Pouring the Footings and Floor 
Today was a BIG day. Matt and the crew from Dakota Construction poured the footings and floor for Trinity Dome. Here's a rundown of the process:


The day started out with the arrival of a concrete boom pump truck from Hartington Nebraska. Since the house is so long, and the lot so narrow, this was the best route to get the concrete into the forms from the Ready-Mix trucks. The pump truck was pretty impressive. For interested broadband users, click here to see a video of it in action.


The concrete was placed starting at the rear dome, and moving forward. Here the guys can be seen working the concrete into the footing and starting to manually screed it. Meanwhile, some final pieces of needed rebar were cut (video here) and positioned.


The pumping (video here) then continued on the forward two domes. At this point, you might notice the concrete is a little different than normal. That's because the homeowners chose to use an integral stain in the mix. When dry, it will be a warm Southwestern Buff color. And once it's embellished and sealed, it will become the final flooring of the home.


Next, a keyway was cut around the perimeter, which will allow the dome shell to form a mechanical bond with the footing. Once the keyway was in place, the crew was able to insert the rebar uprights. These will be embedded in the dome shell when it's sprayed.


Finally, the entire surface was power trowled (video here) to get a nice smooth surface. Watching Matt and his crew, it's obvious they care about the quality of their work. Everything looks like it's been done with care.


Amazingly, the forms were able to be stripped by the end of the day and the foundation is revealed. The rich color of the floor looks nice already, but it will likely evolve some as the concrete cures. Now, on to the airform and beyond!

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Flowable Fill and Rebar Placement 
Sour weather over the last week hampered some of our progress, but things have picked back up. The guys from Dakota Construction finished aligning the forms and brought in several truckloads of flowable fill.


The fill is basically sand, water, and fly ash combined in a ready-mix truck so it can literally be poured into place -- instead of brought in by dump truck. Since the house is long and the lot so narrow, this was an important detail.


Here's the truck from Midwest Ready-Mix preparing to drop off the last load.


The fill is being concentrated in the middle of the forms to support the thinner portions of the slab. Once dried out a little, it can be easily shaped to get our desired footing size.


Finally, after leveling out the fill and digging the footing sections back out, the rebar is put into place for the ring beam and floor slab. Here it is nearly ready to pour the concrete. An interesting side note to this photo is that you can see Will in the background, having one of the famous "what is it?" conversations.


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Setting Forms and Laying Tubes 
Once all the foam board was laid out, the crew from Dakota Construction set the forms for the foundation. They did a nice job of getting everything properly aligned, so it should match up well to the airform.


Here you see the view of the forms from the street. We’ve already had out share of passers-by asking, "What is that?" Fifteen minutes later, they’re up to speed on the world of Monolithic Domes and back on their way.


After the forms were set, Paul’s Plumbing came back to lay the tubing for the radiant floor heating system. This will be a wonderful luxury during the cold Dakota winters.


Here’s the view from the back. Close observers will note the extra heating zone extending into the driveway. This is being put into place on both ends of the house for use in melting snow in the winter. No snow shoveling here!



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Laying Foam Board 
Paul's Plumbing began laying the two inch foam board to insulate under the foundation and the radiant floor heating. We had to stop calling it 'Blue Board" for obvious reasons once it arrived.


The area being insutaled extends a least 4 foot past the structure on all sides. This is to ensure we have enought thermal break for the Frost Protected Shallow Foundation .

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Under Slab Plumbing 
Paul's Plumbing completed the rough-in for all the sewer and water lines that will be under the slab this week.




They'll be replacing and packing the gravel fill, then laying down the foam board in the next couple of days. Then it's on to forming the foundation.


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