Week 67 (Evening-up East and West walls)

In construction photos by Michael Tiemann

springflower.jpgSpring is now in full force in North Carolina, with tons of pollen, variable weather, and the glorious colors of flowers and trees and other things in bloom.  Indeed, the weather forecast for the week began with a disheartening prediction of three days of thunderstorms.  Judging by the violence they did to Texas, Tennessee, Arkansas, and Georgia, which was extraordinary, we could have had a miserable week (not just in terms of lack of construction progress).  But, thankfully for us, they spent themselves so heavily on the way here that we were spared the worst.

With the West wall now finished up to the 16th course, attention has moved over to the East Wall, which had been lingering at the 12th course for the longest time (since March 11th, anyway).  Here’s a sequence of progress pictures showing the wall rising four courses and matching the height of the West wall:

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One thing that was always threatening to stop work was the sky:


But, as threatening as it got, it never actually rained when it mattered.  So the blocks stayed at the ready, the mortar was mixed, and progress continued…


Once the 16th course was reached, it was high time to do some more grouting.  I was told that the last time the East wall was grouted was at the 10th course, meaning that grout needed to be poured 4 feet down each cell of the outer wythe.  I believe this is one of eight loads of grout mixed and filled that day:


Here’s the sand-pile, now showing somewhat of a dent:


And here’s the grout being delivered to the masons to fill those cores:


And from the other side, the complete 16th course of the East wall:


And now for something completely different…progress on the North wall!  In spite of the threatening conditions all week (which, it turned out, were actually quite favorable), the masons got a head start on next week and began adding courses to elements of the North wall, such as the shear wall:


A column:


and the corners:


Next week I expect progress will rise rapidly on the North wall from the 4th to the 11th course, and then things will take their time as the massive bond beam that runs the full length of the wall is put into place.  That will be fun to watch!