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The art of construction Wednesday, July 08, 2009

I've been a bad blogger of late, but that doesn't mean I haven't been shooting. Among other things, I am in the midst of shooting a construction project in the Pearl District (yes, there still is some of that going on). Here are a couple of "arty" images from the Broadstone Enso Apartments (Yorke & Curtis, General Contractors).

In the photo at right, you will notice that the floor joists are not 2x8 or 2x10 or even 2x12 that you might expect. They are engineered wood joists: essentially wooden I-beams. The flanges are made of laminated veneer lumber and the webs are oriented strand board. Apparently it was invented in 1969, but I don't think it was in common use until the last 10 years or so.

It's a pretty good idea, though: it's lighter and stronger than dimensional lumber, more consistent, can be made to any length, and comes with pre-cut holes in the web for wiring and such. You can see a better view in the photo at right.

Below is a photo from the basement of the building (it may be a garage). It doesn't really go with the rest of this blog post, but I like it.