Feb 18, 2017

2016 EC Clubhouse Construction

A short post about the wooden clubhouse my buddy Elena (left) and I lead for this year's EC REX! (Elena's in charge; I was first mate :P )

Our goal was to make a small (smol!) hangout space alongside the larger East Campus Fort, to which we connected our structure with a rope bridge!

hangout space getting love during the East Side Party kickoff event
Our structure (left), attached to the larger fort project (right)
We (along with fort team!) submitted design drawings and structural calculations to a PE and architecture firm to get their stamps for the temporary structure, and also got stamps from Cambridge Fire Dept.

Construction started with digging holes and adding gravel for foundation cinderblocks. We spent a long time setting up a level surface that compensated for the uneven dirt ground. Even more time was spent moving the foundation locations around to avoid all the tree roots!

This took a night, then half another day to fix my mistakes
Our two person team had a more leisurely pace than the 8 person team leading the Fort build. Both teams ended up finishing within 10 days, perfectly on time for the party!
Put up the central tower by Day 2

Three towers up!

By the end of Day 3 we had floors on the entire second storey.

Starting on the tower again

Adding joists to the third floor.
Once the overall structure was completed, Elena and I split up the rest of the tasks. Elena added in the railings and I started working on the rope ladder.

The rope ladder was our access point for the second floor, and was attached to the spandrel via eyebolts and to the ground via anchors. The anchors get driven 2 feet into the ground, then a load pulling on the steel cable wedges the anchors at an angle.

Had to soak the ground to drive in ground anchors. These will be impossible to move.
Most of my time was spent working on rope ladders and bridges, and by the time I finished Elena had completed the rest of the clubhouse around me! The REX Chairs ordered a bunch of beanbags to make the hangout space cozier.
Note how we don't actually touch the tree. Trees in the courtyard are historic and we aren't allowed to hurt them!

Maya was super excellent and knotted the rope ladder together, then tensioned it up. In planning phase I miscalculated how angled I wanted the rope ladder to be; I set the horizontal distance too far and the structure ended up being more saggy ideal. We helped make climbing easier by adding a wooden handhold/step, as well as reinforcing the OSB shear wall to accommodate people stepping on it. Up above on the second floor, we screwed in 2x4 hand-holds onto the floor to help people exit/enter the ladder.

Art thanking our sponsors! East Campus and Clubhouse team are really happy we had such talented artists joining in
Elena and I saw the sponsor art, got super excited, and immediately asked the REX chairs if they would ask people to make the rest of our shear walls pretty. The chairs sent out a call for artists to the 100+ mailing list of people helping with construction and REX events, and we got the most beautiful art decorating the OSB shear walls.