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Any Massachusetts Guys Here? Got Some Questions.

 
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Old 03-02-2012, 06:52 PM   #1
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Any Massachusetts Guys Here? Got Some Questions.


I've budgeted a job for a developer we've done several buildings for out in MA. The architect/engineer came back with some comments on my scope that I think sound ridiculous. Anyone here familiar with building in MA?
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Old 03-03-2012, 10:59 AM   #2
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Re: Any Massachusetts Guys Here? Got Some Questions.


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Old 03-03-2012, 11:24 AM   #3
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Re: Any Massachusetts Guys Here? Got Some Questions.


The quick lowdown:
-50,000 sf assisted living building (2 stories)
-All wood framed with trussed roof
-slab on grade

He's telling me:
1. I have to run all of my bearing walls at 12" OC so that trusses stack over studs. He have always built these things with walls 16" on center and trusses landing between on a double top plate. He says he's done this before, but only on single story buildings and he made them run 3 top plates.
2. Attic insulation has to be closed cell spray foam insulation with some type of ventilation system under the shingles. It is typical everywhere we've ever built these to use baffles and blown cellulose or fiberglass.
3. All drain pipe has to be cast. We only use cast in situations where the piping will be exposed (restaurant ceilings, etc.) or in non com buildings.
4. That trench footings will need to be much wider that 14". We've made them wider than 14", but only as remedy to soil conditions, not as a general rule.

Any thoughts on this stuff? Remember that these are basically apartments and therefore they are built as such.
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Old 03-03-2012, 11:26 AM   #4
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Re: Any Massachusetts Guys Here? Got Some Questions.


Quote:
Originally Posted by slowsol
The quick lowdown:
-50,000 sf assisted living building (2 stories)
-All wood framed with trussed roof
-slab on grade

He's telling me:
1. I have to run all of my bearing walls at 12" OC so that trusses stack over studs. He have always built these things with walls 16" on center and trusses landing between on a double top plate. He says he's done this before, but only on single story buildings and he made them run 3 top plates.
2. Attic insulation has to be closed cell spray foam insulation with some type of ventilation system under the shingles. It is typical everywhere we've ever built these to use baffles and blown cellulose or fiberglass.
3. All drain pipe has to be cast. We only use cast in situations where the piping will be exposed (restaurant ceilings, etc.) or in non com buildings.
4. That trench footings will need to be much wider that 14". We've made them wider than 14", but only as remedy to soil conditions, not as a general rule.

Any thoughts on this stuff? Remember that these are basically apartments and therefore they are built as such.
Sounds like good advice, except the cast..
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Old 03-03-2012, 11:40 AM   #5
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Re: Any Massachusetts Guys Here? Got Some Questions.


I don't argue that it's a great way to build it. But the argument is whether or not anyone can afford it. If it were up to me I'de recommend the whole building get built with zip wall, standing seam metal roof, and walnut trim. Unfortunately I've yet to see an apartment developer than can afford it.

My question is, is this stuff typical out there?
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Old 03-03-2012, 01:20 PM   #6
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Re: Any Massachusetts Guys Here? Got Some Questions.


1.) I have always built with a "stacked" load path- can't say as I've ever had reason to look into code/engineering otherwise.

2.) I have never foamed rafter bays. There is a fair amount of discussion out there with respect to trapping and hiding leaks behind closed cell rafter bays till serious water damage rears it's ugly head.

3.) I have only used cast in specific situations where it was mostly for sound deadening.

4,) I have rarely built with less than a 20" spread footing.

Wish I could have been more helpful but it appears to be an issue of what the client wants and whether or not it has been accounted for in your scope of work and bid.
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Old 03-03-2012, 01:27 PM   #7
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Re: Any Massachusetts Guys Here? Got Some Questions.


Quote:
Originally Posted by VBuilt View Post
1.) I have always built with a "stacked" load path- can't say as I've ever had reason to look into code/engineering otherwise.

2.) I have never foamed rafter bays. There is a fair amount of discussion out there with respect to trapping and hiding leaks behind closed cell rafter bays till serious water damage rears it's ugly head.

3.) I have only used cast in specific situations where it was mostly for sound deadening.

4,) I have rarely built with less than a 20" spread footing.

Wish I could have been more helpful but it appears to be an issue of what the client wants and whether or not it has been accounted for in your scope of work and bid.
Thanks. It's more of an issue of us not being from the area and the engineer telling us what is typical there. We've built three other buildings for the developer and never run into these issues. Although, they weren't in MA either.
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Old 03-03-2012, 03:04 PM   #8
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Re: Any Massachusetts Guys Here? Got Some Questions.


