Medeek Wall

Started to put the Wall Plugin together in earnest today. A lot of competing interests so I’m still not sure on the date of first release yet, but at least I’m putting something together now.

For the Imperial Version the First and Second Menu Items (Ext. Wall Type) are currently:

First Menu:

1.) Wall Mode: Line, Polyline
2.) Wall Type: Exterior, Interior
3.) Wall Justification: Front, Center, Back
4.) Wall Height (in.): 97
5.) Wall Header Height (in.): 80
6.) Stud Size: 2x2, 2x3, 2x4, 2x6, 2x8, 2x10, 2x12, CUSTOM
7.) Stud Spacing (in.): 12,16,19.2,24,32,48
8.) Stud Direction: Left, Right
9.) Corner Offset (in.): 0
10.) Top Plate: 1,2,3
11.) Top Plate Thickness (in.): 1.5
12.) Bottom Plate: 1,2,3
13.) Bottom Plate Thickness (in.): 1.5
14.) Adv. Wall Options: YES,NO

Second Menu (Adv. Wall Options):

1.) Wall Sheathing: YES,NO
2.) Sheathing Thickness: 3/8,7/16,15/32,1/2,19/32,5/8,23/32,3/4
3.) Wall Cladding: YES,NO
4.) Cladding Thickness: 3/8,7/16,15/32,1/2,19/32,5/8,23/32,3/4
5.) Wall Gypsum: YES,NO
6.) Gypsum Thickness: 1/4,3/8,1/2,5/8
7.) Wall Insulation: YES,NO

I will start with the (single wall) line mode first and then progress to the polyline once I have the basic system working. Then the addition of doors and windows and advanced options which will automatically insert doors and windows into the openings.

I’ve been thinking about brick facade and I’m not entirely sure how I’m going to incorporate this into the plugin yet. Typical air gap is 1":

A 5.5" thick stud wall with 1/2" sheathing and a 1" air gap with 3.5" thick brick fits on a 10" stemwall with a 1/2" overhang of the brick. Does anyone have any wall details/sections that they would like to see implemented in the plugin?

Here is the same wall but with a 4" x 6" brick ledge:

Notice the APA detail the brick ledge does not project below the structural sheathing, this probably makes more sense since you probably don’t want the butt end of the sheathing sitting against the concrete and absorbing moisture, even though there usually will be a foam strip between the sill plate and the concrete.

I’ve also seen details where the sheathing laps down over the brick ledge about a 1/2", this probably makes sense in helping to keep the bugs out but then it puts the sheathing into more direct contact with the concrete. More discussion on this subject is warranted. I’ve never actually had to provide a wall detail for brick since most of the construction locally is with hardi-plank siding so my experience with brick is theoretical at best.


Here is the same brick wall but with the sheathing lapping the brick ledge and the foam sill strip shown:

Faced or Unfaced?

I recommend adding either a “Custom” or a “2 x 3” option (or both!) to your stud size list. Many builders of Tiny Homes on Wheels are using 2x3 - either purchased or ripped from a 2x4 - for wall framing. Gains an extra 2" in interior space and is still a fairly good cavity for insulation - especially given that the conditioned volume of a THOW is an order of magnitude smaller than “normal” homes!

Here in Canada there are quite a few R2000 homes. I’ve built walls using 2 X 6 plates with 2 rows of 2 X 4 studs each row at 24" OC. One row is flush to the inside edge of the wall plate and the other row is flush to the outside edge of the wall plate.

Another common strategy is building a double wall using 2 X 4 studs each wall on 16" OC and a space between the 2 walls. The studs on each wall are offset to minimize thermal bridging. Another advantage of this construction is the vapor barrier is on the outside of the inside wall. Both walls and the space contain insulation. In Saskatchewan the space is at least 3 1/2" which satisfies the rule where the vapor barrier can’t be more than 1/3 of the overall wall thickness. Plumbing and electrical are on the inside of the vapor barrier eliminating the need for poly pans etc.

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If I was ever to build my own home I would use one of these methods, I hate having a drafty, poorly insulated home. Our heating bill last month was over $300 USD and our home is only 2,000 sqft, granted we have a lot of windows in the living room.

I’m already on the studying this type of wall construction. I think I will start with conventional construction first, then incorporate other advanced cladding options like brick facade. Then I will attack the unconventional construction methods as well as cold form steel construction.

Double stud walls can come in a lot of flavors, after a bit of digging about on the internet. One problem with these hyper-insulated wall assemblies though is the problem of moisture.

If I was to build a super insulated wall I think I would use 2x6 outer studs @ 24" o/c and 2x4 inner studs @ 24" o/c, staggered. This way I could use 24" batts (R-21 and R-13) and my top and bottom plates would be 2x10. The house would not only be well insulated but built like a tank. 1/2" Plywood for better air exchange through the outside wall, no OSB. I’ve seen a lot of OSB mold out here in western Washington, where the marine environment and high humidity put any wood structure to the test.

