Category Archives: Construction

Approaching the Deadline

The weather has decided it will not cooperate with our construction deadline and has been trying to slow the project down, but we are pushing through. We had to take Wednesday off due to snow, but got back to it Thursday morning. A lot of things happened this week; some good, some bad, but all great learning opportunities. We have to pass a concrete inspection and a deck framing inspection, and once we do, we can finish the concrete bench and the outdoor classroom.

Early Thursday morning, clearing a workspace for ourselves to cut wood.

Early Thursday morning, clearing a workspace for ourselves to cut wood.

Orange construction fences droop under heavy snow.

Orange construction fences droop under heavy snow.

We uncovered the bench foundation to discover it had flooded with all the moisture.

We uncovered the bench foundation to discover it had flooded with all the moisture.

"Burke Creek." As the snow started melting, puddles began to form in our work area. Some students quickly dug a little canyon through a pile of dirt to let it drain.

“Burke Creek.” As the snow started melting, puddles began to form in our work area. Some students quickly dug a little canyon through a pile of dirt to let it drain.

This little guy discovered our lunch table and tried to help himself before we shoo-ed him away.

This little guy discovered our lunch table and tried to help himself before we shoo-ed him away.

Testing out angles for the fold on the southwest side of the deck.

Testing out angles for the fold on the southwest side of the deck.

Testing more angles for the folds.

Testing more angles for the folds.

Hanging joists to give structure to the folds. We had to work in some weird angles to get the nails in.

Hanging joists to give structure to the folds. We had to work in some weird angles to get the nails in.

One of Burke Park's fuzzy flying inhabitants inspects the wood for the deck. Approved!

One of Burke Park’s fuzzy flying inhabitants inspects the wood for the deck. Approved!

The end of the day Friday and the deck is almost fully framed. It has really started to take its shape. We will be out in full force Monday morning to finish up within the week!

The end of the day Friday and the deck is almost fully framed. It has really started to take its shape. We will be out in full force Monday morning to finish up within the week!

Advertisements

More Concrete, Trees, and Digging in the Rocks

In anticipation of Wednesday’s predicted snow we got to the site early today. By 8:00 a.m., we had met with engineers about the deck, pulled formwork off the concrete we poured yesterday and planted four of the five trees in the grassland biome. Over the course of the day we framed the deck, poured the footer for the concrete bench, and finished both the grassland and montane biomes.

Newly cured concrete casts a shadow onto itself after the formwork is pulled off.

Newly cured concrete casts a shadow onto itself after the formwork is pulled off.

Ready for more concrete in the bench footer.

Ready for more concrete in the bench footer.

Our concrete experts came back to help with the pour.

Our concrete experts came back to help with the pour.

A crew celebrates the near completion of the grassland biome. We will add boulders in the center of the ring of trees, but the wrong ones were delivered yesterday.

A crew celebrates the near completion of the grassland biome. We will add boulders in the center of the ring of trees, but the wrong ones were delivered yesterday.

The nearly completed montane biome. Five bristlecone pines will surround boulders in the center here, too.

The nearly completed montane biome. Five bristlecone pines will surround boulders in the center here, too.

Laying fabric beneath the deck to prevent weeds from growing beneath it.

Laying fabric beneath the deck to prevent weeds from growing beneath it.

Working on framing the deck. These metal brackets are mounted on wood platforms that are higher towards the sidewalk and lower towards the mountains to make up for the slope change. The brackets will hold up the structure.

Working on framing the deck. These metal brackets are mounted on wood platforms that are higher towards the sidewalk and lower towards the mountains to make up for the slope change. The brackets will hold up the structure.

 

 

 

 

 

Concrete

Today was one of the most productive work days we have had. The biggest thing was pouring the concrete for the deck’s foundation, but we had a few other projects going on the side. Scroll through for details.

We had to finish tying the rebar before we could pour. Since it has to be at least 2" away from the formwork, we had to cut a few pieces to reshape them.

We had to finish tying the rebar before we could pour. Since it has to be at least 2″ away from the formwork, we had to cut a few pieces and reshape them.

Checking if the forms are level: perfect! (In this spot, anyway.)

Checking if the forms are level: perfect! (In this spot, anyway.)

