Saturday 18 January 2014

Safety, Earthing, Inspection and Plumbing

The Building Inspector was due to arrive on site that very day to approve the position and dimensions of the house, the reinforcing, the earthing/grounding of the house and the general safety of the site.

Rapidly erected safety barriers.

Hand crafted safety barrier.

Imagine my surprise, therefore, when I arrived on site to find the building team rapidly assembling a safety barrier all round the back and sides of the site, the electrician and his team working flat out to put the earthing system in place, the site being hastily tidied and an official noticeboard being set up on the site office! I had thought all this should have been completed prior to the inspection.

Earthing/Grounding metal band to surround the perimeter of the house foundation.

Joining bands and fixing to reinforcing. 

When the Building Inspector duly arrived he spent some time pouring over the plans with the engineer and having the whole concept of an earth sheltered dwelling explained, checking from the plan that the site was sufficient distance from all the boundaries, measuring (approximately) the length of the house, took a couple of pictures (after dropping the lens in the dusty ground) and standing around quite a bit before declaring all was well!!

Building Inspector (with tape measure and camera) talking to engineer (with plan)

Very soon after the Building Inspector left the plumber arrived with waste pipes lashed to the top of his van and immediately started to unload the waste pipes that will be buried by the beams when they are cast.

Given that these waste pipes would be well and truly buried in the foundation of the house the engineer had very sensibly not only specified the toughest pvc piping available on Crete but had also insisted that all pipes at this level should be protected from any damage in the placement and vibration of the concrete that would encase them by surrounding them with an equally strong pipe of a greater diameter.

Plumber arrives and immediately discusses details with builder.

Luckily whilst waiting for the date of the inspection I had been finalising the plumbing and electrical circuits I required and drew these up on an old plan of the house I was using to accurately specify the position of the chimneys for the wood burning stoves and their associated draught inlets.

Following discussion with both the engineer and the plumber and using this plan we were able to  determine the exact placing of the waste outlets and the plumber radially set about getting them installed ready for the casting of the main supporting beams.

The first waste pipe run is being put in place.

All in all a completely mad, chaotic really great day!!