Friday, December 21, 2012

December Review and Update

It is now late December and Christmas is just around the corner. The crews will work straight through the Christmas season as they do not celebrate this. I will take one day off, December 25, and spend time with Linda and some friends here. We will actually have a Canadian Christmas here with a few other Canadian expats.

Progress has been steady since our return from home leave. Most of the work has been on the inside of the building and we have moved to the outside beginning work on the back filling and grading of the courtyard and boundary walls around the property. In Canada we use fences to define our property and provide us with some level of privacy. Here brick boundary walls are used for this purpose as they also provide a certain level of security. The building is coming together and looking much more like the artist's conception pictures on the original brochures.

Progress since the festival break has been significant. The wheel chair ramp decking is installed, the glass on the two top skylights has been installed, the brick wall that is both the east boundary wall and the outside wall of the wheel chair ramp on the east has been completed.

Also the south retaining wall that forms the boundary between the courtyard and the children's playground has also been constructed to the finished grade level of the courtyard.

The exterior office walls are finished with stone cladding. This section, the north face, is now complete and the east face was completed within three days of the north face completion.

Most inside walls will be framed with steel studs, similar to what is used in North America, just a thinner metal, then insulated with Styrofoam and clad with Shera board, a concrete fiber based board.

All brick finishes are to be finished with Surkhi Pointing and then painted with a clear silicone paint. these workers are cleaning and preparing the bricks for the surkhi pointing application. (Surkhi pointing is similar to grouting tiles but different.)

Choosing the various paint colours for the different areas. Sixteen different colour samples were chosen and painted on the stairwell wall from which the desired colours were chosen. This will be the last wall painted as this is now our approved template.

Work continues to progress on the wheel chair ramp. The outside wall of the ramp is constructed of steel framing and sheeting. (We wouldn't want people running off the edge.) Here you can see the posts, and then with the metal sheeting on the outside. The inside of the posts will also be clad in steel sheeting, and then both sides get painted to match the window frames.

The stair treads and risers are covered in marble and as of this week, all marble on the stairs has been laid. Next is the marble baseboard on the stairs.

This is the north boundary wall which creates a barrier between the road and the building. The width of this road has been disputed from the beginning and still with no final resolution to this point. We are constructing the wall in accordance with the agreed upon maximum width the road shall become so we do not need to relocate the wall in the future. We expect resolution on the matter before the end of the project which means some people along the road will need to deconstruct parts of buildings and boundary walls.

Blessings to all as you enter the Christmas season. We will end up taking just one day for Christmas here. The government does recognize Christmas as it also recognizes significant days for other faiths, for it wishes to be accommodating to all faiths. This is part of being a country that has chosen to be known as a secular based country and government.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. May you all have significant time with family as you remember and celebrate.