The Shop

This month marks the second anniversary of moving into my new shop in Eugene.

Construction began in 2009 during the ‘February Fake-out’–the odd week or two spell of sunny, warm weather we sometimes get here during that month.  A promising start that quickly drowned in mud.  We learned why professional builders don’t work in winter here, though I gained a new insight for Kesey’s Sometimes a Great Notion–namely, in western Oregon, rain is your enemy.

Design by and major construction assistance from David Schmitz of engage:ARCHITECTURE.  From cardboard model to finished product in about nine months.

the shop

shop model

Some of the eco-friendly aspects of the building:

From the foundation to the roof, we looked to incorporated eco-friendly design and materials into nearly every aspect of the building while creating an architectural design which fits nicely into the existing neighborhood.  Starting with the design, efficient building dimensions minimized construction waste.  In the concrete foundation, some of the energy-intensive Portland cement was replaced by fly ash, a waste product from coal-fired power plants.  The lumber used in temporary concrete forms was used again as floor joists and studs.

Above the foundation, framing lumber was certified sustainably-harvested by the Forest Stewardship Council.  Finger-jointed studs—longer boards glued up from shorter pieces—made good use of lumber that was otherwise headed for the scrap pile.  Typical plywood and insulation, manufactured with carcinogenic formaldehyde, were eschewed for greener, no-added formaldehyde alternatives.  Radiant barrier roof sheathing, reflecting most of the sun’s energy, was used to keep the space comfortably cool during summer months.

Inside the shop, interior paints were 100% recycled latex from Portland Metro.  All the doors and plumbing fixtures came second-hand from BRING Recycling.  Redwood decking and trim came from a salvaged tree on Seavy Loop Rd via Springfield’s Urban Lumber.  And any scrap materials from the project were sorted and reused or recycled as appropriate.

Other amenities include lots of insulated windows and skylights, providing ample natural light and minimizing the need for electric lighting.  Respectful of the residential setting of the shop, the walls are framed with staggered studs, allowing for extra NAF insulation, and are covered with a double layer of drywall—all to help dampen noise.

shop wall framing detail

Shop wall framing detail, with reused concrete formboard studs and finger-jointed studs









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