Safety is an important topic in the construction industry. In The Netherlands alone, 42 workers died on construction sites during the first six months of 2016. That makes the construction industry one of the more dangerous places to work. Most fatalities occur when workers drop from heights or operate heavy machinery.
Lately many of our posts were about mud, mud and more mud. Building houses in the polder in The Netherlands sometimes is a muddy affair. But today one of our colleagues took a photo without any mud. Pointed her iPhone slightly upwards, and bingo, nice shot.
This is a house we are currently building in Oosterwold. We’re almost ready here, we will show some more photos soon.
Design: architect Edward van der Drift.
And we checked our archive and here is another shot from the same house. And the same iPhone. But different sky.
Constructing houses on reclaimed land (polder) usually means: mud. Lots of mud. Mud up to your knees, mud on the roof of your car, mud on your sandwich.
Materials arrive and house assembly starts
Foundation is ready, crane to unload and install panels in the place. Time for the materials to arrive. With the first truck arrived panels for the ground floor and overlay structure. Next day after unloading we began to install panels. First we laid bitumen hydro insulation layer on the concrete surface and fixed wooden beams. On top of the beams will go panels.
We build wooden houses in many countries. Every country has it’s own exceptions, rules and peculiarities. This time let’s talk about the Netherlands.
We are quite busy building houses in the Netherlands at the moment. Many areas in this country are reclaimed land areas: originally North Sea, but then the Dutch build dikes, pump out the water and build houses on the sea bed. In such areas top layer of ground is very soft and if you build on a regular foundation, your house will sink into the mud.
For this reason, the Dutch have developed a special technique to build foundations in those reclaimed land areas. It is called “paalfundering”. First comes a specialist engineer who does ground tests. They check how deep is the solid ground. If you are lucky it will be at approximately 8-12 meters deep, but in some areas it might be up to 30 meters deep.
We skipped a few steps: drilling the 11 meter foundation poles, and then adding the concrete beams. All that has been done, and the foundation floor is ready to be placed on top. This is what the building site looks like today:
Contact via phone or internet is nice, but before we actually build a house we need to sit around the table with our clients. So we get in the car regularly, and we make our trips through France, at this moment an important market. We call it our Tour de France. Two weeks in a row on the péage, on the D321, and when we run out of luck our TomTom send us into some dirt road. But recently it resulted in a few more projects, see the map.
Add gravel. Sand is nice, but your truck still gets stuck, so we need gravel.
Add sand. Without a layer of sand, all heavy equipment would disappear into the mud of former seabed, so we need sand.
Digging. We’re already 3,5 meter below sea level, so let’s dig until -4 meters.
This will be the access road to the wooden house.