Day 38 - More Cement/Sand/Aggregates/Water Arrive / by eric teran

We poured concrete today for the garage slab/footing. As expected it was 30 CU YDS. Expensive garage. Regardless one more thing crossed off the list of things to do. In the last few days I have signed contracts with the mechanical, plumbing and electrical contractors. They all promised me to be completed by March 20th of this year. If that is the case the following week we can drywall and paint and then begin finishes at the beginning of April. Keep our fingers crossed. 

Looks just like the Hoover Damn with all that concrete!

Today my mind was on the backfill detail. For some reason I originally had dirt as the backfill and on my last revision I decided to add gravel. I think I read to many Green Building Advisor articles and as we know an Architect's worse enemy is time. We always tinker with the design! Regardless it was my fault that there was gravel as backfill. There is always a solution.

Approved detail on the left with gravel and what I want the city to approve with no gravel along the side of the wall. Only dirt! This will save a few thousand dollars. 

I first spoke to the Superior Wall rep and on page 39 of their Builder Guideline Booklet it clearly labels which soils is acceptable for backfill. Two (ML and SM) of the three soils conditions on the site fall within those categories. Afterwards I sent an email to the Soils Engineering with a revised detail showing dirt as backfill and the Superior Wall requirements. His response was in agreement that we could use the dirt on site as long as we did not use the soils classified as CH (clay of high plasticity). Click here to learn more about the Unified Soil Classification System

The two most important players were in agreement with on site dirt backfill as long as CH was not used and if used only on the first 12" - 24" of backfill. I made a nice presentation to send to the city of Alexandria Building Reviewers. I hope that the are in agreement as the City technically has no liability if the house would collapse. I should have an answer as early as tomorrow or I might have to wait until next week. Regardless I am having Jose continue with the backfill! Worse case is we have to do some digging but I'm pretty confident because I have both professionals on my side. That makes a big difference. I'm still a little worried but it just makes it that much more exciting!

The straps being placed is what holds the Superior Wall to the Modular framing to act as one system. When we backfill there will be no concern of the Superior Walls tipping over. These are placed about every 3'.