The concrete truck drove to the edge of the park and a tractor brought loads over to the deck site.

The concrete truck drove to the edge of the park and a tractor brought loads over to the deck site.

We worked with a team of concrete experts today. After it was poured, it was meticulously smoothed and shaped.

We worked with a team of concrete experts today. After it was poured, it was meticulously smoothed and shaped.

We were nearly done when we ran out of concrete. The truck went and got us a little more, but we weren't in the clear yet.

We were nearly done when we ran out of concrete. The truck went and got us a little more, but we weren’t in the clear yet.

We ran out of concrete after we made it around the outside. We sent for some bags to mix ourselves. Here it is being carried over.

We ran out of concrete after we made it around the outside. We sent for some bags to mix ourselves. Here it is being carried over.

800 lbs. of concrete. We didn't use it all but wanted to make sure we'd have enough.

800 lbs. of concrete. We didn’t use it all but wanted to make sure we’d have enough.

We used pond water to mix our own concrete.

We used pond water to mix our own concrete.

Hand mixing concrete in the wheelbarrow.

Hand mixing concrete in the wheelbarrow.

Filling in the last piece of formwork with concrete.

Filling in the last piece of formwork with concrete.

The group that worked on the deck all semester make their signature in the concrete, though it will be covered by the deck.

The group that worked on the deck all semester make their signature in the concrete, though it will be covered by the deck.

Our team of concrete experts smile for a picture. We couldn't have done it without them!

Our team of concrete experts smile for a picture. We couldn’t have done it without them!

MEANWHILE, AT OTHER PARTS OF THE SITE: Sorry for the long post; we came a long way today!

The wetland biome is installed.

The wetland biome is installed.

The biome team tests out their first installation. Thumbs up!

The biome team tests out their first installation. Thumbs up!

We fixed the water problem in the foundation hole for the concrete bench by digging a foot deeper, filling it with a layer of jagged rocks, then compacting gravel on top of that. Rebar is tied here-ready for a concrete pour.

We fixed the water problem in the foundation hole for the concrete bench by digging a foot deeper, filling it with a layer of jagged rocks, then compacting gravel on top of that. Rebar is tied here-ready for a concrete pour.

Wood delivery. The wood for the deck came today and needed to be stored off the ground. We stacked it on top of this grid and wrapped it up.

Wood delivery. The wood for the deck came today and needed to be stored off the ground. We stacked it on top of this grid and wrapped it up.

Getting the wood off the truck was no easy feat, but we managed in the end with only a few scratches. That's a wrap!

Getting the wood off the truck was no easy feat, but we managed in the end with only a few scratches. That’s a wrap!

What a Difference an Hour Makes

We  started out this morning at Burke Park, planning on digging out the foundation for the deck and shaping the final mound. We made a lot of progress, but were forced to concede defeat an hour later with the arrival of yet another late-April storm. We headed back to the studio to do some prefabrication for the concrete benches and decks.

Another day, another dump truck. This was a dirt delivery for the last mound.

Another day, another dump truck. This was a dirt delivery for the last mound.

Sunshine as we began to dig.

Sunshine as we began to dig.

As things started to look ominous, we worked quickly to get to a stopping point.

As things started to look ominous, we worked quickly to get to a stopping point.

Covering up holes we dug for the deck's foundation.

Covering up holes we dug for the deck’s foundation.

Packing up as it started to sleet.

Packing up as it started to sleet.

Back at our studio, students bend steel rebar for the concrete we will pour.

Back at our studio, students bend steel rebar for the concrete we will pour.

Cutting wood to be formwork for the concrete. It will be built in the shapes of the benches, concrete will be poured in and will cure in that shape, then the wood is taken away.

Cutting wood to be formwork for the concrete. It will be built in the shapes of the benches, concrete will be poured in and will cure in that shape, then the wood is taken away.

Planting Trees

Eight new trees joined Burke Park today. The students in our class got to learn about how to pick a healthy tree from a tree farm and how to put them in the earth. We hand-dug and shaped each hole to be just right. The most special part of the day came right after lunch. A woman brought her late husband’s ashes to scatter at the base of a tree she had donated through Boulder’s Living Legacy program. It was an honor for our class to be able to participate. The trees were all well-mulched, and ready to absorb some moisture from the impending blizzard.

