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The first actual construction work has happened; Copper Bottom has its foundations.

We were a little concerned on Monday when the heavens opened.  We were worried about our newly, and very neatly, dug trenches collapsing in under the deluge of water. Luckily the soil on the plot drains freely and the trenches held firm. So GC Interiors were able to pour our foundations yesterday. It was a pleasure to watch the long arm of the pump disgorging its load and the crew kneading and raking it like icing – and then to watch it all again on the video!

There’s a very long blog to write about concrete; its astonishing versatility and structural capability versus its carbon footprint. For the moment, one thing that is true, is that sometimes it remains the right stuff for the job. Our site has strong and stable ground conditions so piling makes no sense, and as yet the alternatives to concrete strip footings don’t exist or are not sufficiently tried and tested to placate insurers.

So concrete foundations it is, but the strips are only 600mmx600mm (2ftx2ft in old money) so they are about as minimal as it is possible to get past the engineer and the building inspector. One day, not too far away, concrete will be made using alternatives to carbon-hungry cement and get green; until then we will use as little as possible and only when necessary. And we will compensate for it by using timber for the structure of the house. More on that later….

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