Week 104 (Finishing Annex Masonry)

In construction photos by Michael Tiemann

The last few construction updates have focused on the framing of the Control Room roof with the Annex masonry work visible in the background.  This week the Annex masonry takes center stage, with the completion of the top bond beam.  If you’ve been following the blog, you know why this is such a major event.  If not, refresh your knowledge with the postings from Week 81, Week 82, and Week 83.  (And if you want a really complete refresher, Week 86 and Week 89.)  The bond beam in question this week is the longest one of the project, and with some deep pilasters also to fill, there’s 25 tons (!) of materials to lift into place.  Let’s start!

Here is the last gap in the blocks to be filled before the bond beam can be established:


And here are the 100 bags of concrete which will combine with 8 tons of gravel, 12 tons of sand, and a ton or so of water to make our 25 tons of grout:


The gap is filled (as are the voids where glass block windows will be placed):


You can notice that the exterior soffit has also made some progress.  Here’s a bit more detail for that:


Back to the bond beam…here are all the parts of the bond beam that were knocked out to make room for the continuous flow of concrete:


Not to mention also making room for tons of rebar, too:


And even more rebar at the pilasters:


And also at the corners:


Our wall is now ready for grouting:


Very cold weather delayed the start of the grouting, but things did eventually get moving.  Here the masons are mixing up a fresh batch of grout:


And here they are lifting it to be put in place:


So much easier and more straightforward than the 24′ lift needed for the Music Room!

And so the bond beam began to take shape:


Albeit with a long way to go:


When the concrete is in place but not yet fully set, steel bolts can be inserted into the beam.  These bolts will later hold the top plates that will attach to the roof.  Here are those bolts in the wet concrete:


And here’s a view of the unplaced bolts, to give you some idea just how deep they are in the concrete:


Here’s a void in the bond beam that will get treated later, when the steel beams for the roof are delivered:


When all was said and done, the masons lifted about 12 tons on Wednesday and another 12 tons +/- on Thursday, New Year’s Eve.  With a good cure over the New Year’s weekend, the Annex will be ready to receive steel for the roof, and then we can think about drying in that space, too!

In the mean time, work continued on the upper section of the Music Room, including the completion of the exterior soffit and the final casings for the windows:


The weather is supposed to be very cold next week, but also clear.  Hopefully everybody can stay healthy and keep us moving forward.  I think things are really looking good now!