Monday, February 24, 2014

Weeks 6 & 7 - Getting ready for the concrete

Week 6 brought more snow

Cold temperatures and endless snow made it impossible to get any work done in week 6. It’s hard to believe how wintery this winter has been, especially since the fall was so warm. Now the project is buried deep in snow, seemingly halted indefinitely.

Week 7 - a tent for the concrete

Wow! The builders saw an opening in the weather and scrambled to put up a tent. Check out the major snow removal operation they pulled off. We must have had an accumulation of at least two feet of dense wet snow, yet they somehow shoveled all that snow off of the EPS foam and also plowed extensively around the perimeter.

The purpose of the tent is to keep the concrete warm enough so that it can solidify and be polished, and to protect it from the elements. The polishing process is done under water (to protect the crew from harmful dust particles), so the temperature must be kept well above freezing. You can see a large propane tank off to the right. We’re probably using more energy to keep that tent warm than will be used by the home for many years. Hopefully, everything will go smoothly with the concrete and it will be done soon.

Here’s what it looks like inside the tent. The structural fill has just been compacted, burying the plumbing, conduits and radon mitigation piping. Now, rebar must be installed prior to pouring the concrete, which should happen tomorrow.