Ground force: Substructure

Simplifying setting out

Despite the temperature hotting up, progression on site has continued. As each villa has the same blueprint we developed a technique for setting out using a template. We had it made by a local steel fabricator in Tissa. It makes the process much quicker. Resulting in a time and money saving.


Each standard villa has 16 footings. These are precast reinforced concrete, weighing around 150kg each. Dug 2/3 into the ground, its hard work, but the boys be getting shredded. Rewarding them with a game of cricket every once in a while keeps the moral up. Everyone one of the guys would of made our school first team. We play on a rough bit of ground outside the office. They flick everything off their legs with ease. Even when 90% of them throw it

To minimise site damage, we’ve been doing the excavations by hand. Steel angles, shovels and dust masks are all we need. There is a layer of laterite rock that runs throughout the site. We’ve compacted it and used it as a bed for the footings. Where we have excess gravel, I’ve saved it for use in the site drainage later.

Bringing the outside in.

In places we’ve found pieces of quartz. A beautiful peach coloured crystal differing in size. The interior designer, Bo Reudler, has incorporated these into the chandeliers that will hang in each villa. We’ve begun building up a collection.

Reusing the resources we have on site is something I feel is really important. Not only does it make economic sense, but reduces the number of vehicles and associated pollutants coming to site. Making for an environmentally sound construction phase.


To set the footings at the same height we use a simple method. A clear hose pipe filled with water. The water maintains the same level at either end of the pipe. Stretching it between two points you can see if it needs to moved up or down. Before, I’ve only ever used expensive laser or dumpy levels, that can easily be broken or stolen. This technique is totally fool proof and as accurate as your own eye.




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