A LOT of dirt was moved around the property over a period of three days, in preparation for an open basement / parking area. Due to the limited size of the property we decided to be as efficient as possible with vehicle parking, and even though it costs more to both dig into the ground and then raise the building up to accommodate the higher base level of the living space — it will prove to be worth it.
After the excavator work was finished we were hoping that the hole digging crew for the foundation would return the next day, but unfortunately the timing was such that the land was quiet for two entire days. The resident building crew returned to their village for a prayer week and will be returning tomorrow. They will probably be surprised that the place looks a bit like a meteor hit it.
An exciting week, as two cement trucks, a pump truck, and a sizable crew poured the four walls for the future swimming pool.
In addition, foundation walls and columns went up for the guest side of the living space.
A well was installed at a depth of 45 meters. We hit super hard rock and so we didn’t get as far as was hoped (60 meters).
The on-site building crew returned to their village for a week of prayers and local ceremonies.
The timing is quite good, as we hired an excavator to dig out the future driveway and parking area, which will be positioned under 1/3 of the living space:
This week was at least as productive as the others, although we were in Makassar for several days and didn’t see a bunch of the work that unfolded. Luckily a manager took photos and videos during the time we were gone, and so the following video shows the progress quite well.
We finished pouring the floor for the pool and are currently setting the forms for the pool walls. The first foundation wall is looking good, and the remaining holes are being filled with steel cages and columns. The structure will be on solid supports — 44 columns going 4-5 meters into the ground.
The well will be about 45 meters deep. So far we’re a bit less than half-way there.
This week over 75% of the holes were drilled to support the foundation for our future retreat. In addition, steel rebar “cages” were built and placed into the holes in order to increase the strength of the concrete.
Unfortunately, the work involved to build the type of foundation that I need in order to support a tall building in an old rice field is not typical for local builders. Specialized digging equipment and an enormous amount of steel and concrete is required. Not to mention a significant amount of money that will be completely invisible to all of our lovely, future guests (such as you, dear reader). But in order to have a rooftop bar with a view of the ocean that will be stable and long-lasting, that is the price that needs to be paid.
The pool was dug out by hand, rocks and concrete and steel was set as a rough “sub-floor”, and currently a flat concrete and wire mesh floor is being built on top of the sub-floor. It won’t be long before the walls are built and the hole looks like a real pool!
It will still take a while before we see the walls go up for the main structure, but the light is approaching quickly from the end of the tunnel:
Because the building is approximately twelve meters tall (over 39 feet), we had to dig down to really hard ground in order to set the support columns. At four key locations we’ll have four rebar-enforced concrete columns right next to each other (see below):
At other locations the columns will be grouped into sets of two columns per support.
This is muddy and difficult work. And because these are old rice fields, the soil is soft for a depth of at least three meters. Water rises up out of the holes being dug, the digging blade needs to be cleaned of hardened mud regularly, the hose gets clogged with mud and needs to be whacked with a stick, the machine itself gets pushed from location to location on bamboo shafts…
This is specialized work for a hardened few.