The news about our new building this month is concrete. We’ve had two con concrete pours, creating the footings and a stem wall for the foundation. First, forms are built, and rebar is installed. Every intersection between horizontal and vertical rebar is wired together to keep it from spreading. Before concrete is poured, the structural engineer inspects the forms and rebar to verify that everything is at the right depth and installed correctly.
On the day of the pour, a pumper truck with a concrete boom arrives. Mixer trucks arrive at scheduled intervals to add concrete to the pumper truck. It’s like clockwork; when one mixer is empty, the next is waiting to take its place. The logistics of construction are amazing!
During the pour, our testing company takes samples from 3 random mixers. Initial inspection verifies that the mixture is correct. The samples are saved and tested for strength at seven days and 28 days. Concrete is fully cured after 28 days. The testing process is to apply pressure to the sample until it breaks. Two of our samples are already testing at the necessary strength.
It’s a little harder to see the site now since wooden walls have been erected and braced behind the footings. This is to provide some additional protection from concrete breaking through the forms. Once the footings are solid, the ditch behind is backfilled. This ensures that if the dirt wall collapses, no one will be trapped in a deep hole; the dirt level will always be even with the top of the footings. Construction is very a dangerous occupation, and it is gratifying to see how much attention our contractor pays to safety.
A new feature became visible last week – basement windows! The forms for the next pour include leaving an opening for the eventual windows. The big hole is beginning to look like a building.
In partnership and with excitement,
The Building Expansion Team
Chris Bettlach, Jerry Hanley, Peg MacMorris, and Margaret Cottam