Sunday, April 14, 2013

Ready to be Occuppied

It is the middle of April and the residents of the building have begun moving in. Sorry but there will be no pictures of the moving in on this blog partly because this blog is to show the completed building, and partly because the move began yesterday and I have been out of the country. I will be back in time to capture most of the moving in pictures though, so that will be part of the next and final blog.

So here are the pictures of the completed building. The pictures of course can never be as good as seeing it in person, and words just can't seem to fill in the gaps. So enjoy the pictures for what they are and if you want to see more, you will have to come here to see the building in person.

Keys to the building were handed over by the general contractor on March 6, 2013.


 The general contractor threw a bit of a party after the handover to celebrate the substantial completion of the building construction.

Some special guests at the party; My daughter and her husband - Linda stayed home due to a flu bug she caught; and Cyndi - a friend living in Kathmandu.


Below are some of the general contractor managers involved in varying aspects of the project.

Motor cycle parking area

Main entrance courtyard

Flowers have been planted in all the flower beds bringing colour and nature into an otherwise concrete and steel environment.

 Offices ready for furniture and business

The multipurpose hall

The main kitchen complete with brand new stainless steel furnishings.


 The client kitchen

Toilet rooms are completely ready and tested with a mix of western and eastern toilets. Each toilet room is also equipped with a shower.

Main gate already locked and fully functional complete with a call buzzer button on the outside.

Client rooms are ready for beds and occupants.

The water filtration plant is completed and tested. We have already filled one 22,000 litre tank and well on the way to filling the second 22,000 litre tank. The two 2000 liter tanks on the roof and the 5000 litre tank on the roof are full as well.

The hot water system is fully functional and already providing hot water at the bathroom sinks and showers.

Not very visible in any pictures is the rain curtains that come down during the rains to keep those on the wheel chair ramp dry while moving between floors. White chains can be seen hanging down from the bottom side of the clear ramp roof. These are the operating chains for these curtains.

One more post to come.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Building Handover

We are coming to the end of the work on the building. The schedule was for substantial completion by the end of February, but this schedule was extended by a few days due to nation wide political strikes. We did realize substantial completion by the March 3, and on March 4 we accepted the handover of the building into our possession.
Every construction project has a list of deficiencies that need to be addressed upon completion of construction. The engineering firm and I have made a checklist of items that we feel need to be rectified. This work began in mid February, and subsequent check lists have identified issues that will be resolved between March 4 and March 29. That is the work that is going on now in the post handover period and before the owners move in.

So this post will be somewhat different than past ones as I will have few if any comments, but rather just show a series of pictures of various areas of the building in its completed stage. Enjoy the pictures, but to get a real sense of the building, its quality and beauty, you will likely have to come to Nepal and experience with your own eyes.


 The guys at work somehow knew it was my birthday and brought me a cake.
 Not one of toilets but just a random one I saw in Kathmandu. I call it the Princess Toilet.

 Wheel Chair Western toilet
 Wheel Chair Eastern Toilet

 Final checks on ceiling lines and levels
 Main Kitchen
 Meeting Hall

 Main Entrance

Saturday, February 16, 2013

The Home Stretch

It is commonly understood in the North American construction industry that the final 15% of the schedule produces 80% of the tension and stress, and that seems to be the case here as well. That is the part of the project we are in these days. Things are going well but every day seems to bring challenges of its own, so not much time to worry about tomorrow. That seems to have a familiar ring to it.

Pictures in this post will not show the dramatic progression of some of the past pictures but that is due to the fact that most of the progress, even though considerable, is in small chunks, small areas and mostly inside the building.


The greatest amount of outside work has been in the courtyard and the north side parking lot where the ground has been compacted and readied for the interlocking tiles or paving stones. The picture above is the courtyard, and it was smokey blue like this for about one week.

The side picture is the compaction happening in the north parking lot.

 Part of preparing for the paving stones is framing in the manholes for all the effluent systems.

 The paving stones in the courtyard almost completed. This was a two day process.


  And now complete.

The well is to stay but how do you make a well look good in the middle of a courtyard?

We were to have a tree in the courtyard. This area is to resemble a village square where people come to visit, have a cup of tea and chat about all things relevant to their lives. In the middle of most village courtyards stands a large tree known as the village tree or people's tree.
We were going to have one as well but with all the pipes in the ground it seemed unwise to plant a tree whose roots would likely present problems in a few years on in time.
So the tree was removed from the courtyard and the well was built up as a seating area for people to sit and visit. The tree is not completely gone but rather just relocated to just outside the courtyard.

 This is a view of the courtyard from the terrace level.

   The well seating area

The stairwell flooring is of marble. Once installed the marble needs to be properly dressed. That is what these ladies are doing, and they do a very fine job of it as well. They use electric power grinders to dress the marble, and they need no help in changing blades.

Another finishing task is to dress up certain areas with plaster over the bricks and concrete.
Above, the masons are finishing the flagstone cladding on a flower bed and then will plaster the top of the brick and flagstone.

To the left a mason is dressing up the courtyard rain water collection gutter to give it a smooth finish.


 These masons are dressing up the top of another flower bed.

 This is the east end wall of the parking lot with finishing plaster being applied.


 The kitchen walls will be tiled. Chicken mesh wire is installed under the tile adhesive.

 One wall of the kitchen tiled.

Installation of the kitchen exhaust hood. The hole for the fan was cut by hand and took these guys all of a minute or two to complete. The hole was nice and round with the edges nicely curled to remove all sharp edges.

 The exhaust for the kitchen exhaust hood.

  The carpenters finishing the balusters for the stair hand rail.

Forming of the round hand rail ends. When finished it looks great and they do a great job at making these. There is however a considerable amount of wood waste.


 Taking shape.


 The finished product being stained.



They call these guys the aluminum workers mostly because the windows are made with aluminum frames. But these guys make and install the windows. Above the final glass pieces of the multipurpose hall skylight.

Stairwell windows being installed.

The finished product.

 Painting is also going on. This is one of the client rooms.


A feature wall at the top of the stairs on the first floor lobby.

 Electricians are installing the fixtures and outlets.


 Tiles installed on the terrace laundry area. The base will also be covered in tiles and the outside edge will be plastered with a smooth finish.

Washroom windows are made of glass block being installed here.

 An outside view of the office area on the first floor.


 And the main gate. It is now finished and being painted. Each half is four meters wide and rolls relatively easily.


 We have visitors from time to time from the organization that will own and operate this facility. This was a rather special day as it was the first time they could use the wheel chair ramp. The comment at the top was 'that is a very easy climb to the top in a wheel chair'. Wheel chair ramps are rare here, and those that do exist are usually quite steep. I ended up one day pushing a person in wheel chair up and down a ramp and it was very tough because it was so steep. So we have success here as we wanted the people to feel at ease using this ramp.
 The same group in the large client room.

The visit was concluded with a short time in the multipurpose hall of singing and worshiping.