The West Coast team was on site this spring raising what can only be described as a cathedral-like horse barn. One of the most intense barns New Energy Works has designed & raised, this one with the added challenge of being in the Alvord Desert in southwest Oregon.
The Alvord is actually a (mostly) dry lakebed that stretches for miles: flat and lifeless with a chapped sandy surface. It’s worth the visit, but be prepared, there's only one gas station and no grocery stores for 100 miles.
The team spent two weeks on site raising the frame in 40 mile an hour winds, blazing hot sun some days, and snowstorms on others. Still, when picking giant bents, you can’t bring a timber framer down when their passion and spirits are high.
“I had a lot of fun doing it. And I mean that. We got to play with some interesting crane rigging,” Darren Watson our west coast Timber Frame Lead shared, getting rather building geeky with glee. “Skookum with pulleys…two different points…spreader bar…and keeping it balanced. It was pretty neat.”
Pre-assembly of the building included (among other pieces) eight bents 54ft wide and 30ft tall. Getting the timber to site was no easy feat — three trucks that took on delivering to a remote site that didn’t offer a return trip. Big timbers, long timber, curves — pieces-a-plenty.
“We had an 88ft long pick – insanity,” Darren added. “I’d have to say it was one of our longest picks ever, if not THE longest.”
Designed by the New Energy Works West Coast team, Quentin Oliver presented the client with a few options ranging from basic to “curve insanity”. The client chose the curves.
It truly is a monument, a showpiece that we can’t wait to share with you when complete. Though it’s pretty darn inspiring in its naked frame state.
“I said to the barn-owner, ‘we just raised something that will get a historical marker in the future.’ No question about it. With proper maintenance this barn will be here in 200+ years and people will stop to see it,” Darren mused. “The site, the structure, the weather…it was all just unbelievable.”