Out at our larger rice farm, once the pad was completed (November 2013), we let it sit. Normally, you don’t want to build on a newly dumped dirt pad unless it has time to settle. In
Thailand, that usually means at
least one full rainy
season and then some. When we were ready to move ahead, this past summer – only eight
months after the pad’s creation – it
was still somewhat soft. Our head monk Lungpaw
Boon Long suggested we sink column
footers from the top of the pad to the bottom and that’s what we did.
Lott and Naht dug vertical tunnels from the top of the pad to where the top of the rice field used to be, below; about six feet. Then, they wired-up rebar cages and sunk these into the holes. In the holes, they then dumped cement and gravel to create custom column footers nearly the depth of the pad.
Here’s some video I shot showing some of the fabrication of the rebar cages, their preparation for transport, concrete and gravel mixing at the construction site, placement of the cages in prior-dug vertical tunnels and late afternoon rain clouds moving in:
2014-08_cfooters from Malcolm Gault-Williams on Vimeo.
On top of the column footers, the cement posts that would end-up supporting the house above ground were placed (viewable at: http://vimeo.com/111314523). Again using rebar, Lott and Naht wrapped the posts to the column footers and cemented over the area to effectively bond the posts to the column footers.
But, I’m getting a little ahead of myself, here. Before the cement posts could be set ontop of the cement column footers, there had to be a ceremony…