For superinsulated, I’d just go 2x6 with foamed in place polyisocyanurate. If I recall correctly, it has no outgassing after 24 hours and creates an airtight envelope - which is as important as the overall R rating. Of course, you then must be extremely careful with environmental air, probably requiring an air-to-air heat exchanger, appropriately sized, to keep the air inside fresh - not to mention paying great attention to areas (door jambs, window trim, and other penetrations) to insure that you don’t blow the air tightness of the home!

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Easily solved with an air to air exchange system. Up here in Canada you can get a system with a built in defrost cycle.

Another really important thing we do up here is using a forced air furnace with a continuous low speed fan. What this accomplishes is to move the air around the whole house which has two benefits. The temperature will be way more consistent room to room and the air to air can do a better job. Every exhaust fan in all bathrooms, kitchen and laundry room pipe into the air to air.

Another wall system is using standard 2 X 6 and inside horizontal 2 X 3 strapping. You need special consideration in kitchens so that the cabinets can be fastened to something solid.

We also need to properly wrap windows, doors, outside corners and floor joists. I’ve also built where you completely poly the ceiling under the trusses, then apply plasterboard. Finally you install interior walls. This reduces air infiltration and increase thermal barriers.

I agree that a central air system is the way to go. Locally there are al ot of houses with just electric cadet heaters in each room. Air circulation is a problem for high moisture rooms, especially the bathrooms. The funny thing with modern homes though is they go to all this work to seal the house up and then spend even more money figuring out systems to exchange the air with the outside. Why not just open the window a crack? My house has these little pvc air inlets that you open up with a pull string to allow air from the outside. Some of the newer windows have ventilation openings as well. I’m not an HVAC engineer so maybe I don’t get it but it seems that a little air from the outside is not a bad thing:

A little air from the outside is a good thing if you don’t have an air to air heat exchange system. I can say this much - with an air tight house in Saskatchewan and good air quality management my heating bills were so low that I paid off the air to air exchange system in just under 2 years.

Another HVAC issue is making sure that ALL rooms especially bedrooms have cold air returns. You can’t push air into a room if there is no where for it to go.

We went triple pane windows with argon. Windows with ventilation is usually an attempt to remove moisture from between panes. With high quality windows that isn’t a problem.

The initial toolbar:

I may add a couple more icons for editing and deleting openings (windows,doors).

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This toolbar will be for light frame wood walls. My plan is to have another toolbar (in gray steel blue color) very similar to this one for cold frame steel walls. This will allow for the user to turn on and turn off which ever tools bars they need without having to clutter just one toolbar up with too many options that may or may not apply to that wall type. Similarly a separate toolbar for CMU walls as I get to that.

I’m sure there are other wall types that will come up but initially I plan on focusing on the standard wool wall and perfecting that as much as possible.

Things will get complicated with the cladding options (ie. siding, brick facade, cultured stone, stucco and river rock) especially where they are partial wall heights and other interesting features like trim, corner treatments (Quoin), lintels, keystones and arched window and doorways. Even the typical siding products like hardi-plank will have a number of cladding and trim options.

Here is a typical oval window that the plugin should be able to generate:

The there is the interior details (trim) of windows and doors that also should be provided by the plugin as an option:

Most houses I’ve lived in had only had the GWB surrounding the windows but at the minimum the doors usually has some form of casing or surround. Integral to this is the baseboard and the optional crown molding and wainscoting.

I’ve thought about using the Profile Builder method of pushing assembly along a path but unfortunately that only works well up to a point. When you start throwing complex openings into the mix things become much more complicated. This plugin may shape up to be even more challenging than the Truss Plugin, I guess will see how far I can take it.

As part of the door openings module there will also be interior vs. exterior as well as garage door openings. The framing aspect of the plugin should also be able to create portal frames with solid sawn and glulam headers.

I admire you folks who can program these plugins and think you are working on a lot of useful stuff

Here is how another non SU program handles wall assembly:

What is this program you are referencing?

Interesting to see all of the wall/beam selections. Which brings up a few more items that need to be part of this plugin: Wall columns (posts), Free Standing Posts, and Beams. I’m also contemplating how to handle interior stairs.

In the end all we are doing is creating a bunch of points in a virtual space. The program assigns relationships between those points and the human brain gives all of it purpose and meaning. Whether or not it is useful depends on the user.

Looks like the competition is heating up for a good wall framing plugin:

John Brock is working on a wall framing plugin very similar to what I’m doing and also very similar to the original housebuilder. Competition is good, it spurs innovation.

I just wish I had more time to devote to the code.

Lightweight version of a Simpson Strong-Tie HDU8 Holdown.

View model here:

Its about 1/10th the weight of the official holdown in the 3D Warehouse and 118 polygons vs. 3,109 polygons.

I will plan on using these lightweight versions in the upcoming wall and structural plugin.

If you overlay the simplified version on top of the official version you will see how closely they match up. The critical dimensions are primarily accounted for.

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Chris, What is the program you are showing? We are looking for something that would allow us to vector draw a wall with some user selections made upfront and save this wall for use later. We would be using during pre-construction to quantify wall assemblies by a name we assigned each. At this phase we do not use high LOD but would like to set a few attributes.

Michael M