I second the 20" footings. Seems as these may be his/engineers preferences not code issues.

Also being an "assisted" living building may trigger stricter regulations that he is following. At least with the cast, IMO

Last edited by Aframe; 03-03-2012 at 09:43 PM.
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Old 03-03-2012, 09:38 PM   #9
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Re: Any Massachusetts Guys Here? Got Some Questions.


1. Stacked load studs sounds like a reasonable approach and I would expect most inspectors to call for this. I don't do much truss work, so am much more used to standard frame all 16" oc lining up.

2. To meet energy codes you virtually have to install spray foam insulation. Closed cell get you the higher R value/inch but is more expensive. I have done 2" closed cell and then open cell over that. At 2", closed cell is water and air tight.

4. Same here, 20" to 24" continuous spread footing. #4 rebar also.

What towns are the projects located in? While they all use the same code book, some are just plain tougher than others. Also, there are a couple of ways to address the energy codes, so that changes things. Yes, it is expensive to build here. I'm sure there are other places just as expensive or more, but certainly there are some that are much less.

As mentioned, with the asst living appts, you get into multi family and ADA requirements, which again steps things up a bit.

What towns?
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Old 03-03-2012, 10:09 PM   #10
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Re: Any Massachusetts Guys Here? Got Some Questions.


How are you guys typically building your stem walls? You mention 24" spread footings. What depth are these and what are the stem walls built out of (poured walls, cmu, etc.)?
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Old 03-03-2012, 10:15 PM   #11
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Re: Any Massachusetts Guys Here? Got Some Questions.


Code is 48" depth for frost protection. Always do placed concrete.
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Old 03-04-2012, 11:00 AM   #12
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Re: Any Massachusetts Guys Here? Got Some Questions.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ohiohomedoctor

Sounds like good advice, except the cast..
Cast iron is a must in all commercial applications. What's the problem with building it the way the architect wants it? Nothing outrageous in his requests and you have to build it to the plans submitted to and approved by the BD.
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Old 03-04-2012, 11:14 AM   #13
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Re: Any Massachusetts Guys Here? Got Some Questions.


I have no commercial experience, but generally the footing is twice the width of the foundation wall or more. Usually 20" wide around here. Cast iron is usually used for sound deadening purposes in the work I'm involved in. I always try to stack rafters on top of studs, and would never land them on the plates only. As far as the roof insulation, there are many ways to tackle it. Sounds like you are shooting for a cold roof. Venting on top of the roof sheathing is the best way to go, but the priciest too. You are basically sheathing the roof twice. Why don't you make an active air space directly under the roof sheathing using nailers and rigid foam with conventional soffit vents and then spray the underside of that to the desired depth?

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Old 03-04-2012, 11:31 AM   #14
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Re: Any Massachusetts Guys Here? Got Some Questions.


Quote:
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Cast iron is a must in all commercial applications. What's the problem with building it the way the architect wants it? Nothing outrageous in his requests and you have to build it to the plans submitted to and approved by the BD.
Assisted living is not a commercial application. It is an R-4 or R-5 use group,which is a residential use group. It's a wood framed building (Type 5 Construction).

We've built over 10,000 multifamily units and have never run into these issues. This is the first time we've ever heard this, but we've also never built in MA. That is the issue. The three other buildings we've built for this owner were not built the way this engineer is saying it will need to be built. So the owner is not understanding the incurred cost for these items. My job is to find out whether or not this is simply the engineer's preferences or if it really is typical to the area. Just thought I'd ask on here to see if anyone had any MF experience in that area.

Landing trusses on studs is not typical in MF construction as your trusses are always 24" oc and your walls are always 16" oc.
A typical foundation detail we see is a 14" by 32" or 26" earth-formed trench footing with two or three courses of CMU to get to FF. We have used formed and poured stemwalls, but typically find them more expensive.
Cast is rarely used in any R use group building we've ever built. He wasn't that worried about using PVC, but stated it is rarely used in MA.

Nothing wrong with building the building to the engineers preferences if you are competively bidding the project. This is a negotiated job (no bidding) and therefore the owner wants to make sure this is the most economical building he can build. That's another reason for questioning this engineers statements.

