Are Haver Homes Post and Beam? Discuss!

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Do you believe that Haver Homes, in general, are post and beam?

yes
0
No votes
no
9
90%
undecided
1
10%
 
Total votes: 10

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PixelPixie
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Are Haver Homes Post and Beam? Discuss!

Postby PixelPixie » Thu Dec 06, 2007 1:21 am

Well, I've heard it both ways, and argued quite strongly either way from laypeople to folks with architecture degrees and AIA's after their names.

Yes, they are, no they aren't.


I've heard comments ranging from no they're not post and beam because the masonry takes on the majority of the load bearing and that's not really a post system, to yes it is post and beam because the ceilings aren't cluttered up with the typical horizontal joists and hey, here's a post right here, hence the lofted effect.

There is a 30-foot beam feature in my own Haver Home that appears to be supported by masonry on one end, a steel post in the middle and a wooden post on the other end. It is responsible for sheltering a full third of my home. Puzzling to say the least.

Is it fair to say that Haver Homes are post and beam construction? Lets hear all the evidence for and against, and come closer to settling this categorization.
*

Feel free to make ample linkage and reference to interior and exterior photos from Home Tours 1 and 3, plus the whole archive of source photos in the Haver section of our Neighborhoods page.

Some reference images to start:

http://www.modernphoenix.net/hometour/2007/index.htm
http://www.modernphoenix.net/firstannual.htm
http://www.modernphoenix.net/neighborhoods.htm

Do cite your own sources from books on the subject if you are able.

Please also identify if you are talking about one Haver Home design in specific, about a single tract design, or about the larger body of work, since principles that may apply to one design may not apply to all.

Example: in Marlen Grove, do the freestanding masonry walls count as a "post"? If Stonehenge and Parthenon columns count as early examples of posts, cannot a brief freestanding masonry wall? Wall, post, or a hybrid?

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Discuss!


* And yes I know the trouble with labels, blah blah, blah. Without labels, however, we share no common vocabulary.
Last edited by PixelPixie on Thu Dec 06, 2007 10:06 am, edited 2 times in total.

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modernlover
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Postby modernlover » Thu Dec 06, 2007 9:44 am

Not.

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Postby PixelPixie » Thu Dec 06, 2007 10:00 am

Would you mind stating your reasons why? Part of the puzzle is that few folks are really able to definitively describe why or why not.

Don't forget to take our poll at the top, I just added it.

Maybe we can take a re-vote at the end of this discussion.

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Postby jasonasteele » Thu Dec 06, 2007 12:01 pm

According to our friend Ching it is neither. The roof is called "plank-and-beam construction" and the walls are bearing walls. I suppose where posts occur, it might lean towards post and beam, but typically post-and-beam construction also have collar ties, which Havers do not.

I always enjoy confusing the issue a bit more

:D

Image

Here's the Architectural Graphic Standards description of the situation.

Image

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Postby modernlover » Thu Dec 06, 2007 5:12 pm

'Nuff said. :)

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Postby PixelPixie » Thu Dec 06, 2007 7:41 pm

Bob Mather, Haver preservation expert and speaker at last year's expo writes in e-mail:

"The typical Haver is not post and beam. Posts are columns that carry the weight of the beams and joists that support the roof to the foundation.

Havers are masonry bearing walls topped with a beam that carries the beams (joists) that support the roof deck. The carports and covered patios, at least the Marlen Grove homes like ours, would be post and beam construction at the outer edges of the carport or patio , but most of the weight is carried down to the foundation by the masonry walls of the house.

Many of the Eichler homes were post and beam with large panels of glass between the posts (columns). There typically was a column under each beam, with the roof deck spanning between the beams so the glass panels were able to go right up to the bottom of the roof deck. A very clean detail."

