Saturday, May 14, 2011

We Have Foundation Wall

Yesterday we poured the first batch of foundation-strength concrete (B300) into the forms for the building's Foundation Wall. The reinforcement steel was laid out, tied to the foundation steel, and the wooden forms were held in place by metal wire ties as well as 6 mm steel bars connecting both sides of the forms together to withstand the pressure of the concrete being pumped into the forms.

Last time I posted about being amazed by the manual labor aspect of development in this part of the world, so I thought I'd post a few more photos to illustrate my point. Here's a shot of the crew tying the column starter bars in the proper location using their tape measure and string to identify the location, metal wire to tie the bars in place, and nails, large boulders, and 6 mm metal bars to hold the wooden forms in place.

(the crew tying starter bars for columns in place)
(the starter bars held in place with metal wire ties and 10 mm 'bracelet' ring)
(the L-shaped footings of the starter bars, all tied individually to the foundation steel)
(the Foundation Wall footing, all hand-tied and placed inside the hand-made forms)
(pick axe, buckets and shovels used to clear the debris from areas where foundation will be poured)

After the Foundation Wall reinforcement steel is in place, the electricians weld a metal strip along the footing to provide an "earth" network that will ground the building and dissipate any electrical charge that might need dissipation (electric short, lightening ... etc).

(electricians welding metal "earthing" strip)

This is the site the day before the second concrete pour. Forms are in place on both sides, tied to each other and held securely in place, with steel reinforcement bars for the foundations in place and starter bars for all the columns inside the Foundation Wall established.

The morning of the pour, the general contractor is on site helping spray water on the areas that are about to receive concrete to increase moisture content and decrease the temperature a little ... then the 52-meter pump arrives and mixers start to pour cement into the pump and the pump delivers it to the foundation forms.

(contractor waters the forms prior to pour)
(concrete pump hose starting to spew cement mix)
(the crew get to work)
(workers direct the pump hose while others follow behind with concrete vibrator to eliminate gaps)

And here's a video of the process so you can see everyone in action:

The concrete had to be sampled by the geotechnical engineer in order to ensure conformance with the required strength and mix standards. The concrete blocks will be tested / crushed in two batches: once after 7 days and again after 28 days.

(concrete sample-collection blocks)
(first sample collected and labeled)

Finally, here's what the site looks like at the end of the following day. The crew cuts the 6 mm bars holding the forms together, removes all the wood frames, pulls all the nails out of the wood, then stacks it up according to size to get ready to build the forms for the next round of column foundations (the base of which can be seen beyond the Foundation Wall in the pictures below). 

(Foundation Wall poured, and forms taken apart)
(crew stacking the wood from the forms for future use)

I should note that these guys work from 7:30 am to 3:30 pm, every day except Friday. The more experienced (master) workers make 145 NIS (around $41) a day, while the less experienced (apprentice) workers make 85-90 NIS (around $24-$26) a day. 

Almost without exception, they love watching WWF wrestling on Thursday night television and talking about it the next week.


AstroYoga said...

WWF? Really? It really is a small world. My brother works in construction in Phoenix. I am so sending him a link to your blog.

Boosh said...

That would be great Tammy, thanks for reading and sharing.