Thanks to all who have responded!
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Old 03-04-2012, 01:55 PM   #15
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Re: Any Massachusetts Guys Here? Got Some Questions.


I have dealt with a few engineers that would rather go overboard on demands than to actually calculate loads. If he is being lazy, he might just be looking to the Wood Frame Construction Manual http://www.awc.org/Standards/wfcm.html this calls out a continuous load path requirement.

Are the ceilings vaulted?
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Old 03-07-2012, 10:14 PM   #16
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Re: Any Massachusetts Guys Here? Got Some Questions.


I believe in Mass any and all construction that exceeds 35,000 cubic feet has to be" Controlled Construction" which is going to require atleast a Architect and its entirely likely the building department will require a structural stamp in addition to the Architects stamp. Then your probably going to have sprinklers. And depending on what town your working in you may also have to meet the "Stretch Code". I never heard of or seen framing walls 12" o.c. for truss bearing. I have never been able to figure engineers logic on footing size/design when it comes to footings. Ive had engineers design footings for a handicap slab strong enough to support an Abrahms tank. Be real careful putting a fixed price on anything for Mass if you aren't familiar with the state, been here all my life and still get taken out at the knees from time to time.
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Old 08-04-2012, 03:48 PM   #17
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Re: Any Massachusetts Guys Here? Got Some Questions.


As an update for anyone that helped answers these questions for me: project is fully designed and bid and we are breaking ground in September. And just to update, I've included the results of my questions below as they got final detailed on the plans.


Quote:
Originally Posted by slowsol View Post
The quick lowdown:
-50,000 sf assisted living building (2 stories)
-All wood framed with trussed roof
-slab on grade

He's telling me:
1. I have to run all of my bearing walls at 12" OC so that trusses stack over studs. He have always built these things with walls 16" on center and trusses landing between on a double top plate. He says he's done this before, but only on single story buildings and he made them run 3 top plates.
The engineer ended up recommending all walls be placed 24" O/C so that trusses stacked. I was a little surprised by this, but it was his recommendation.
2. Attic insulation has to be closed cell spray foam insulation with some type of ventilation system under the shingles. It is typical everywhere we've ever built these to use baffles and blown cellulose or fiberglass.
We are now showing blown cellulose or fiberglass and the spray foam has been eliminated.
3. All drain pipe has to be cast. We only use cast in situations where the piping will be exposed (restaurant ceilings, etc.) or in non com buildings.
It turns out PVC is perfectly acceptable by local code in this use group and the only areas where we have to use cast in the commercial laundry room and commercial kitchen.
4. That trench footings will need to be much wider that 14". We've made them wider than 14", but only as remedy to soil conditions, not as a general rule.
We ended up not doing trench footings, but rather 24"x12" spread footers with a cast in place stem wall on top.

Any thoughts on this stuff? Remember that these are basically apartments and therefore they are built as such.
As an aside if anyone has any recommendations for local tradesmen that I should be talking to out there, please let me know. The job is about 45 miles south of Boston.
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Old 08-04-2012, 08:48 PM   #18
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Re: Any Massachusetts Guys Here? Got Some Questions.


the building code in mass is now the irc 2009 edition and the icc 2009 we have always used 16 oc and layoutand rafters/trusses to break with in 1/12 inches of the stud with a double plate but each city or town can adopt their own variations of a code (probably under state approval ) but i know diff towns have slightly diff peaves that they enforce more than others
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Old 08-04-2012, 08:55 PM   #19
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Re: Any Massachusetts Guys Here? Got Some Questions.


Quote:
Originally Posted by slowsol View Post
As an update for anyone that helped answers these questions for me: project is fully designed and bid and we are breaking ground in September. And just to update, I've included the results of my questions below as they got final detailed on the plans.




As an aside if anyone has any recommendations for local tradesmen that I should be talking to out there, please let me know. The job is about 45 miles south of Boston.
i am about 45 miles south of boston where is the job ?
i know a great plastering comapany reliable fast and good rep
i subbed all his blueboard for 12 years
now i just do small work but i can get you his info if youd like
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Old 08-04-2012, 09:01 PM   #20
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Re: Any Massachusetts Guys Here? Got Some Questions.


Quote:
Originally Posted by A-1 INTERIORS

i am about 45 miles south of boston where is the job ?
i know a great plastering comapany reliable fast and good rep
i subbed all his blueboard for 12 years
now i just do small work but i can get you his info if youd like
Job is in Hanson. The project is all drywall. No plaster.

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