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October 2019

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Sad News – The World’s Largest Treehouse Burned Down Recently

October 29, 2019
treehouse
largest treehouse
treehouse that burned down

Sadly, one of our treehouse inspirations burned down recently.

It took about 15 minutes for the world’s largest treehouse—a 97-foot-tall wooden structure in Crossville, Tennessee, to be reduced to a pile of ash. The building was built in the early ’90s by Harold Burgess, who said in an interview that he had been called by God to raise the framework: “If you build a tree house, you’ll never run out of material.” And so he did. 

Here’s an article about his work in Architectural Digest: https://www.architecturaldigest.com/story/worlds-largest-treehouse-burned-ground-less-15-minutes

We do think about fires – one has to these days. ZenTreehouse has been designed with as much fireproofing as possible – steel foundation, clearing enough space around the house per the fire department regulations, and building with as much fireproof material as possible. And just in case, we’ve thought about fire escape through the back of the house.

The back deck is roughly 40′ above the ground. So, if fire blocks the front door, where do you go? We’re going to build a trap door in the deck that you can only open from the top and that takes you down to our “maintenance platform,” which is a wire mesh floor that’s about 10′ below the house. This platform is so we can access the bottom of the house for repairs of the systems that run under the house (primarily the hot water radiant floor heating system). That platform will also provide an easy way to get out of the house from the back and to safety.

RIP Largest Treehouse In the World.

The Building Process

Zen Treehouse Foundation

October 18, 2019
Treehouse foundation for one beam
Caisson – one of 25 – prior to concrete pour

The 25 caissons are finally drilled, set with rebar and ready for concrete (coming tomorrow- more pics after they pour). This is what it takes to hold a 2 bedroom, 2 bath, 1600 square foot luxury treehouse 40 feet in the air.

The picture below shows how the contractors had to dig down to bedrock, drill into the rock (you can see the rock dust around the rebar), and set the rebar into the rock for this engineered foundation. VERY complicated.

The surveyors had to come out once to mark the foundation, again after the tubes were set to confirm the foundations, and then will come back one more time after the concrete is poured to determine the exact height of each of the steel beams that will hold up the treehouse. One reason why this is a very expensive way to build a tree house!

More updates next week on the concrete pour. The steel should be going up by early November, so we’ll see some real progress then. Exciting times!

If you like the blog and project, please share with your friends. Would love to get the word out more about this amazing build in the beautiful Rocky Mountains of Colorado.
Cheers friends!

Note the white rock dust from the contractor drilling into the bedrock to place the rebar. The Zen Treehouse isn’t going anywhere! #qualityconstruction
The Building Process

Treehouse Construction Finally Begins!

October 8, 2019

See the little tubes at the lower left of the picture above? Those are the where they will be putting the rebar and concrete that be the foundational support for the metal beams that will hold up the house.

The biggest effort with this was the surveying – to make sure all these were put in EXACTLY the right location so the support beams are in the right location to support the structure properly.

Here’s a few more pics of the work they’ve done and a little accident with the excavator. It’s a very steep site, so it rolled over. Thankfully, no one was hurt!

The foundation should be ready for the steel in the next week or so. I’m not sure that will be so interesting, so won’t be doing another blog post until the steel starts going up in the next few weeks. Stay tuned!