As can be seen by the photos posted in the News section, the Dhamma Hall is now taking shape. As usual, the early work all took place below ground (e.g., foundation footings, electrical lines, septic and water lines, etc.) all monitored by repeated surveying. Although such work doesn’t interest everyone, for the residents even this proved to be rather captivating, as it was conducted by an impressive excavator, dump trucks, large concrete pumper, and teams of workers. Lots of commotion!
This first rows of insulated blocks for the foundation, have now been filled with concrete and buried below several feet of packed gravel. The insulated walls have continued to be raised and strengthened with concrete and rebar, and now stand nearly complete, with just a few more rows needed at each gable end.
Before these ends are completed, some of the timber framing along the walls will begin. However, before this is done attention will be focused on the floor. Like everything, this is a sequential process, entailing a heavy plastic vapour barrier set between 2 layers of insulation, onto which tubing for the radiant heating will be attached. The concrete can then be poured and levelled. Outside of the main building, the well and a septic tank have also been dug.
Notice that at present only the main part of the Hall is actually visible. However, the remaining foundations – for the entrance hall and utility block (containing washrooms, service room, etc.) – are in place and will soon begin to be framed. Work for the next two months or so will see the impressive timber framing completed, as well as the standard 2×6 framing erected for these attached portions of the Hall. When this phase is completed, it will finally establish the dimensions and general character of the entire building.
The current plan for Phase One is to have the Dhamma Hall closed in by December. This will see the roof up, roofing attached, and windows in, ensuring that the entire structure is protected from the elements.
Many crucial factors come into play with such a project, of course – availability of materials being just one. With this said, if possible, work may continue in the Hall over the winter.