.

A wood jig was made for marking. Four points for locating the jig in the future. A rectangle for cutting the existing concrete deck.

Then all marks were measured again.


Four corners of a rectangular mark were drilled.

A walk-behind concrete saw was used to cut the pool deck. Water that kept the blade cool, also helped control dust.

Bobcat + Hydraulic Breaker. This guy made a lot of noise!

Instructor and project manager Joel Stoehr taking the first dig on a mini excavator.

You never know what awaits you underneath that thick concrete layer. Sometimes just soil and rock, sometimes pipes that need to be examined and removed or relocated carefully.

Bobcat + Auger Bit to remove soil for sonotubes.

Whack a mole in a sonotube!


First pouring with concrete buggy was a fast job. The concrete delivery truck could not wait too long and the concrete would set quickly. Everyone was up and running. Teamwork!

Rebar caps on the footing cage provided protection.

Bending rebars with rebar bender was some real hard manual labor.




Column Erection

Four steel poles were glued into each concrete footing. 

Four bolts were screwed onto the poles and calibrated to be on the exact elevation of all other bolts. 

These bolts were to hold the bottom plates of steel columns. A wood jig was used to make sure that all the bolts were in the right place and nothing was in the way of the bottom plates.

Erecting columns as exciting, bu not easy. Every bolt in the footing had to be recalibrate to level the columns. Sometimes new holes needed to be drilled due to short poles. Some bottom plates were cut to fit into the sonotube.

Another set of bolts was installed to fix the columns.

Grout was poured to fill up the space underneath the bottom plates.


After erecting all columns, they were measured and calibrated again. 

The allowance of column cap locations was kept lower than 1/4”.

The columns looked very promising!


Second round of concrete for footing.

Industrial vibrator removed bubbles and air pockets in the concrete.

Excessive concrete got removed and the surfaces were carefully flattened.




Beam Assembly

The redrilled flitch beam steel plates were painted in red, yellow and orange, which are the New School colors and the color of sunset.

Instead of measuring, bolt holes on the flitchbeam lumber pieces were located with the steel plate placed on top. 

Joists were made of two pieces of 2x12 and relatively easy to assemble.

Grasshopper helped us to move those heavy joists from the shop to the site.

Girders waiting to be lifted.

Every flitch beam was made of four pieces of 2x12 and one 1/2” thick steel plate. All pieces were sandwiched together to make the flitchbeam. These were the girders.

These small triangular components were cut with track saws and special jigs.

The triangular pieces sat in the notches on the flitch beams (girders). 

Steel T brackets, installed and leveled. These are the connectors between girders and joists.


The folklifter lifted the girder into place. A four person team guided the girder into column caps and aligned the holes on the column caps and the girder.

Joists were slid onto T brackets on the girders.

The notches on corner girders were adjusted.

Two primary beams intersected on the corner. The girder was notched into the joists inside of the column cap. Both primary beams continued to cantilever.

45° bracings were installed to increase the stability of the roof system.

Wood beams warped after rain. Cargo straps were used to adjust the spacing between joists.

Typical intersection of one girder, two joists and four bracings.

Typical intersection of one joist and two bracings.

Intersection of two girders and two joists.

The hierarchy of roof system: girder-joist-bracing-fascia.

Installing polycarbonate roof sheets.

Translucent panels provide daylight for the lockrooms.

Ice pop break in a hot summer afternoon.




Stud framing was installed between steel columns and wood posts.

Reclaimed wood trims were installed on top and under the stud framing. Ceder claddings fitted between top and bottom trims.  

Spacing between claddings.

Aligning nails.

By rotating claddings, the exterior solid/void pattern reflects the facade of the adjacent landmark building.

Aluminum framing was installed for vertical polycarbonate sheets.

Every vertical panel was sanded to assure the privacy of lockrooms.

Finished interior wall.