Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Basement - Foundation Progress

The contractor has been making steady progress on site. Today the final three pile caps (including the elevator pile cap casting) were completed in the half of the building with the basement.  A total of 89 of 109 pile caps have been completed to date. We anticipate that within the next week we will be completing the remaining pile caps. The remaining 6 short columns in the basement are ready to be cast tomorrow.  This will only leave the elevator shaft pit casting up to slab level. Compaction work has been ongoing in the basement area to prep the pad for a mud slab followed by steel tying and finally slab casting.

Elevator pile cap casting this morning

Short column casting formwork

Progress on the West wing

Backhoe assisting with backfill and compaction

Retaining wall along the edge of the slab at the West side of the building (Below grade)
Gas powered jumper compaction machine

Overall site progress


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Continued Hartals (Boat Travel)

Unfortunately the countrywide hartals (road strikes) have been a steady fixture here in Bangladesh over the past month.  This makes travel and transport very difficult, which provides many challenges for maintaining a working construction site with all the required materials. Overall we have been pressing forward, with progress only being slightly hampered.

(Boat ride to Cox's on a hartal day)

With the strikes it means we have to occasionally go down to Cox's bazar by boat to pick up people who have flown in. This past week I went down with one of our doctors as a navigator/spotter to pick up his friend who came for a visit. It would be quite a shock for any newcomer as we docked the boat at the fish market, which is just across the street from the airport.  The smells and sights there can be very "interesting" on the best of days, but especially on hartals days very few customers, the fish just sit there quickly getting warm, smelly, slimy, attracting flies, etc....

(Docked at the fish market - boat next to us unloading some very large and bloated fish. I did bring my cooler to try to find some good fish, but nothing to tempt me on this day)

(Always a beautiful ride in the evening on the river)

On the construction site we have completed 62 of 109 pile caps along with an additional 30 of 60 basement short columns. Backfill and compaction work is ongoing in the basement area. The contractor is making consistent progress.

(Ongoing site work - East Wing)

(Ongoing site work - West Wing/Basement)

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Foundation Pile Caps

The next phase of construction started in full the last week of October. We are now working on the pile caps and short columns up to the basement level. There is currently about 120 workers on site. We should get up to 150 workers on site in the next few days. These will be the full time workers. Once we start doing larger concrete pours (slab pours) the number of workers will quickly increase during those days. By the end of November we anticipate being able to start casting the basement slab.

(Site overview)

(Pilings are excavated down to a set level - All by manual labor)

(Dry season just started so the water table level is very high - feels like it is dropping at least a couple inches a day right now though)

(Pile head breaking down to the desired depth - A 3" thick concrete slab is poured prior to breaking to make a platform for breaking and setting up form work.)

(Pile Cap form and steel work)

(Pile Cap casting)
(Removing pile cap form work and installing the short column forms to the basement slab level)

(Remove water then back fill and compact around the pile caps)

(Evening work to make use of the cooler temperatures)

(Progress on the BBCB building - Second level is now completed up to the lintel height)


Sunday, November 03, 2013

Nepal Vacation

It was great to get away on vacation for a number of days in Nepal. We spent 7 days trekking through the Annapurna sanctuary to Annapurna Base Camp (ABC), an amphitheater of stunning 7000 and 8000 m snow capped mountains.  We also enjoyed a few days of exploring the cities of Pokhara and Kathmandu, shopping, eating, visiting a waterwall/cave and paragliding (Jon).  We arrived back in Bangladesh during a multi-day hartal and tensions were high but we had no issues getting to Cox's Bazar and taking a sunset boat trip up river to Malumghat.  We have added photos of the trip that you can access by selecting gallery under the blog title or by clicking this link:  Nepal 2013 Gallery
The next phase of foundation work has begun  including pile head breaking, pile caps, and short columns.


Poon Hill - 3210 m
Dhaulagiri I (8167 m) ranked 7th highest in the world is hiding in clouds behind us

Breakfast in Ghorepani

Lovely blooms along the trail

Transporting materials to towns and tea houses

Night views from Sinuwa

Machapuchare ("Fish Tail" 6993 m) - Forbidden to summit due to religious reasons

Annapurna Base Camp to the left (4130 m)
Views of Annapurna peaks (Annapurna I - 8091 m)

Terraced fields

Morning sun in Pothana

Paragliding over Phewal Tal Lake in Pokhara

Durbar Square, Kathmandu

Monkey Temple, Kathmandu

Sunset boat ride to Malumghat