While excavation is commonly thought of as an archeological term and often brings to mind visions of Indiana Jones, within the design/construction industry it has a different yet similar meaning. Excavating is the removal of unneeded soil to change the contours of the site. The similarity to the archeological dig is that you don’t always know what you’re going to uncover or discover in the process.
Fill is the opposite term in construction where the level of the site is raised up as needed for development. Our site is predominantly excavation. The removal of earth and rock in our case to get the grade of the site down to the level needed to place the foundations of the building. The contractor has been scraping and knawing away at the site for the past couple weeks and has lowered the grades to about where they need to be for the foundations.
There have been some encounters. From the geotechnical report, we knew that there was rock below the surface; I’ll see if we can get a tally of the quantity of rock that was removed. Another discovery was that there was a concrete slab a little below the surface. Not truly a surprise either as the old Braden Motor company used to be located on the lot. Another thing that has been encountered is water. It seems to be water that has been sitting on the rock shelf as opposed to seeping up through or out of the rock.
The water has raised questions about the water proofing of the portion of the building that is below grade. Water proofing of the vertical walls is part of the design and there is a perimeter below grade drainage system as well. These discussions are in the preliminary stage, but need to be brought to a level that will provide comfort in the solution for all parties.
With construction under way, things will be moving along at a good pace and the site will be noticeably different each time it is visited. We don’t have any current photos of the construction or the site. However, there is a site meeting today that will fill the gap.
What’s to come? Lots of photos and interesting discussions about construction of the Visitor Center. Next week will be filled with photos that will begin to tell the story.