Construction History of New Ministry Center

Construction Week 14 - May 31, 2015

Construction Week 14

This week we have walls and door ways and rooms.  Amazing!  In the left picture above, this worker is building the wall that will separate the publilc bathroom in our living quarters from the food pantry.  The bathroom is to the left (see the blue pipe for the toilet) and the food pantry to the right.  In the right picture support poles continue to go up.  But these support poles will be supporting the roof!  The contractor says they will put the roof on our Ministry Center next week!

Click here for more pictures from this week.

Construction Week 13 - May 24, 2015

Construction Week 13

This week they finished the support beams for the second floor and poured the concrete for the second floor.  They did it in three parts.  They completed all the work on the support beams on the left side of the house and poured the concrete.  Then the support beams on the right side (above the garage area) and poured the concrete.  Then placed the concrete slabs and poured the concrete floor for the whole second floor.  Well except for the bathroom spaces.

The picture on the left shows our building with the second floor and some of the poles going up to support the roof of the house.  The picture at the right shows the amazing view we will have from our second floor patio and gaming area.  Yes, I climbed up the bamboo ladder to check things out!  More pictures from this week are available in our weekly album - click here to see them!

Construction Week 12 - May 17, 2015

Construction Week 12

This is a week of transition.  Transition from working totally on poles and support structure.  A week where we see piles of concrete block and the beginnings of walls.  The left picture above shows the walls for a large storage room in the back of the garage level.  The right picture shows the workers completing the concrete forms for the support beams for the second floor.

Click here to see this week's album of pictures.

Construction Week 11 - May 10, 2015

Construction Week 11

This week we begin to see the house rising out from the surface of the land.  The poles to the second floor had been there on the left side of the house, but now we see the steel support for the second floor taking shape too.  Then the poles and supports began going up on the right side (above the garage) too.

While that was happening the workers began removing all the bamboo supports from the garage area.  The left picture above shows that we have room to walk through the garage area without having to step over bamboo beams and supports.  The right picture shows the overall progress of our ministry center. 

Click here to see the album with pictures for this week.

Construction Week 10 - May 3, 2015

Construction Week 10

This week the team working above the garage space completed the first floor support and then poured the concrete for the first floor.  The picture at the left shows the finished support beams and the picture at the right shows the finished floor!

Click here to see more pictures of the work done this week.

Construction Week 9 - April 26, 2015

Construction Week 9

After a week off for the Thai New Year holiday called Songkrang, the workers are back and hard at work.  We have two distinct teams now, each working on half of our building. 

In the picture on the left one team is working on the steel support structure for the first floor which is above the garage floor.  This picture shows the massave amounts of steel used in this design especially when there is an intersection like this.  We've had several earthquakes in the short time we've been here and the architect/engineers believe this extra steel will prevent the building from calapsing in case of another earthquake.

In the right, the other team is putting up all the support poles between the first and second floors.  All the concrete for these poles is made onsite.  It is then dumped into a wheel barrow which is dumped into the largeg black tub in the picture and finally transferred into the column forms bucket by bucket.

Click here to see pictures from this week's album.

Construction Week 8 - April 11, 2015

Construction Week 8

Week 8 involved hundreds of bamboo poles being placed systematically across the whole garage floor area.  They are all wire tied to horizontal pieces of bamboo and nailed together with other scrap wood and branches at the top.  Then wood boards are placed along the channel where the concrete will eventually be and then more rebar and steel supports similar to what was done for the garage floor.  The picture at the left shows the maze of bamboo poles looking into the garage from the front of the house.

The right picture shows the workers working on the steel supports for the first floor.  Not visible in this picture are the beginnings of sewer pipes which are sealed into and under the concrete.  The first floor was poured on Thursday of this week and the workers all left the site on Friday so they could get home to celebrate Thai New Year called SongKrang.  Click here to see more of what happened this week.

Construction Week 7 - April 4, 2015

Construction Week 7

One amazing activity this week was watching two fellows checking the level of all the garage support poles.  They took a piece of clear plastic hose.  Filled it with water and then went pole to pole marking the water level on each pole.  This activity was required as they began to put setup bamboo support poles which will be used to hold the concrete supports for the first floor.  The picture above on the right shows the beginnings of all these bamboo poles.

In the left picture you see the workers dumping concrete into a plastic tub.  The concrete is coming from a large holder which is attached to a cable on a crane.  You can see the concrete truck in the background.  So they fill this large container, then left it as far to the back of the house as they can.  Then dump concrete into the tub so the workers can fill buckets with concrete to dump it where it needs to go!  Click here to see more pictures from this week!

Construction Week 6 - March 28, 2015

Construction Week 6

Most of the work this week was done to the garage area.  In the picture at the left (at the beginning of the week) you can see the new concrete poured into the garage floor supports.  After this they filled each of the rectangle areas with dirt, then added sand as a top layer and then laid a patchwork of steel.  In the right picture you see Susie inspecting the new concrete garage floor with the support wall in the background and many of the first floor support poles in place.  Click here to see this weeks amazing collection of pictures.

