Monday, 16 May 2011

Waiting for the sun and waiting for the rain

It somehow feels more like a funeral than a birth, with the rubble to rubble and cement to cement going into the foundation, before the pillars start to rise towards the roof.  According to the original discussions, by this time, we would have passed our fist first winter in the house and be looking forward to a cool summer. Later estimates would have us moved in and settled. Looking at the dates on the contract with the builder, the structure should be up and the painters would be in. On the building schedule that appeared three months after we signed the contract, the structure is up and the roof and solar panels are on and the windows are just about to go in.  However, as you can see, on the ground nothing much has changed.

Into the foundation is going some aggregate, and on top of the that a concrete floor, but just when they were about to start filling it up, the rain came. Then they waited for the rain to go, pumped the water out, and just as they were going to fill it up, the tail of a typhoon lashed through, and filled it up with water again. They've pumped it out again, the weather is set fair, and this week the aggregate is going in over the next couple of days, then the piping for the under floor heating, and on Saturday they're pouring another layer of concrete.  After that things should start moving a little more quickly. 

Apparently concrete gets stronger if you leave it in water, so this may have been good for the foundation.

The part that worries me, that I'll write about later, is the rather thin looking pipes marked for supplying hot water that are heading to the bottom of the foundation, all the way from their source upstairs, to pop out into the washing machine and kitchen sink. There seems precious little space for any insulation, and they seem to meander around without any consideration for pipe length. Although I've been talking to the architect for the last two years about low-energy building, the last time we spoke he was saying that it didn't matter where you put hot water appliances in relation to the boiler. I didn't ask him till later, but I'm hoping he can actually back that up with some numbers of how little heat will be lost, because I have yet to find any advice on energy efficiency that does not mention keeping hot water pipes as short as possible.