|Shooting concrete on the villa walls.|
Mary Ann's Tropical Building Page
October 9, 1997
Since our Sept 25th, 1997report about building on a Caribbean island, we have
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We furnish hardware in the Caribbean on a regular basis. I recommend Schlage Locks C series lock in a stainless steel finish. The C lock has non-ferrous and stainless steel mechanisms for marine climatic conditions.Bill Pratt also suggests we carry a magnet while shopping for stainless. If it sticks, it isn't stainless.
The special concrete mixture (shotcrete) was applied to the panels with a concrete pump. The pump delivers the wet concrete to the panel via a large hose and air via a small hose. Air and concrete are mixed at the nozzle and the result is a build-up of concrete to any desired depth.
According to our project manager, this system was very efficient, but has some technical drawbacks. The pump reacted badly to pebbles in the unsifted sand. After sifting the sand, the operation was flawless, but a bit too late for the two hoses blocked with dried concrete. Fortunately, when this system fails, the concrete can still be applied by hand.
Another lesson learned was not to apply the concrete on rainy days. A good tropical downpour that occurs before the conrete has set up will wash the concrete off the panels, leaving just a concrete puddle!
The interior partitions, walls, and closets of the Guest Villa are also formed of 3-D panels. All have received a coating of concrete, although we requested a thicker coating on the outside for additional strength and protection from the elements. Once the outside walls had concrete applied to sufficient depth, it was plastered.
The exterior walls have been plastered with concrete in an "adobe look". We wanted a soft look for the concrete walls, which 3-D panels do nicely because of the curved mesh connecting piece at each corner.
As described in our August 22nd report, we constructed a rock and wood fence across the waterfront to keep out the goats. We chose a couple of spots for "outdoor rooms" and lowered the fence in those areas. The dining patio is in the middle of the property, over a beautiful cove and looking up the sand of Shoal Bay beach.
We dry-laid terra cotta tiles over a bed of sand, covered with "crusher waste", which is a by-product of making crushed rock. The crusher waste in Anguilla is similar in color to terra cotta. After it rained a few times, the crusher waste set up very hard and held the tiles firmly. Crusher-waste concept and execution by Daniel Stevens, our fence builder, who also helped plastering the walls.
We're developing our "hardscape". Rocks around the palm beds and grass paths from the beach to the house. The grass will be soft to walk on and will clean your feet before you reach the house.
As part of the site prep for the next two buildings, the septic tanks have been built. The holes were dug earlier pounding rocks for palm trees. Preparing the site for the Technology Center has involved clearing the brush, pounding some rock to ensure proper height for the cistern and boat storage area, then figuring out the driveway and entry, with landscaping plan.