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Postby osteen » Fri Dec 07, 2007 11:52 am

I agree, in part, with Bob (previous post). The Haver houses in Rancho Ventura and Town & Country utilize a hybrid structural system with both post & beam and bearing walls present. The carport is definately a true post & beam system, while the house itself uses bearing walls. I think that this was an economical choice on Haver's part- the structure of the main house is masonry with wood framing on the interior, and there would be no reason to spend additional time and money producing a complete post and beam system when you could simply use the walls evident in the floor plan to carry tho load of the roof structure above. Simply put, Haver used each structural situation where it fit best based on the aesthetic and programmatic design of the house. This is an extermely beautiful and very simple way to design a structure. There are 5 structural bearing "lines" in our Rancho Ventura house, creating 4 clear "sections". The sections (program) are organized in a linear arrangement from private space at the back of the house to public at the front, with a utility section opposite the private section (see drawing). I think it's brilliant, because this hybrid structural system works in perfect harmony with the program of the house, and the non- bearing walls simply fill in the blanks to create the floor plan and the spaces within. So, my answer to the question is "both".

Image[/img]
Last edited by osteen on Fri Dec 07, 2007 5:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Kaffer » Fri Dec 07, 2007 11:56 am

I believe the construction method of the Haver home lends itself more to a post and beam construction. These homes do appear to have bearing walls. However, all of the cells in these walls are not solid grouted, this theoretically creates columns inside of the outer walls allowing the header box beam to carry the load from interior column to interior column. This is also not to say that the non filled cells do not carry some of the load to the foundation. However, I would believe that the open cells contribute more to allow the system to have a shear strength as it keeps the stick frame roof from being able to shift and rack. If this was a bearing wall system, I believe that the connection from the CMU walls to the framed roof would only contain a header plate and each joist would be mechanically fastened to that plate. Also, if the construction was truly a bear wall system then the header box beam would only be used for an aesthetic purpose. The outer header box beam as well as the center ridge beam allows for greater flexibility of greater spans and openings as it is certainly demonstrated in the carport. I would guess that this system was designed in this manner more for efficiency in construction rather than aesthetic purposes. The beam accommodates for less concrete to fill the cells giving less time and labor to allow the framing trade to start their work much quicker in the time allotted. The open cells also creates an airspace that slows down the process of heat generating in the home as a completely solid filled concrete structure would act as an undesirable trombe wall in the summer.

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Postby YuriArtibise » Fri Dec 07, 2007 12:04 pm

Kaffer,

Are you talking about something like this?

Image
Cutaway view of a post-and-beam block system

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Postby Kaffer » Fri Dec 07, 2007 12:12 pm

I cannot see the image too well - but yes that looks right.

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Postby KARLITO » Fri Dec 07, 2007 2:01 pm

masonry bearing walls do not have to be "fully grouted"... I think osteen's drawing very clearly shows that these houses are primarily made up of load bearing masonry walls and post and beam at the periphery eg. the carpost. Very typical for ranch houses whether they were built by Haver or Haywho...

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Postby Kaffer » Fri Dec 07, 2007 3:04 pm

Unfortunately I have never been in a Rancho Ventura home. I also cannot speak intellegently about Windemere as I have not studied those homes very closely as well. However, the Rancho Ventura example is not the standard design in Marlon Grove or Starlite Vista. As I do have a home in Starlite Vista, the outer CMU walls are only solid grouted at either a door jamb, window jamb, or corner conditions. I am not a structural engineer, however, my common sense tells me that there would need to be a higher ratio of poured concrete within the wall to allow it to be a load bearing wall. Also the box beams are spliced in very strategic places in order to span the load from column to column. I can also assure you that one would be able to remove a large section of these walls and the roof would still stand considering that the construction of the box beam does not change in makeup nor dimension. In a typical bearing wall construction - in this instance you would most certainly have structural failure.

