Reflection on Skylark 200 development branch

I spent this afternoon testing the new development branch of Skylark200 after seeing the announcement of Skylark version 2 (alpha) earlier this week. Below are my reflections and findings of my modeling so far. I used the SKYLARK200_design-kit_sketchup file available from GitHub.

Not all of it was intuitive and I have made quite a few assumptions so I would really welcome the thoughts of others in the community and the WikiHouse team @Clayton @Mel to see if I understood everything correctly!

Unfortunately because I am a new user here I was unable to create my full post with images in this post (I was limited to one media file?) so I’ve written my reflection on GitHub: 30/10/22 Reflection on Skylark 200 development branch · GitHub

EDIT: Bellow is my full reflection in only text form.

General principles identified

  • Development branch is currently only available for SKYLARK200, not SKYLARK250
  • Unlike v.1, v.2 does not use combs and pegs
  • There are three butterfly connections to use to connect all the blocks: half butterfly, full butterfly, and a butterfly shape with a longer middle base
  • The design kit comes with the full blocks assembled as well as the cut out forms next to each assembled block

Design errors identified

  1. SKYLARK200_WINDOW-S2 seems to have a missing top with butterfly cutouts compared to the other windows and door blocks.

Assumptions on how to build with the new design kit

  1. The floor beams and wall blocks including regular full walls, windows, doors and corners are modelled in the same way as version 1 but do not require combs and pegs to be fitted to connect them. Instead there are more butterfly connectors used.
  2. There are no “end beams” for the floors, instead there are 4 different END connecting pieces: SKYLARK200_END-S0, SKYLARK200_END-S1, SKYLARK200_END-L0 and SKYLARK200_END-L0-SX.
  • It seems that similar to the combs in version 1, you need to fit them together to create the right length of an end beam depending on the size of the floor beam you are using, ensuring you align the cut outs for the butterfly connections correctly.
  • The S0 and L0 end blocks have flat surfaces at the bottom indicating they would form the bottom foundation of the structure.
  • The L0 block is used to form the corners of the end beam.
  • The SO is used in between the LO to fill in the remaining pieces of the end beam. The SO fits perfectly on the bottom of a wall block.
  • The S1 and L0-SX END blocks have butterfly cutouts at the bottom indicating they would potentially be used on a higher level to create a connection between floors. I am still unsure on whether this is correct and how to use these blocks, especially in Skylark200 which is developed for small, studio-style buildings.
  1. There is only one roof style available, which is the sloped roof with a 2 degree pitch.
  2. To lay the roof, you use the VERGE block on the outer edge of the structure and the roof beams in the middle of the structure.

Remaining questions on how to build with the new design kit

  1. Once you align the wall block on top of the ends of the floors, there seems to be a gap between the end blocks and the regular floor beams.

You can bridge that gap with the special butterfly connection (the one with the longer centre), but it makes me wonder if it will leave any problems with insulation and stability afterwards. Of course, I may not have modelled the correct ends to the floors (see reflections above).

  1. The long windows and door blocks have a flat bottom and therefore you are only able to use them in a build using a half butterfly connection as they do not have full butterfly connectors on the bottom. This seems less strong than the other wall blocks and I wonder therefore if this is correct or whether these blocks still need a special bottom like the regular window blocks?

This becomes visible when you compare them to the regular window blocks which do have a special bottom to connect them to the floor blocks using butterfly connectors.

  1. When using the roof beams, I am wondering whether the blocks are correctly designed already or whether I am making a mistake (see my reflections above on using the END blocks… perhaps I am missing something in the modeling?).

On the side of the roof beam, it seems as if there is still space for COMBS. In addition, the sides of the block do not align with the VERGE block on the right as the butterfly connection cutout does not align.

I think these were all my reflections so far. I modelled half a studio, mainly using regular walls and only trying the windows and doors to test the connections with the butterfly connectors. Here is a final picture of my model (I’ve uploaded it on my GitHub here):

5 Likes

Hi @JennHuygen. Wow, thanks for taking the time to delve into Skylark v0.2 and share your thoughts. I’m sure many others will find your write-up and Github tests very helpful too!

I would like to just to touch on a few of the points you raised, and offer a bit more detail…

Design errors identified

  1. Thanks for spotting this, I will add a new commit with this error fixed.

Assumptions on how to build with the new design kit

  1. Nice summary!
  2. We’re still working through this, whether beams or smaller blocks are more or less helpful. For the verges it will almost certainly be continuous beams to help support larger openings. We have been experimenting with the possibility of two storeys for S200, as least for smaller spans or mezzanines, if there’s a real need for this.

Remaining questions on how to build with the new design kit

  1. This gap is an interesting quirk, as well as creating a service zone it is essential to allow the vertical bow-ties to be fitted. We are looking into a spec for rigid insulation blocks (ie wood fibre) that can cut to slot into this gap. We have analysed the special butterfly/bowtie connection and confident the connection will provide sufficient stability.
  2. Yes, window blocks and openings without bowtie connections will always be less strong in racking than solid walls or those with some bowties, but solid wall blocks either side can offer enough stability. We’ll have a range of different window types and heights, but you’ll need to work with structural engineer (where building regs is required) to determine how, and in what configurations, is suitable to use these.
  3. Thanks for picking this up. The roof blocks are correct but I will fix the alignment issues with the verges.

We’ll get on with the continued development of both 200 and 250 series v0.2 blocks. Really appreciate your input and keep up the brilliant work you’re doing!

2 Likes

Hello @Clayton

Really appreciate your detailed response to my reflection. I’m happy to hear my assumptions were correct! Your responses and clarification will also really help with modeling a full studio.

I’ll continue my testing and keep you informed :smiley: this is an exciting development!

Have a lovely weekend!