Out of the ground……….

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The slab is finished, the lower ground floor walls are all in place and even at the front of the house we are ‘out of the ground’ – good progress. On the outside the lower ground retaining wall has been covered in EPS, a plastic covering and then a layer of shingle before back filling with the spoil from the dig. The steel piles have been pulled out and taken off site to be reused. Steel going off site? Brilliant! As the ‘trenches’ get filled in the ‘mountain’ is disappearing – this is starting to give us an idea of how much spoil we have left to build up the lawn area near the house. The steels for supporting the main spine walls and the hall area have arrived and are in place. Next week work starts on the floor proper….. 

Don’t forget to check out the ‘vids’ marked on the right hand side of the blog…..

 

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MIB go for the ‘grey stuff’

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Sam and Joel have been busy setting up the rest of the ICF forms for the lower ground floor – forms not blocks you note (had my wrist slapped over this mistake). Wednesday we were able to pour the lower ground floor walls. We now have ‘rooms’ we can walk, well crawl, in and out of. Progress!

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MIB tackle the white stuff………..

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Monday Paul and Dave started taking away the shuttering from the reinforced wall. This took most of the week. Joel, Sam and Dan started on the ICF walls for the lower ground floor. The ICF blocks are made of expanded polystyrene. There are two layers of EPS which sit vertically with plastic spacer bars in between to hold the EPS sheets at the correct distance apart. This gap will be filled with concrete next week. Steels are placed in the gaps to add to the strength of the walls. The blocks have a cog wheel edge top and bottom that helps them fit together. With the size of blocks the wall for the lower ground floor grew very quickly. It started to feel like a house! James joined the team on Thursday and by the evening the majority of the blocks were in place together with the system that will support the walls when the concrete is poured next week.

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Liquid walls……….

The structure necessary to support some eighty tonnes of concrete in a vertical plane is massive but on Saturday we were there and yes……. finally we have poured our retaining wall. This time we had six trucks of concrete. The walls were built up in layers as each load of concrete came in. This required two men to control the concrete pump and a team behind to ‘poker’ the concrete to make sure it settled evenly. There will be some video to show the action on the blog later. At the end there was sufficient concrete for us to line our new pond…..

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I thought………

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I thought the slab was a complicated structure…………..I was wrong!  The slab was simple, the wall is complex – as you can see the pictures show the steel grids with ties and supporting concrete blocks (known as dog nuts) against the shuttering with its wooden strengthening bars and acro props.  Concrete is heavy and needs a lot of support to keep it in place……….. We are now planning to pour on Wednesday……

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More steel…….

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The concrete has hardened in the sun…….The first load of polystyrene blocks for the ICF walls have arrived………We have had more steel delivered (some three tonnes) which has been tied in place……….The shuttering for the retaining wall has ‘grown’ and hopefully we will be ready to pour the retaining wall next week.

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Foundation…

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This week the emphasis has been on the slab. Steels, ties, cleaning out under the steel grid so the concrete can do a proper job, marking the edges of the ‘walls to be’, making shuttering to contain the concrete: there has been a hive of activity on site. Tuesday was the day – after an early morning visit by Gerry from Xypex the concrete started arriving at 9.15, the first of fourteen lorries during the day.  The pump was slung out over the site and the concrete was delivered onto the steel grid. It is really hard work to hold the pump in place and then the concrete needs levelling out. It sounds simple but there had been loads of preparation in the preceding days and weeks which came to fruition on Tuesday and with hard work on the day we now have a slab. Tuesday was the 50th anniversary of Yuri Gagarin’s space flight. The Vostok’s capsule, rocket and fuel weighed just over 7 tonnes. We have about 30 Vostoks in our slab – there are 210 tonnes of concrete and steel – don’t think it is going anywhere! The team has done a great job.

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Steel yourself………

Steel yourself………we have a criss-cross grid of steel neatly bound together at the intersections all lying inside a shuttered base. When all the slab area is covered then we will pour the concrete. It feels like we have sufficient steel to hold up the whole of Barnes Lane!

Sailors beware – don’t try swinging your compass anywhere near Wynford.

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wynford movies

We have uploaded some movies:  check out the action under ‘Enabling and Groundworks’ on the right hand side of the blog

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Enough hits?

We have now recorded over 1000 hits on the blog – thanks for all the interest and comments

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