Monday, May 23, 2011

Second Foundation Pour

The second foundation pour took place a couple of days ago, and everything went smoothly. We should have one more pour that includes the stair case and elevator shaft foundation, before starting to form the columns and prepare for the fill material to be placed below the slab on grade.

Below are a few photos of the rudimentary methods used in preparing and erecting the timber forms, which I continue to find strikingly old fashioned and ingenious at the same time:

(short footing edge formed with dirt and rocks)
(braces for the forms anchored with boulders)
The main element of support the crew needs during this stage is ensuring that the column and wall centers are accurate compared to the axis given to us by the surveyors, that the spacing and proper thickness of steel reinforcement bars are used, and that the layout of the steel for the column necks is correct. 

(close up view of one of the footing forms, still missing steel)
(forms completed)
(calculating steel reinforcement beam spacing and locations)
We calculated that we would need around 45 cubic meters of B300 concrete, placed the order and called the geotechnical engineer to schedule the testing crew again. They showed up a few minutes before the mixers arrived and took a sample from each mixer batch to test. After the 5 footings were poured, we ended up using 42 cubic meters of concrete.

(steel in place, concrete pump arrives with the fog from the valley)

(crews directing the pour, vibrating the concrete already placed, and smoothing the surface)
The next few days will bring the forming and steel setup for the stairwell and elevator shaft, the final foundation footing pour, the forming of the column necks, and preparation for construction of the 5.5 meter tall concrete retaining wall between the building and the street. 

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