Thankful!

Several of you have been hounding me asking “So – How did it go?”.   I am thrilled to advise it went quite well and I am thankful for those that helped me get there!

So let’s catch you up from your last visit.  On Monday I got the sign off from the Geotech for the bearing below the footings as well as the conformance of the footings to the Structural drawings.  I was able to use the Geotech for both of these tasks on the approval of the Structural engineer. I also finished bracing all of the internal footings and also added the bottom cleat to most of the exterior ICF modules that clamped on the bag footing. That night I finished the soldering for the moisture sensors I installed in the footing and first course of ICF as the first part of a foundation building science lab.

On Tuesday I went down to the District hall and  booked the footing inspection with the Building inspector. I also spoke with the plumbing inspector about the floor drain trap priming requirements and made sure things were good with the Electrical inspector regarding the Teck cable I had installed the week before. I also finished the ICF modules at the base of the ramp, removed the water from all of the bag footings and centered them under the ICF modules.

Wednesday saw the final touches to the footing at the base of the ramp, the building permit inspection, detailing of the door opening in the basement (I blocked out these ICF bays so that concrete cannot flow into them as they will need to receive special rebar that goes around all openings).  I also did a general pit floor cleanup so that I would not be tripping over things on pour day and then installed geotextile under the street storm basin grates.  That night I finished up shrink wrapping the 12 moisture sensors that were to be  embedded into the footings.  I was ready for the pour!

Thursday AM, I decided to test the 12 instruments and was very happy I did.  5 of the 12 had a bad connection to the temp sensor.  So, the shrink wrap was cut off and the connections were re-soldered.  Then when I got to site, I found the plastic had blew off the footing modules at the base of the ramp and the bag had about 4″ of water in it.  Fast thinking saved me an hour of work, I dug a depression in the gravel below, made a ‘sump’ in the bag footing and placed a pump in.  The footing was dry about 5 minutes later!

Ted came by around 11 AM and I was basically ready to go.  The pumper showed up at 12:30 to set up.  They suggested I make a 4’x4′ box from 2×6 to dump the concrete from the hopper that cannot be pumped at the end – a couple of minutes saw this task dispatched.  About this time my ‘cleanup crew’ arrived.  Ron and Gail (north neighbors) and Anna (south neighbors).  Along with Ted, we were ready to go.

Pumping commenced pretty much exactly at 1 PM and the first truck of 6.4 m was empty a brisk 30 minutes later.  We then had a 30 minute pause till the next truck which gave me and my crew some time to clean up.  The internal footings needed to be reasonably smooth and the curb on top of them needed to be very smooth (finished surface that the walls will sit on). We were also cleaning the concrete off the form work and the tops of the ICF including the cross webs, as I will have rebar sitting on these.

The next load of 6 m3 started pumping at 1:55 PM and was away by 2:25 PM.  It was all over except for the cleanup. As we got caught up, the crew started peeling off to go get warm and dry.  Ted and I finished up at just after 4pm so I could go off to my back clinic appointment.

In the end, everything turned out great – but I was quite concerned on Thursday PM.  One section of the bag footing had somehow shifted and I had not noticed until it was too late and already filled with concrete.  The end result was that it was off center by a lot!  I also had two very minor blowouts but was not worried about those as they were not in the way of anything and just meant I had a bit bigger footing than I needed.  Fortunately, the Structural engineer informed me the misalignment was in a fairly light loaded area and did not represent a structural concern.  I was over the moon as a repair would have been a lot more work and more delays.  I had actually pulled this off which was rewarding as I had never operated the business end of a concrete pumper crane before.

As the concrete needed a little extra time to set in this cold weather and I had a HUGE amount of office work to do (not to mention house cleaning), the site has sat generally vacant since Thursday.  Over the weekend I cleaned off my desk, did 11 loads of laundry, cleaned the suite, did a bunch of finances, and even watched some TV!

Today was design day, and I put a full day into drawing up the perimeter and storm water drainage system. This week will be about stripping the forms, and starting the perimeter drainage once I meet with the engineer (needed because I have a pump up system).

12 moisture and temp Sensors ready to imbed in the footings and first row if ICF in the 'test lab'

12 moisture and temp Sensors ready to imbed in the footings and first row if ICF in the ‘test lab’

 

Two levels of sensors installed. In all, there will be 7 rows and 3 columns of sensors installed in both of the two testing areas.

Two levels of sensors installed. In all, there will be 7 rows and 3 columns of sensors installed in both of the two testing areas.

Last minute preparations under way

Last minute preparations under way

The crew ready to go (Ted is taking photo)

The crew ready to go (Ted is taking photo)

The pour is under way!

The pour is under way!

The crew works behind me to cleanup and smooth out concrete.

The crew works behind me to cleanup and smooth out concrete.

Pour well under way - no idle hands.

Pour well under way – no idle hands.

Misaligned footing - so thankful not in a structurally crucial location.

Misaligned footing – so thankful not in a structurally crucial location.

First of minor blowouts

First of minor blowouts resulted in a bit wider of a footing.

Second minor blowout

Second minor blowout

These 2x4's were held into the durisol block with 3" construction screws on about a 15" spacing.

These 2×4’s were held into the Durisol block with 3″ construction screws on about a 15″ spacing.

My Desk at the beginning of the weekend!

My Desk at the beginning of the weekend!

I am very thankful to the following parties that got me to this point:

1) The Good Man Above for giving me the strength, endurance, and Intelligence to progress to this stage.

2) Nathan Proper at Tacoma Engineering for rushing out his structural field report in time for the building inspectors visit. Nathan was responding to emails at 11:30 PM Ontario time!

3) Ben Davies of Davies Geotechnical.  Ben was also very available and responding well into the evening to get me ready for the inspector’s visit.

4) Richard Dohmeier of the District of North Vancouver.  Richard is a valuable member of my team and worked hard to navigate between the code requirements and the somewhat unique products and methods I am employing on this build.

5) Kyle Gosling of Lafarge for convincing me to go with the extra meter of concrete, recommending a mix with less SCM’s (Supplementary Cementitious Materials) so that the concrete would set up in this cold weather, and finally for recommending F&F Concrete Pumping.

6) Jason Teetaert at SMT for his guidance in getting my instruments ready.

7) Dr. Ali Akhavan for giving me the back in a very short number of weeks that could handle this type of activity.

8)  But most importantly, I am very thankful to Ron & Gail, Anna, and Ted for their help last Thursday.  Without their help, I would not have made it.  They allowed me to concentrate on placing the concrete, while they made sure everything was squared away behind me as I progressed through the site.  They were all a blessing and I am very grateful!

Thanks for visiting.

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