Work on the project site began on November 28th. After three weeks of work we have a site that is filled with activity, lots of big holes, and a big pile of dirt. Working at the site is a team of 25 labourers working at squaring and leveling the foundation holes in preparation for putting down a solid base upon which the foundation pads will be built. Also being worked on is the cutting and bending of all the rebar required for the foundation concrete.
On the bottom of the picture you see the pile of dirt that stands about 2 - 15 feet tall. Most of this was dug and piled there by an excavator. The labourers use pick and shovel to trim the sides of the foundation holes until they are at the correct size and square. Then they level the bottom of the holes and bring them to the correct depth - with +/- 10mm.The holes are then connected by the labourers digging the trenches for the strap beams and tie beams that will bind all the foundation pads together. In the top left corner is a pile of rock dust and a pile of crushed rock used to line the bottom of the holes and provide a solid foundation base. No use working on a sandy foundation. Such a structure just would not stand up very well, especially in a very active earthquake zone.
On the top of the one dirt pile can be seen a slab of concrete that has been cut into 2" squares with tie wire imbedded in square. These will be used to hold the rebar in place until the concrete has been poured and set.
In the top right corner labourers are busy at cutting and bending the rebar to prescribed length and shape for the foundation pads and columns. There are hundred and hundreds of pieces to be bent before pouring concrete can begin. A bit of a closeup can be seen in the pictures below.
Maybe laying down some crushed rock and rock dust will help squeeze the mud to one end of the hole and then out.
Well if all else fails go to plan 'C'. Nothing seemed to provide a really good solution. the first project site meeting was held on Friday, and plan 'C' is to place rock on the bottom that will settle on the solid gravel base. The space between the rock will be sealed with rock dust. This will bring the base above the water table preventing any further mud from coming to the surface while at the same time providing a solid base for the foundation.
We have access to the roof of our four story office building from which we have an absolutely wonderful view as can be seen in the following pictures. The first picture of this post showing the project site is also taken from this vantage point providing an excellent birds eye view of all the activity below.