Moving Dirt / by BV Architecture

As we approach the 3 week mark, it's time for an update.  It may not look like much, but there's been some pretty dramatic changes to the landscape since we broke ground on September 10th.  It took less than a day to clear the site, haul away the debris and prep for grading.  From there, the next step was to remove approximately 3 ft of dirt, set it aside, mix it up, replace and compact to 90% compaction.  This process is also known as "over-excavation" and it is closely monitored by a geotechnical engineer to ensure it is done properly. 

 Grading - Day 2

Grading - Day 2

During the grading process, the fill material (dirt) is typically watered to keep dust down and facilitate compaction.  Due to the large quantity of water required for this operation, a garden hose usually can't quite get the job done... so we brought in a water truck.

Here is an image of the water truck, just before it was hauled off on it's next adventure.  We also had to import three large truckloads of dirt to get the pad heights at the required elevations.  As you can see in the image below, we also borrowed quite a bit of dirt from the portion of site that will eventually serve as the driveway.

 3 ft deep by 10 ft wide by 30 ft long reservoir created from the "borrowed" fill material.

3 ft deep by 10 ft wide by 30 ft long reservoir created from the "borrowed" fill material.

So here is what our site looked like the day before the fencing went up.

The fencing went up on Day 6 and the building corners were staked out by our surveyor that same day.

Then the foundation footings were chalked out.  Always amazing to see the lines drawn on a computer screen appear on the ground for the first time.  

A few days later, the chalk outlines have been replaced by trenches that will soon become the foundations for our three story mixed use building.

Day 13... the footing excavations are complete and the underground utilities are being brought into the site.  In the image below, our Class A contractor is preparing the clean-outs for the sewer line as it comes into our site.

So there you have it... 2 1/2 weeks of progress on the Atlas Lofts project.  In the coming days, I will continue providing progress reports but I will also attempt to chronicle a bit of my journey through the design, permitting, and bank financing process.