More roof frame work and wall block work

Project: Phen - 3 Bedroom home No.1

Posted By on December 5, 2011

The roof tiles have arrived and the frame is nearly complete, almost ready for the tiles to be added.   All walls are also nearly complete and almost ready for rendering.




Ground floor beams

Project: Amoon on the Mekong

Posted By on November 30, 2011

We recently poured the concrete for the ground floor beams and are have prepared the shuttering, ready for the columns to be poured later today.


Roof frame and brick work

Project: Phen - 3 Bedroom home No.1

Posted By on November 29, 2011

We have now poured the floor slab of this project in Phen, and are now on to the brick work for the walls and also preparing the roof frame.   Roof tiles should be arriving on site in the next few days, by which time the roof frame will be nearly complete.   Walls should also be complete and ready for rendering in a few days.

Phen – 3 Bedroom House No. 1

Project: Phen - 3 Bedroom home No.1

Posted By on November 26, 2011

We are now into the construction phase of this project in Phen.  Our clients originally contacted us with an interest in another project that they had seen on our blog, the 2 bedroom home in Fao Rai. However, they wanted to adapt it to suit their needs.   We worked with them to modify the design a little to give a three bedroom layout amongst some other minor changes.   Work began on construction at the end of October and we have now completed the structural framework and cast the floor slab.   We will now begin work on the roof structure and walls.



Concrete frame work complete, now on to walls and roof

Project: Nong Wua So - 3 Bedroom Home

Posted By on November 26, 2011

The last time I posted about this project, we had just poured the footings, as I recall.   Since then we have completed all of the rest of the concrete structural framework and installed the precast slabs for the first floor and poured the concrete floor topping. I am sorry to report, however, that since this point we have been experiencing some unforeseen delays and our schedule has slipped somewhat.  Among the issues that we have faced are the following.   This house was to use the same thermally insulating building blocks that we have used on a number of our other projects.   However, the factory where they are made has been affected by the extensive flooding that there has been in Thailand and in fact has been forced to close.  The impact of this on the project was that we were unable to source enough blocks for the build.  In fact, we only had enough to complete most of the ground floor walls.   We have since agreed with the client that we shall use conventional bricks for the second floor, though in a double layer with a cavity in the middle for improved insulation.  Roof tiles that were supposed to have been delivered some time ago have also been delayed as a result of the flooding, however, they will at least be arriving shortly.  We have also been delayed in completing the second floor pre-cast slab and topping layer due to a supplier issue and them not having the correct pre-cast slabs prepared.  We will, however, be taking delivery of the correct slabs in the next couple of days.   Our specialist roofing team will be arriving on site in Monday to complete the roof frame and tiling.



Work completed on another project

Project: Modern Style 2 Bedroom 1 Storey Home (Nong Kom Ko)

Posted By on November 26, 2011

Some time ago we complete our work on this modern two bedroom home.   As mentioned in my previous posts about this project, we were only contracted to carry out the main building construction, painting and bathroom tiling and fitting.  Tiling of the rest of the house, all carpentry and window fitting etc… was to be carried by another contractor to the client.  As such, despite our work being completed, the house still looks rather unfinished in the pictures.   I shall, however, try to post some pictures of the fully finished home, with the owners permission.

Phen – 3 Bedroom Home Design (No.2)

Project: Phen - 3 Bedroom Home No.2

Posted By on November 26, 2011

We have completed the design and engineering phase for a new three bedroom home in Phen, which is about half way between Nong Khai and Udon Thani.   This is one of two such projects in Phen, though with this project, the precise location has not yet been finalised as there the client is still considering a number of options for the plot on which to build.  As such, the design may well be subject to slight modification in order to fit properly into its setting.

Ban Lao – Four Bedroom Home Design

Project: Ban Lao - 4 Bedroom Home

Posted By on November 26, 2011

We have recently complete the design and engineering of a large four bedroom single storey home that is now under construction in Ban Lao, just out side Nong Khai.   The client is self building his new home with his own team and so for this project our involvement in construction will purely be in an advisory role when necessary.   I shall, however, try to add some pictures of the project with the owners permission and construction progresses.

First stage columns complete. Grade beam preparations in progress.

