Lots of pics to share this week. Shiraz and his team have finished the footings for the tower villa. In the states, you simply level off the area where you want the house and then pour a foundation slab. On St. John, you have about 8" of top soil before you hit bedrock, and you must also contend with the slope of the land (rock). Add to that no connection to "city" water, and you must build a cistern to catch the rain for your water supply. The tower villa rests on the highest point of the property and will have a roof top terrace, plus a tower attached to the side of the villa for amazing 360 degree views of all the Virgin Islands. The goal for this week is to build the footings for the adjacent 1BR villa on Monday and Tuesday and then pour the footings for both buildings on Wednesday. While we are targeting Wednesday, Invest 99L might want to drop some rain on us come mid-week. The red blob is Tropical Storm Fiona which is heading to the middle of the Atlantic. Invest 99L is the orange blob forming underneath TS Fiona and looking like it wants to come this way.
Looking North, the following pic shows the rear footing wall of the tower villa. As you can see, the forms are cut to fit the contour of the bedrock. This is the single most time consuming piece of the building process and must be done properly so you can build on a level, secure foundation. In the architectural drawing below, you can see where the footings rest in relation to the rest of the villa as the faded, dotted lines below the architect's drawing.[gallery ids="975,1038" type="rectangular"] This is an overview of the footing forms. The floor of the villa is the height of the top 2x4 on the scaffolding insuring epic views and a solid foundation and stem wall for the rest of the villa. You would not want to fall on this portion! This is the footing for the "tower" addition. As you can see, the construction is steel reinforced, masonry construction. The pieces of steel emerging from above the forms will create a series of tie points for the "stem" wall upon which the rest of the structure will be formed. Basically, you build the home in sections, tying each section to the preceding one via steel rebar. As you may have noticed, the tower villa does not have a cistern. It will route rain water it captures and pipe it to the shared, over sized cistern located in the 1Br unit on the lower portion of the top most parcel. Big cisterns mean big excavation. This picture was taken in the general area of the front door. You can see how far the cisterns extend below grade. [gallery ids="1053,979" type="rectangular"] The height of the cistern means some pretty serious chipping into the slope. [gallery ids="1058,978" type="rectangular"] The excavation for the 1BR should be completed by Sunday evening. Then onto forming on Monday and Tuesday for a pour on Wednesday! Have a great day!