Diamond Pier: decks without digging machines

Diamond Pier Photo Wise Home Building blog

When dealing with deck additions and renovations one point is extremely difficult to address: the excavation needs to support the code rules to have a stable and strong foundation.

Decks causes of failure can vary from a bad connection with the house to a foundation block or post that is not designed to support that amount of weight. And to have a good foundation we have to dig a hole with huge machines sometimes. Not anymore.

Pin Foundations, Inc., manufacturer of the Diamond Pier, has been designing and manufacturing foundations for over 25 years. And their idea to design a better product is that the Earth is the actual foundation, and soils, in their natural undisturbed state, have the strength and structure to do the job.

That’s why they designed Diamond Pier based on Pin Pile TechnologyPilings keep the Earth’s existing soil strength and structure intact and are easy to install if they do not need to go too deep. Traditional footings spread loads more widely, but the digging breaks apart the soil, weakening it and blocking or exaggerating water flow.

By grouping short bearing pins, which can easily be driven into intact penetrable soils, and setting them at angles to work more like a shallow footing, a sound foundation can be constructed that requires no excavation. This high-strength, precast component is a driving guide, a pin piling lock, and a structural connection all in one.

As a driving guide, the pier maintains the pin angles so that their capacity is definable and consistent. As a lock, the pier is designed to increase its grip on the pin cluster when loaded up, down, or side- ways—getting stronger and tighter as loads increase. And as a connection, an embedded anchor bolt and precast, post-matching shape make it a simple and proportional complement to its supported structure.

The Diamond Pier provides a solid, stable, economical foundation that both captures and preserves the supporting strength and natural functions of the Earth’s soil and, in turn, solidly and simply connects to and protects the permanent structures above.

The only limitation we have to use them appears when we deal with a rocky soil.

If you want more information about that, contact us.

Home building and Robots: now and then

WiseHomeBuilding - ZeroLabor Randek robots
ZEROLABOR® automates the construction process in high-end plans.
In a recent new deal with modular construction Katerra, Swedish firm Randek brings its automated workforce to the U.S. home building market.

Perfect squared walls and studs without any bowing. Window and electrical openings placed according to CAD in pre-fabricated walls. Conduits and insulation installed in a control temperature environment. Minimal waste to be handled. Yes, we are talking about the HOME BUILDING 2.0: an era of robots taking care of the home building business.

Despite the majority of home builders today can’t use this technology, it is already a reality for some companies that would like to work with this innovation. Faster process to build walls, roofs and trusses, with computer precision, maximizing the labor time. That’s the goal, and believe you or not it is starting to gain more and more adepts.

A perfectly framed wood home can be built by a team of two robots: precisely as designed by the architects and engineers, in record time, without delays or injuries.

ZeroLabor Robotic System® is one of this multifunctional application of mass-produced robotics with the ability to produce framed buildings. The first one was installed by  Moelven (a Norwegian forest products company) at its plant in the western Sweden in 2016, and the plant saw productivity increase by 5 times without any increase in staffing.

Photo from Randek website: http://www.randek.com/en/wall-floor-and-roof-production-lines/zerolabor

Swedish company Randek, which makes high-performance machines and systems for prefabricated house manufacturing in 36 countries and developed the world’s fastest wall line for Toll Brothers in 1992, is bringing its robotics revolution to U.S. production home building: Menlo Park, California (modular construction company Katerra recently purchased three ZeroLabor units, to be delivered next spring).

The robot screws, staples, nails, glues, and cuts out openings for windows and electrical as needed. It even straightens studs before nailing and marks building components using an inkjet printer. At the end of the task, the robot automatically separates waste and places it in the appropriate bins.

The future is coming, faster than we expected.

(OBS: to write this post we use information provided by the builders.com website)


Interactive Intelligent House

Imagine this: your home warms before you rise, the song you’ve been obsessing over builds into existence early in the morning, the shades slide up and fresh sunlight spills into your room. No, this isn’t a movie scene, it isn’t Tony Stark’s new tower, nor is it the new TV series persuading us that only billionaires can live comfortable lives. This is a dream brought to life. What does your dream home look like? Let us help you make it a reality.

smarthome Aria Systems

Illustration from Arya Systems webpage (https://www.ariasystems.com)

Of course, technology is expensive, but it’s doable, reliable and depending on your dream lifestyle, worth it. Intelligent homes are, in short, houses with “appliances, lighting, heating, air conditioning, TVs, computers, entertainment audio and video systems, security, and camera systems that are capable of communicating with one another and can be controlled remotely by a time schedule, from any room in the home, as well as remotely from any location in the world by phone or internet” (Smart Home https://www.smarthomeusa.com/smarthome/.

