Sunday, January 20, 2013

The build-up to Hebel

This weekend it's been all guns blazing to get set up and ready to erect some Hebel panels next weekend, when Gareth and family are down for the Oz Day long weekend. Primarily this means fixing the battens to the outside of the frame to which the Hebel attaches, but like everything on this job it's never quite that simple.

First the battens actually have to arrive...

I ordered these from Bowen's on Wednesday, and was promised the second delivery on Friday after the first drop in Broadford first thing. 11:30am and no sign of them.. several phone calls later and "the truck's just leaving now".


Just as well I've got plenty of other things to go on with... first and foremost completing the installation of the steel angle brackets and plates to the half trusses and central bush beam.

The truck finally arrived at about 1:00pm, so I abandoned my chisel and hammer, and set about getting the dwelling ready for Hebel.

The Hebel PowerWall system is really pretty straightforward. To a typical timber or steel stud frame, you attach steel battens and then the Hebel is stood up against the battens in the rebate provided in the slab, and screwed from inside the building using Tek screws.

However, if you're installing sarking / sisalation (who comes up with these names!?) reflective foil "insulation" to the frame (and who wouldn't, these days) you can't screw the Hebel panels from inside the building because the wall wrap goes on before the battens, so you'd have to puncture the foil to place the screws, which defeats the purpose of the foil in the first place.

So, in this situation the Hebel is screwed from outside the building using f-off-sized bugle-head batten screws into the battens, and then patched over.

Anyway, before the battens could go on, I needed to wrap the building in this foil insulation. Normally you'd use little nail-plate tacks to fix the foil to the frame, but since I've got battens going on as well to hold it in place I just used a little staple gun.

Surprising (or not) just how long this takes... come the end of Friday and I've got half the building wrapped and battened.

Saturday was spent finishing the wrap and battens on the dwelling. Working at height with the staple gun and tek screws is really slow going, and my knees are really starting to feel the effects of the ladder.

It's starting to look like a building!! :)

The first job for Sunday was something I've been putting off for quite a while, and having done it now I'm not entirely sure why! When I excavated the footings for the garage, I just piled up the spoil at the side of the trench with the intention of moving it later. As with all good intentions, later never arrived but with the need to move freely with 100kg concrete panels fast approaching, sooner started looking quite attractive :)

So, in less than an hour this part of the site went from this (before Christmas):

.. to this ..

.. to this!

Damn, I love having a bobcat!!

So with that little job out of the way, Rhys and I set about wrapping and battening the garage.

And that's about where the weekend ran out. There's more than enough wall prepped and ready for Hebel next weekend, so now I need to spend some quality time in SketchUp and figure out the detailing between Hebel and roof in order to comply with the BAL-FZ requirements.


  1. Looking fab Simon! Bit disappointed we can't make it for Oz Day- we'll be down the coast- so we must make a day to come up and visit soon!

    1. Hey Caro, no worries - I'm there every weekend, feel free to drop by! :)