The first few steel bits of the frame go up

The first few steel posts go up. These are to support steel cross beams in areas where Glulam beams would have been too thick in terms of total building height.

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In the above photo you can see Bitrock has been applied to the outer edges of the frame to complete the external layer of Bitrock for those bits of the house that will be up against the retaining walls.

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The footing for the east garage wall and boundary wall alongside this has also been poured.

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This includes steel rods that have been epoxy bonded into holes drilled into the previously poured (and now set) footing to the rear garage wall.

Glulam checks & other bits

A lot of wind so far this week. All with a touch of “north” in it, so it’s turned cold. Occasional very heavy rain down pours.

Despite that, the ecofab team are making good progress checking all the Glulam frame bits of wood, one by one, before they start. Otherwise a section being wrong, when the frame is half up, could apparently be a complete screw up! So far all the checks have been fine. There have been a couple of bits that they’ve had to make some very minor tweaks to, but so far nothing has had to go back to the manufacturer.

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While that has been going on, the rest of the site team have finished the top slab pour (see above and below):

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This went into the site space that had the site cabin, which has now been replaced with a smaller one:

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The team have started on the groundworks for the eastern boundary wall and eastern garage wall footing:

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Groundworks are almost done

The last site update I did was on the 20th of October, so almost 3 weeks ago !

The stainless steel elements of the frame had been delivered and the site had had it’s last big concrete pour, for the west side retaining wall. Great to have got to those retaining walls up an in place with no problems to the neighbouring property.

The rest of the frame, which is wooden Glulam beams, have arrived on site:

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In the above photo, you can also see that the site is covered in a black poly sheet that is then gravel covered. There to prevent plants growing up under the house.

Before that was put down, the shuttering on the retaining walls was taken down and further footings have been poured. You can also see the start of the replacement wall between Silver Spray and Ramoth.

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At the back (south) of the site, they are in the home straight putting up the last bits of retaining wall:

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The small section of the west retaining wall, that is being built up with blockwork, is also almost done:

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Steel delivery & the last big pour (of concrete)

Three, maybe four concrete truck arrive on Friday afternoon to fill in the top half of the back retaining wall, the hot tub slab and the footing for the wall to Ramoth.

Pre the concrete pour, post the last photos, the steel for the hot tub slab had been raised to increase the cover:

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and the footing for the boundary wall extended:

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The steel beams for the frame (some spans are too big for Glulam beams that wouldn’t become very thick) arrive:

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On Friday afternoon the long concrete pump:

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was extending up to the upper retaining wall:

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That by Saturday morning, was set solid enough to walk on:

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You can also see the boundary wall footing on the right the hot tub slab:

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Retaining wall concrete, wall smashing, small wall foundation

A lot went on today.

The big pile of earth and rock that was in the garage area, was cleared away in the morning.

The retaining wall and it’s foundation footing has been broken up a chunk.

3 truck loads of concrete have been pumped from the trucks to behind the retaining wall shuttering for the main house.

Three cement trucks arrive:

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The truck parked in the garage area, just in from the cement lorry, is pumping the cement up the black pipe to the chaps pouring it in, and then vibrating it, so that it all settles down with no air gaps etc.

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Looking at the area, that at the time of the photo hadn’t had concrete poured in, you can see the spacers to keep the steel bars a set distance in from what will be the external edges of the concrete.

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You can see the picker on the digger, that is breaking apart the re-enforced wall and it’s foundation footing.

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At the front, a small footing is being made to re-instate the Kiephuis garden:

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Retaining wall backfill with drainage

The bottom of the retaining wall for the house has had a land drain (perforated pipe), wrapped in geotextile membrane (black sheet material that prevent land drainage systems from clogging with silt and fines by creating a water permeable barrier preventing fines and silt passing but allowing free movement of water into the drainage channels) has been laid down and then covered with gravel.

The same has been done for the retaining wall for the garage, where the back of the wall, that has already had 2 coats of SBR waterproofing painted on, has had the RIW Double Drain sheet secured to the wall. This is so that water coming through the ground, drains down the wall, to the land drain and away, so as to not build up pressure on the wall.

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Above is for the house retaining wall.
Below is for the garage retaining wall.




Every 20cm the compactor is run over to keep it all tightly packed in.



They have put some props up on the wall while they are working below this bank. Better safe than sorry.



In the photo below, you can see that some of the garage wall has had the top half filled with concrete.






Foundations and retaining wall progress

The foundations for the east and south side of the garage wall have been poured and the first section of the east and south side garage walls have been built and then filled with cement around the re-enforcing iron bars.

Garage Retaining Walls:

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There was a mistake where the vertical re-enforcing bars and wall return for the eastern edge of the garage (just visible in the above photo are the vertical bars to the left of Sam holding the vertical measure) was started about 1m short of where it should be. This was taken down, the steel bars cut. It means the eastern wall will need to be tied into the exiting wall and foundation later on. The communication error between the site team and the chap doing the site layout (Matt) has been highlighted to avoid a similar mistake later on.

The ground side of the eastern and southern garage retaining walls have been SBR waterproofing coated:

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Simon (project administrator) noted that some of the re-enforcing bars had insufficient cover (the gap from them to the inside edge of the external block wall), so the wall was taken down and the bottom block or two moved out at the bottom (a slight bulge of 1cm or so) in those areas.

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To reduce the risk of this in the next sections of retaining wall a weak cement mix blinding will be put down, so as to create a more level surface on to which the re-enforced mesh and angle bars will lie.

Ben, Nicky & Sarah on site to see the progress:

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Filling the garage retaining walls with concrete:

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The next section of the garage walls is going up:

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House retaining wall foundations:

Site excavation below “top of foundations” level for the retaining wall foundations:

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Blinding of a weak cement and sand mix to make a more level surface for the house retaining wall foundations:

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 There have been a chunk of autumn weather with lots of wind and quite a bit of rain. Evident from the blown up plastic sheeting and damp ground in the photo below. 2013-09-17 10.39.21_smaller

 The steel bars that are attached to the ground steelwork are a lot more lined up than they were for the garage retaining walls. In part helped by the blinding layer:

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When Simon arrived to have a look at progress pre the next concrete pour, he OK’d it all straight away and started discussing how high up the walls the retaining walls would go.

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Construction starts

Today, the  project changes direction.
So far it’s been de-construct, demolish, dig & take away from the site.
Today is detailed set out and the start of foundations. So materials arriving on site that will stay on site as part of the new buildings (house and garage).

The mini digger and mini site dumper truck in the foreground and setting out by the bottom road with sunshine and a small swell in the very background.

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