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Postby osteen » Fri Dec 07, 2007 4:43 pm

In Masonry load bearing wall applications, it is typical to grout the cells solid at corners, window & door jambs, as well as in the open cells every 4 feet on center. You would also grout solid the top course all the way around the structure, creating the bond beam which then ties into a 2x wood top plate all the way around, which in turn creates the plate that the roof structure bears on. You would not be able to remove sections of these walls without causing structural failure, because the ungrouted blocks do support the bond beam and structure above. You would have to shore up the structure and span the opening with either a solid grouted masonry lintel (usually 16" or greater in depth, with rebar both horizontal and vertical, and solid grouted jambs), or some type of wood or steel beam. The bond beam is designed to restrict LATERAL loads, not necessarily the weight of the structure above. I have designed many masonry structures in both load bearing and non- load bearing situations, and I know that you would only grout the entire wall if you had unusually high loading on the wall, such as in a multi- story building or a building with excessive height. The roof structure of all the Haver homes I have seen is actually unusually light, with most of them consisting only of 2x6 joists at 16" or 24" on center. Therefore, I believe that the masonry walls are load bearing walls, even though they are not completely grouted. The masonry post and beam situation sounds like a true post and beam- but in fact is not because the bond beam at the top of the walls would not be able to even support itself (please note that if LINTEL blocks were used for the bond beams (they aren't) then the situation could be different), much less the roof structure above, if the non- grouted cells below the bond beam were removed. Masonry construction is extremely sound from a structural standpoint- ungrouted blocks can and do support great loads when installed properly- but the strength does not come from each individual block or the bond beam. It is a system consisting of block, concrete, and rebar which creates a "wall", and without any of the three components that were part of the original design, the system can and will easily fail.

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Postby matthew » Fri Dec 07, 2007 4:49 pm

I'm enjoying this discussion immensely. Thanks for all of your contributions. I'm going to contribute my memory of the conversation I had with Bucky Haver about his father's designs when he came to our house in the fall of 2005.

I asked Bucky if he felt his father's intent was to work in the modernist style or if he was more guided by efficient use of materials. His response was something to the effect of "My father was a cheap S.O.B! He did not want to waste materials which is like wasting money!"

Clearly Ralph was aware of the larger modern movement and knew what the other postwar architects were up to, both locally (Beadle and Madole) as well as the participants in the Case Study projects and abroad. I bring this up because I think his focus on efficiency of materials is clearly a motivation in his designs.

Another point I would like to add about my own home was pointed out that same evening by Jon Kitchel who noticed that the rafters in our home were ripped diagonally and that the waste, called rippers, was nailed to the tops of the rafters in order to provide the pitch of the roof. The plaster lathe was then nailed directly to the bottom of the rafters, giving a flat ceiling with a minimum of wasted material. It is important to note that ripping all of the rafters took a ton of labor which is an interesting trade off.

I don't know if we can extrapolate out from this observation to say that he made the same kind of trade off in his other designs or not. Any opinions? Is this kind of trade-off evident in Marlen Grove, Windemere, Starlight Vista or elsewhere?

Alison - can you correct my recollections of our conversation with Bucky or perhaps add any other details? I also have a vague recollection of these topics being discussed by Madole in Sedona when he talked about his laminated roof structure. Or am I confusing issues here?

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Postby osteen » Fri Dec 07, 2007 5:09 pm

I am enjoying this as well! I had the unique opportunity just last night to spend an hour with Logan Stiddart (sp?), an Architect who worked for Ralph back in 1959. I asked him similar questions about Ralph's influences, and whether or not he was guided by the work of guys such as Richard Neutra, A. Quincy Jones, Claude Oakland, Robert Anshen, etc. He said absolutely! He said that they paid very much attention to Arts & Architecture magazine and the Case Study program, as well as Eichler Homes, because that's what was "hot" at the time. He also said that Ralph thought Eichler was "the best out there". Anyway, a little off topic as far as this forum is concerned, but interesting anyway. I can also say that as far as economy is concerned, yes! Of course! Economy is one of the core values of the entire modern movement and the Case Study program, and especially important in a tract setting where construction time and and profits are of major importance.


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