The Patriece’s Home team is getting dirty in this Alabama heat. Quite literally! After ten months of research and design the team is ecstatic to begin learning through building.
But first some final checks! A meeting with Joe Burns help the team perfect their column and bearing wall details. He also helped the students design the edits for their attic truss to create more upstairs storage.
The team did not break ground on their site, instead they brought about 84 square yards of engineered dirt to make a leveled spot for their slab on grade foundation. The turndowns for the slab were also dug the same day as the dirt delivery and re-grading by Tyler from T & C Excavating. The site work was off with a bang thanks to Tyler! All that new dirt was then covered with hay and the team spread grass seed to ensure their site progress didn’t erode away.
The team then began the sequential process toward pouring their slab! But first what needs to go in the slab. The students rapidly learned how plumbing works and designed their utilities to penetrate through the slab into the home’s interior. Eventually the team made trenches for the pipes and electrical conduit when they figured out that the trencher runs backwards instead of trying to drag it forwards. The PVC pipe and fittings were then placed and leveled to unsure they protrude from the ground in the correct spot, then glued together, and finally buried underneath the foundation.
They immediately began building the formwork for the concrete, leveling and securing it with metal stakes and kickers. They then packed in dirt behind the formwork, or backfilled it, to ensure concrete doesn’t spill out of the forms from the underside of the wood and sprayed the ground for termite protection.
When the forms were almost completed the team used Rural Studio’s beloved Bobcat to bring in gravel, spread it with shovels, then used the trusty site level create a level bed for the concrete.
The team tucked the gravel bed in with a sheet of thick plastic, the foundation’s vapor barrier and secured the plastic to the underside of the formwork’s boards. Now for metal reinforcement! Rebar was cut, staked, bent, and tied together along the turndowns of the slab. A final layer of metal mesh was pieced together and sat across the slab interior.
However, the actual final layer was the epic three layer tarp the team draped over the whole foundation to protect it from filling up with Hale County’s summer rains before their concrete pour date.
The anticipated day arrived! Patriece’s Home team worked with our concrete contractor Clyde Fields to do their foundation and porch pours in one day. Because it was the hottest day of the summer about hours after the slab was floated the concrete was set enough for students pulled off the formwork around the porches and screw in expansion joints. The team then poured their porch slabs, allowed then to set, and sprayed them off to expose the pea gravel aggregate!
Their one and only concrete pour day was a huge success and the team is now ready to be out of the ground and go vertical! Check back to see Patriece’s Home start to take shape.