We broke ground on Nov. 28, 2011. We have been working on construction now for 15 weeks with about four days of work stoppage due to various reasons, and that leaves us still with more than 14 weeks of days worked. Till now the hours of work have been primarily 9:00am to 5:00pm as these are the hours the sun is shining and keeping everyone sort of warm. The days are now longer as the sun comes up at least by 7:00am and sets after 5:30pm. That translates into longer and warmer days, and means the crews will work longer days now; the length of days is yet to be understood by me.
Every day now means a change in the way the building appears due to the progress of the previous day.
Since then we have stripped most of the forms, and have done considerable amount of back filling. All of the area inside the forms needs to filled with earth to the top of the tie beams. In some places that means more than two meters of back fill, and in others as much as half a meter or more. All this back filling is done with manual labour. So far we have been using the earth excavated for the footings but that will soon be used up and then we will need to bring in more earth from else where.
If you zoom in on this shot you can see all the columns on the east side completed to this level. This half of the building has a total of 18 columns.
You can see here some of that form work already in place. The men on the forms are about 10 - 12 feet above the ground beneath, depending on how much back filling has taken place, and the forms are 10 inches wide. Not a whole lot to stand on. The forms are supported in the middle by teleposts and become quite sturdy and safe to walk on.
At the same time there are two other crews busy on other tasks. The activity here is taking place on the west side of the building and involves two tasks.
Just on a side note, the building is structurally divided into two halves separated by an expansion joint from bottom to top. The footing however are joined together by a strap beam network (for those who like to know this kind of stuff. The rest of you can ignore these types of comments).
The one task is the rebar work on the columns in preparation for forming and concreting these columns. This side has a total of 15 columns for a total of 33 columns for the entire building.
These two men are building the rebar for the columns, and no, they are not standing in mid air. Their feet are about six or seven feet above the top of the concrete. They insert stand supports, much like a hunter would construct a tree support. These guys are quite safe. Personal safety is of high importance to these men and they are quite careful to insure their safety. To date we have had no serious injuries in spite of the fact that we have had one man fall into a footing hole because he didn't realize how close he was to the edge, and in spite of the fact that we have had two pieces of scaffold planking break or shift causing one person in each case to fall through, all with just a few bruises and a bruised pride.
The forth crew continues to work at back filling.
Her are a few additional pictures of today's concreting work.
And the completion. You can also note some of the form work for the 1st floor slab.
Pictures of what the site looks like today. An overall view at the top, and original ground level view on the right and bottom. Considerably different than it looked at the end of the last post.
Well, that is all for this post. Until the next time then.