Lots of work was done on the first floor area too.  Much of the steel support was put into place.  There are thousands of pieces of steel from the thick rebar that stretches end to end on the house to the rectangular pieces that are wire tied to the rebar.

Construction Week 5 - March 21, 2015

Construction Week 5

It is so amazing to watch the changes to our house week by week.  Now with all the work on the support wall and the concrete supports coming up out of the footings, we are seeing bigger differences week by week.

This week the focus has been on second layer of concrete being added to the support wall, completing the footings for the first level and preparing to do the concrete for the garage floor supports.  The picture at the left above shows the new temporary toilet.  It is finished and functional!  Notice how simple it is, especially no roof!  The right picture shows the support wall standing above the garage area.  It also shows the concrete supports being installed for the garage floor supports.  Click here to see this week's album of pictures.

Construction Week 4 - March 14, 2015

Construction Week 4

Most of the work this 4th week of construction has to do with pouring concrete - at least the first part of it - to put the main support wall in place.  This concrete wall is connected between the garage floor and the 1st floor.  It will prevent the dirt sitting under the first floor from flowing into the garage area.  This is one of the most important support parts of this house!

The picture at the left shows support panels in place to pour the concrete.  The picture at the right shows one of the workers carrying 2 pails of concrete.  The concrete truck was not able to reach the back end of the wall meaning they had to carry the concrete and dump out of these buckets into the wall area.  Click here to see this week's album of pictures.

One more important item this week.  We had to say good-bye to our temporary bathroom.  It was left in place when the storage shed was moved, but this week the bathroom was disassembled and a new temporary bathroom was constructed.

Construction Week 3 - March 7, 2015

Construction Week 3

Like anything we build, the foundation is the most important part.  Here the picture on the left shows 2 footings with the rebar poles pointing up to the sky.  Then they added a concrete base on the poles.  The top of this concrete is where they will begin building the floor supports.

The picture on the right shows Go, one of our co-workers, checking the floor supports.  It is important that these supports are physically connected to everything.  To the wall supports and to the poles.  If you click here to check this week's album of pictures you will see some close-ups showing these connections!

There are some other fun pictures included this week too.  The storage building had to be moved so the girl's bathroom at the end of the first floor could be started.  You will see a space where the building was, but the temporary bathroom is still there.  Also look for a picture of a dad and his 3 year old son.  Both mom and dad are working on this project, so their son came along to help! 

Construction Week 2 - February 28, 2015

Construction Week 2

Week 2 is about footings and concrete!  This 30 guage rebar is bent and formed, then tied to gether with small pieces of wire.  When it's finished you have a steel form that is used as a footing.  The one pictured above in the left picture is about 25 feet long.  It sits in the bottom of the trench on top of a small amount of concrete.  Then they created long pieces of rebar that are tied to this footing and long horizontal lengths of more rebar.

The square holes are footings for support poles for the house.  They are placed about every 12 feet front to back and side to side for the house.  Once all the footings are ready, they call in the concrete trucks to begin dumping more than a foot of concrete into each hole.  The steel footings are completely covered and the base of the poles firmly secured in the concrete.

We are so pleased that these workers are taking such great care as they are building this house.  It sure is different from the way houses are built in the USA!  Click here if you'd like to see all the pictures we took for week 2. 

Construction Week 1 - February 21, 2015

Construction Week 1

It is so amazing!  We are off!  We've started and it is wonderful to see progress on the building!  There were 2 major parts to this week.  First and most important is measuring!  Making sure elevations are accurate so the house actually looks like the plans we're using to build it!  If you've built a house or watched one being built, you will know what I mean.

Second, is digging the trench from the back of the house to the front.  This trench will have a concrete wall that separates the lower level garage area from the first floor.  This wall will keep all the dirt from falling into the garage area.  Click here to see a picture album from week 1.

Breaking Ground - February 15, 2015

Our land purchase was completed in June 2013. Ground breaking team We were so excited, then it seemed like it took so long to get the building plans finalized.  Special thanks to Pittsburgh friend, Rob Pillar, who helped us get started.  Things began to move when we got connected with a young Thai man named Bao (man in the red shirt in the picture).  He is a civil engineer who had an architect friend.  Together they helped bring this project to completion.

There were a few bumps in the process as with any plan.  We thought we were finished in October 2014, we even had a building permit.  The problem was how the house would sit on the land.  The house was not designed for the slope of the land.  So we went back to make changes, adding a garage area under the house. 

Land Title Transfer - June 12, 2013

Land Title Transfer

In this picture we are exchanging our check for the land titles.  In the picture (left to right): Bill, Alina (president of Shoulder-to-Shoulder Foundation), the former land owner, the former owner's daughter.