These intelligent homes can do a multitude of things, including but not limited to:

  1. Giving you the ability to control lights using your Apple Watch, cell phone, or other electronic device.
  2. Giving you the ability to control your bath and water system before arriving at home.
  3. Playing your favorite songs when you wake up.
  4. Opening your shades.
  5. Exterior lights automatically fading on and off at customizable times of day.
  6. Playing music when prompted, like while cooking.
  7. Quick-Commands (a short phrase or word you select to be the trigger for a series of specific tasks) can prepare your home for dinner with friends. For example: saying or selecting (depending on your system) “prepare for dinner” could turn on a specific song or playlist, the lighting would change, your driveway lights would turn on, and other little surprises as well.
  8. Good morning and good night functions can do whatever you want to save money for example (decreasing and increasing the air conditioning use has been done).

Savant is a company that specializes in lighting home experiences (for more info, click here). Products like Wink Hub 2 are designed to provide a hub for the integration of all your home features such as lighting, sound systems and security cameras all while maintaining affordable prices.

It’s a whole new world, but in our opinion, it’s one to look forward to and one that’s here to stay.

5 Creative Ideas to Increase your Home Value

  1. Automated blinds: this is not only luxury – installing smart blinds represents one of the most economical options to save energy. You can also set a timer remotely, and also synchronize them with your HVAC system to have the best energy efficient system (and decrease your monthly bill).

    MySmartBlind Wise Home Building blog
    MySmartBlind® mobile access
  2. Front door smart locks: many people are impressed by advertisements of having your child opening the front door using his mobile phone, miles away from your house, when you forget them in any other place and can’t find it. You have some cheap options to choose, and of course other complex and more expensive systems that are also integrated with life cameras.

    Nest® offers this type of smart lock
  3. Sprinkler system for lawn irrigation: it is a difficult decision to make when you are working with your landscape, I have to admit. Normally the landscape is the last phase of a building process (in new homes), and during that time you already spend more than you expected. So…you will think that a sprinkler will be a waste of money. Until you have the first or second dry summer, and your grass was gone. Plan to have a good system installed in your house – it will also help you a lot to increase your home price when you sell it.

    Image result for sprinkler
    Photo credit: https://www.directenergy.com
  4. Home security system: one of the fastest-growing section in this area. The majority of the systems we have in the market now are connected with mobile phones, and you can find affordable prices even for more sophisticated and advanced systems. In big cities – specifically in some neighborhoods – they are considered a must-have (even if it’s only to see if your Amazon delivery arrived safely)

    SimplySafe Wise Home Building
    SimpliSafe® have affordable options of hardware and monthly plans
  5. Smart home hub: this is a must-have if you are planing to increase the value of your house to attract millennial and gen-Z buyers. A hub works like the brain of your house: it connects all different devices (thermostats, alarms, appliances, sound systems, windows, among others). A tech-savvy buyer will be specially impressed if you have your house in the market and can provide this system as a plus in your listing.

    Smart home hubs guide – what’s the deal?
    Wink® is one of the options for your smart hub

Wood vs. Water

We’ve all heard about the problems that can arise when wood and water make contact. If you’ve ever had to fix your wood flooring or work in a renovation site, you know what we mean. Here’s the good news: Innovation is finally here to prove that not all interactions between water and wood are harmful.

Capture Accoya Wood Bath

Accoya project in a bathroom in Sao Paulo, Brazil – Source of the picture – click here

Leading institutes around the world (including in New Zealand, Sweden Malaysia, Indonesia, the USA, the UK, the Netherlands, and Japan) have conducted extensive laboratory and fields tests which have resulted in showing that acetylated Accoya® wood performance is strong and reliable, especially when it comes to water resistance.

What is the meaning of acetylated wood? Acetylation chemically modifies wood, making it stronger, more durable,  and far less susceptible to shrinking and swelling in various atmospheric conditions. All the chemicals used in acetylation are  found naturally in wood, making the process ‘green’ and eco-friendly.

Unmodified wood contains ‘free hydroxyl groups’ which absorb and release water as weather conditions change. It’s this quality that makes standard wood susceptible to shrinking and swelling, especially when used for outdoor purposes, such as cladding, window frames, and door frames. It’s this movement of wood leads to splitting and rotting.

Treated Accoya® wood has been thoroughly tested for dimensional stability, durability, paint retention, and in-ground conditions to ensure optimal performance. It’s so reliable that for years scientists have been using it as the benchmark with which other wood treatments and modifiers are measured and compared.  Accoya® producers ensure that every batch of wood is consistent in quality and reaches the highest of performance standards. With such strong scientific credentials, Accoya® is guaranteed for 50 years when used above ground and 25 years for below ground applications.

Explore more of the beauty behind Accoya® wood applications around the world, here.