Thursday, August 31, 2006

We met with Brad at the job site this afternoon.

One of the four concrete samples, taken by DCI back on August 18, was tested at day 7. Unfortu- nately, the results were below ex- pectations. The sample tested to 1,100 lbs, rather than the expected ~60% or 1,800 lbs at day 7. Brad is going to have them test another sample at day 14 (normally they would have performed the next test at day 28). We're keeping our fingers crossed at this point because if the day 14 results are not good, then we may have a big problem.

In the meantime, the crew from Jim Giancola Concrete has finished removing all of the plywood from the inside of the basement walls. And Waterproofing Associates has started applying the first of two layers of Tremco waterproofing membrane. After that, they'll be attaching Volclay Ultraseal to the walls.

Brad said he'll be pouring the concrete for the backfill next Thursday.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

I stopped by the job site this morning. It looked like they had filled in the "divots" on the outside of the walls. These were the holes left by the SnapTies after they were broken off.

The crew from Jim Giancola Concrete were busy removing the last few Walers and Jahn "A" brackets from the inside of the wall forms and starting to remove the plywood.

A mini excavator from Ferma Corporation was also there, cleaning up some of the dirt that had collapsed.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Today they started removing the plywood from the outside of the walls and piling up all the used wood at the front of the property. They'll be able to reuse it on a later project.

The basement is really starting to take shape. It looks great!

Thursday, August 24, 2006

The concrete for the walls has been setting since last Friday.

This morning, the crew from Jim Giancola Concrete started removing the Walers and Jahn "A" brackets from the outside wall forms. Then they began the tedious job of breaking off the SnapTies.

Friday, August 18, 2006

We passed our inspection yesterday afternoon, so the first of many cement trucks started showing up at 8:00 this morning.

Dennis and his crew from Jim Giancola Concrete actually started before the first truck arrived and made sure that all the Jahn "A" brackets were secured. He calculated that he'll need 82 yards of concrete for the walls. That's about 9 or 10 truckloads of cement!

Dennis is pouring the concrete in three passes. The first time around, he is only filling the form about half way. The second time, he'll fill it to the top. And the third time, he'll top it off. As he fills the form, two of his crew members follow him with an agitator which helps the concrete settle without too many voids.

The last picture shows some of the cylinders used by DCI (Dynamic Consultants, Inc.) for casting concrete samples. Once the samples have cured, they will take them back to the laboratory for testing.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

They're putting the final touches on the wall forms today. The inspector is coming out this afternoon and if all goes well, we should be pouring the walls first thing tomorrow morning.

They will be using 3000 lb concrete tomorrow -- between 55 and 70 yards of it. An inspector will be on-hand tomorrow, casting cylinders to make sure the concrete meets that specification.

The last two pictures are some closeups of the hold downs and the Strong-Wall hold downs. Notice how the Strong-Wall hold down bolts are set in a template so that they will be located accurately in the foundation.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

The inside wall forms are almost done. Dennis said the inspector will be coming out on Thursday, and if we pass, he'll be pouring the walls first thing Friday morning.

They'll let the concrete walls cure for about a week and then start tearing down the forms next Wednesday or Thursday.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

On Friday, the crew from Jim Giancola Concrete finished the rebar for the walls and started working on the inside wall forms.

The second picture shows the lower courtyard. You can see the blue conduit and boxes for the stairway lighting that will be embeded in the concrete. Also, if you look closely at the base of the wall (just behind the ribbon of Greenstreak PVC Waterstop), you'll also see a black colored strip has been applied. That's another form of Waterstop -- another layer of redundancy.

The third picture is a cross section of the wall form showing both pieces of plywood, the Snap Ties, and the rebar. Note how the rebar is placed closer to the outside of the wall rather than in its center. It's supposed to be that way -- 2 -3" from the outside edge of the wall -- for greater strength, to counteract the lateral force coming from the water pushing against the walls. The structural engineer has called for just this one layer of rebar in the design of these walls. Typically in a 10" wall there will be two layers of rebar.

The last picture shows some pipes that were placed in the wall. These are for the electrical, telephone, and cable connections.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

The outside forms for the walls are finished now. You can see how they braced the walls to keep them plumb.

The third and fourth pictures are two closeups of the Jahn "A" brackets, with and without Walers.

The crew from Jim Giancola Concrete have started working on the rebar for the walls. The last picture shows a nifty machine for bending the rebar.

Dennis, the field foreman, told me they'll be pouring the concrete for the walls next week.

Wednesday, August 9, 2006

It was very hot today. And down in the basement, it seemed like it was 20 degrees hotter than up above.

The crew from Jim Giancola Concrete continued to work on the outside wall forms. They've added an additional 2-3 feet of forms above the 8 foot plywood they had put up earlier. This is to accomodate the 9 foot ceilings in the basement. There's lots of work to be completed, putting in all the Jahn "A" brackets and Walers.

Tuesday, August 8, 2006

They're continuing their work on the outside wall forms today, putting in all the Snap Ties and securing them with metal Jahn "A" brackets and 2x4 Walers on the exterior of the form. This website explains the process they're using to put up the wall forms.

Here are some closeup pictures of the Snap Ties on one side of the plywood and the Jahn "A" brackets on the other side.

Once they're done with this step, they'll finish installing the rebar for the walls. The last step will be to attach the interior side of the forms to the Snap Ties.

Monday, August 7, 2006

The plywood sheets were delivered this morning and the crew from Jim Giancola Concrete hand-carried them down into the basement.

The first step was to drill holes every 18" in the stacks of plywood. These holes will be used for the Snap Ties to hold the plywood forms 10" apart and keep them from buldging out when the concrete is poured.

The next step was to spray a product called Release Number 1 VOC (made by Edoco) on the inside face on the plywood to keep it from sticking to the concrete. That way they can reuse the plywood on their next job.

They started in the back left corner, and by the afternoon, they were almost completely done with the outside of the form.

Friday, August 4, 2006

I met with Brad at the job site this morning. Dennis and a couple of workers from Jim Giancola Concrete were there cleaning up and removing the forms for the structural slab. They wanted to get a jump on things before Monday when they'll start building the forms for the walls. Brad wants to let the concrete set over the weekend.

Wednesday, August 2, 2006

By 4 PM this evening they were completely done with the structural slab. In the second picture you can see one of the light wells and the box for its sump pump.