Project: Nong Wua So - 3 Bedroom Home

Posted By on September 21, 2011

We are currently a fee days behind schedule on this project due to the bad weather we have been having in the area recently.   Fortunately the site has not suffered from the flooding that there has been in some other areas in the region, but nevertheless, the rain has still had an impact.    However, we have now completed all of the first stage columns and are up to ground level.  Today an excavator back filled all of the footing holes, so moving forward with the project, the rain should be less of an issue.   Tomorrow we will begin to install the steel cages for the grade beams, which we have been preparing under cover during the rain.

Laos Condominium Architectural Concept

Project: Laos Condominium

Posted By on September 11, 2011

We have completed an initial architectural concept for a 7 storey condominium to be built in Vientiane, Laos.   The ground floor will consist of a reception, a small shop, gym and parking.  There will then be five floors of accommodation units of various sizes with either one, two or three bedrooms.  The top floor will house services.   The general appearance and style of the exterior has been agreed with our client, but we are now working on refining the interior layouts a little, which will inevitably lead to minor alterations to the exterior, in terms of window positioning and such like.

Breaking ground…

Project: Nong Wua So - 3 Bedroom Home

Posted By on September 11, 2011

We have just begun work own our latest construction project in Nong Wua So district, near Udon Thani.  Yesterday we marked out and excavated the footings.  We used a large excavator, which makes the process very quick, however there is then a certain amount of manual work to be down to neaten up the holes and make sure all footings are to the correct depth, which is what we have been doing today.  We have also added in the initial base layers of sand and concrete to the holes, onto which the main footings will be poured.  Tomorrow is the lucky Buddhist day on which the first two columns will be erected.  The final completion date for this project is March next year, so 6 months from start to finish.   As we are nearing the end of the rainy season now, we should not have any major delays in construction.

Garage frame complete main house structural framework begins

Project: Amoon on the Mekong

Posted By on September 10, 2011

We have completed the basic concrete frame for the garage and are soon to begin adding the steel roof frame structure.

We have been somewhat at the mercy of the weather, and pile driving has been on hold for a number of days.  Fortunately, with such a big project, there a a lot of jobs that can be done in parallel to the pile driving, so ultimately our schedule should not be adversely affected.   Currently, we are preparing the hug he number of steel reinforcement cages that are required for the footings, columns and beams.   We are also fortunate that the site is so large and we are not short of space to store these cages.   One potential issue of stop piling these components is the oxidation (rust) that can occur if they are exposed to the elements for prolonged periods.   The steel re-bar has already been sprayed with light oil once on leaving the foundry.  However, through handling from foundry to stock holder to site, and then then cutting and forming it into the cages, some of this oil has inevitably worn off, exposing it to the risk of rusting.  To prevent this, once complete, the cages are sprayed with light oil.

Another task on this site was to reposition the main access point into the site.   First we had to obtain the necessary permission from the local government department, as there is a government owned strip of land between the plot and the road.  Once approved, we installed the necessary drain pipe, as required, and have built up the new road way.   We shall allow this to settle for several months before applying the finished road surface, using the existing access in the mean time.




Pile driving continues – Garage construction commences.

Project: Amoon on the Mekong

Posted By on September 2, 2011

After a delay due to extremely heavy rain and bad weather, pile driving has now recommenced and is going very well.  In fact, despite the delay, we are still on target to complete all pile driving on schedule.  There are many issues that can be encountered during pile driving, from hitting impenetrable ground and fractured piles, to simply slow progress due to ground conditions.  However, in this case, we have not encountered any such issues.

While pile driving is underway on the main house on the elevated section of land, we have also been busy constructing the separate garage unit on the lower lying land.  We have already constructed footings and grade beam and are now preparing the reinforcement structure ready to pour the concrete floor.   As the floor will be taking a relatively high load, we are not using pre-cast slabs, but have back filled with sand and will be casting a heavily reinforced slab in place.  In casting directly onto sand, it is important to ensure that the underlying layer is adequately compacted.  If not compacted this layer of floor support may settle over time and ‘sink away’ from beneath the floor.  This may then lead to cracks and other structural weaknesses in the floor slab.  With the garage, we used a mechanical compactor on the supporting sand to minimize problems in the future.




Pile Driving

Project: Amoon on the Mekong

Posted By on August 22, 2011

We have begun pile driving, amongst other things, and this video shows the process of adding single pile. We are using 15 meter piles, driven to a depth of 16 meters. You will see in the video that once the pile is driven as far as it can go, and extension is added and it driven the additional meter to be at the correct depth. We will later excavate around the pile head in order to cast the concrete pile head mounting that will transfer the load from the columns and beams of the structure onto the piles.