Shovels awaiting use. They are painted pink because every year representatives from our sister  city, Yamagata, Japan, come to do cherry tree plantings

Shovels awaiting use. They are painted pink because every year representatives from our sister city, Yamagata, Japan, come to do cherry tree plantings.

We got a little help from big tools getting the sod off the ground before we dug the holes

We got a little help from big tools getting the sod off the ground before we dug the holes.

The rocky soils were a little challenging: a student with a pick axe loosens tough dirt

The rocky soils were a little challenging: a student with a pick axe loosens tough dirt.

The tractor also helped deliver trees to their holes. The trees we planted were all about seven years old. Some will grow up to 60 feet, but are heavy and difficult to maneuver even now

The tractor also helped deliver trees to their holes. The trees we planted were all about seven years old. Some will grow up to 60 feet, but are heavy and difficult to maneuver even now.

The wire basket that holds the root ball in place has to be removed before planting so that it doesn't choke roots. In places with more acidic soils, this step can be skipped because the metal decays quickly.

The wire basket that holds the root ball in place has to be removed before planting so that it doesn’t choke roots. In places with more acidic soils, this step can be skipped because the metal decays quickly.

The buckeye is moved into place.

The memorial tree is situated to plant.

A woman pours her husband's ashes into place among the roots of an Ohio buckeye. It will have white flowers in the spring and broad green leaves all summer.

A woman pours her husband’s ashes into place among the roots of an Ohio buckeye. It will have white flowers in the spring and broad green leaves all summer.

Grandmother and granddaughter walk away.

Grandmother and granddaughter walk away.

The memorial tree.

The memorial tree.

Updates: Grass, Surveys and More

The evolution of the design, especially the deck piece, led our class to meet on site yesterday morning in some interesting foggy conditions. We are preparing to continue construction next Monday (weather permitting) with tree plantings. One woman has donated a tree in memorial of her late husband and will be meeting us to help with its planting.

First things first: we checked on the mounds we built before spring break. They all look happy, healthy, and ready to grow!

First things first: we checked on the mounds we built before spring break. They all look happy, healthy, and ready to grow! All four constructed mounds can be seen in this series, and we have proposed one more mound to be built on the other side of the deck

Looks like the grass is bouncing back from the mistreatment it suffered from the wheels of the dump trucks and tractors

Looks like the grass is bouncing back from the mistreatment it suffered from the wheels of the dump trucks and tractors

We had to re-survey the land again since the revised deck has moved slightly. Here a student assesses the grade change

We had to re-survey the land again since the revised deck has moved slightly. Here a student assesses the grade change

The clouds begin breaking up to reveal the beautiful Flatirons behind

The clouds begin breaking up to reveal the beautiful Flatirons behind

Construction Beginnings

The class got to spend some time in the sun this week—a welcome change from computer screens and classroom lights. We were beginning construction on our design, which meant building and shaping the grassy mounds of Memorial Grove. On Monday we had a dump truck deliver several loads to the areas that the city scraped the sod off of last week, which we then shoveled and raked into shape. This morning (Wednesday), we finished shaping the mounds and laid down seed and protective jute. The timing couldn’t have been better since we are expecting rain and snow this weekend, which will water the seeds into place and help jumpstart their germination.

Students stand by as a dump truck delivers top soil

Students stand by as a dump truck delivers top soil

Many hands make light work—mounds take shape quickly as several students shovel and rake soil into place

Many hands make light work—mounds take shape quickly as several students shovel and rake soil into place

A rope runs along the spine of a mound as we evaluate its symmetry

A rope runs along the spine of a mound as we evaluate its symmetry

Seeds are divided into buckets

Seeds are divided into buckets

A student tosses seed out onto the mound. The mounds will feature low maintenance native grasses

A student tosses seed out onto the mound. The mounds will feature low maintenance native grasses

A team of students rolls out jute on top of the mounds to protect the new seeds

A team of students rolls out jute on top of the mounds to protect the new seeds

 

Seeds rest beneath a jute covering and await the weekend's precipitation

Seeds rest beneath a jute covering and await the weekend’s precipitation

The final product (for now.) It will take a few months for the grass to be established

The final product (for now.) It will take a few months for the grass to be established