Site clearance & substandard construction pitfalls!

Project: Modern 2 Bedroom 2 Storey Home (Thip Thani)

Posted By on August 19, 2011

The plot on which our latest modern two storey home is to be built, in Thip Thani, had an existing concrete framework which needed to be removed. The structure was basically a complete concrete column and beam framework for a 2 storey home, up to roof level. This had stood unfinished for at least 5 years. In theory, this framework could have been filled in with brick walls, a roof added and then all of the finishing work carried out to give a complete home. The problem would first have been that one would be limited on the layout of the house to that already defined by the column and beam positioned. The second more serious problem, is that the internal structure of the columns and beams is a complete un-known. What size re-bar has been used? How deep are the footings? What strength concrete mix has been used? It is for this reason, that I personally would never undertake such a project and why all of this existing structure had to be removed. In actual fact, I would say that it quickly became clear that this was the right decision. The footings were clearly too shallow and too small and the re-bar used was totally unacceptable. Re-bar is the steel that puts the ‘re-enforced’ into ‘re-enforced concrete’. The steel re-bar used to make the cages that provide reinforcement to the columns and beams should look like that in the second picture below – a round steel bar with an almost screw like, or gnarled appearance. These gnarls provide grip to the steel bars within the concrete, binding the steel and concrete together firmly. The contractors we used to demolish the old structure were also extracting all of the metal re-bar from the concrete for recycling. This gave us a good opportunity to inspect the re-bar used. We found that ALL of the rebar used was not what we expected, but rather a completely smooth round section, as shown in the third photo. Using this type of steel significantly reduces the integrity of the structure and has only been used here in an attempt to cut corners and save money by the original builder. In addition to this, the diameter of the steel bar was also smaller than one would expect. With the evidence from the re-bar and footings, I would also not be surprised to find that the concrete used was also of a cheaper, lower strength.

Construction of the new home is to begin in around a months time, though a firm date has not yet been set.

Temporary site access ramp

Project: Amoon on the Mekong

Posted By on August 15, 2011

We have built up a temporary access ramp up to the raised area of land on which the house will be built. This is to provide access for the piling crane and other heavy machinery.

Another completed house concept

Project: Nong Wua So - 3 Bedroom Home

Posted By on August 15, 2011

We have recently completed the initial concept design for a three bedroom two storey home which is to be built in Nong Wua So, near Udon Thani. Our client came to us with an initial design of a home which they liked, but wanted the floor plans and exterior styling developed further into something that more suited their style and requirements. We have worked with them to produce the final design concept that you see below. We are now busy with the structural engineering and planning phase and hope to have a complete set of plans and documentation ready by the end of August. Construction is due to begin in early September.

Site preparation for an exciting new project

Project: Amoon on the Mekong

Posted By on August 8, 2011

After a long period of design, development and refinement, we are now set to begin construction of this spectacular luxury home and guesthouse in Sangkhom.  Over the past week we have been preparing the site by clearing the land, building a temporary camp and materials store, and also ensuring good road access to the site.   The main building structure is to be situated on top of the 3 meter high raised section of land you can see in the pictures below.  The actual structure will sit on top of a large number of piles, driven 15m into the ground below.  You can see in the pictures below that we have marked the position of all of the piles.  Piling is scheduled to begin on 16th August but in the mean time we have to prepare a temporary earthwork ramp up to the raised area of land to give access to the large piling crane that will be used.   It will take approximately 2 weeks to add in all of the piles, though piling work will stop for 19th August when the official Buddhist ceremony will be held at which time the first two columns of the house will be erected.

Roofing and rendering

Project: Thip Thani - 4 Bedroom Home

Posted By on August 8, 2011

According to our initial building schedule, this project would have been nearing completion by now.  However, due to circumstances outside the control of either us or our client, work on the 4 bedroom home in Thip Thani had all but stopped for over 2 months.  With our client’s situation now resolved, work has begun again and we working hard to get the project back on track.  Tiling of the roof is nearly finished as is the external rendering.  By the end of the week, internal rendering should also be complete and we will begin adding the exterior architectural detailing to the home.

Hotel Reception Interior Design

Project: LiveInn Nong Khai

Posted By on July 26, 2011

We have completed the interior design concept for the hotel reception and are still working on the coffee shop, main restaurant and the standard rooms and suites.