Drill Baby Drill

March 8, 2011. By lowdesign. 0 comment(s).

The first big machinery arrived today, provided by MG Drilling. The foundation is pier and beam with steel beams; therefore, we have a number of deep 18" diameter piers which required mechanical drilling. Apparently, the lot in this neighborhood used to be part of a river basin so the soil (composed of sandy clay) was easy to cut through and the drilling went fast.

We brought in an arborist, Keith Babberney of Arborworks Tree Care to air spade (a hose hooked up to a compressor digs through the dirt by blowing pressurized air) the first 4 ft of depth for two piers located in the critical root zone of the pecan tree.

In the end we were left with 16 of these holes.

Later in the day a crew arrived to put together the rebar cages which will be inside each of the concrete piers. These guys were really fast getting everything in place.

Batter Boards

March 7, 2011. By lowdesign. 0 comment(s).

this morning a crew of three from Mario's Concrete laid out pier locations for the foundation - drilling starts tomorrow. it was interesting to finally see the ground floor plan laid out in space against the topography of the site.

tree care plan

March 4, 2011. By lowdesign. 0 comment(s).

we finished our preliminary site preparation today - protecting a historical pecan tree located at the edge of the neighboring lot. according to the city of austin arborist's requirements, we placed 1" of organic compost and 6" of mulch over the critical root zone of the tree.

now, on to the pier and beam foundation

Site Prep

March 3, 2011. By lowdesign. 0 comment(s).

we're back online with construction. today we began clearing uncontrolled bamboo growth on the east side of the lot. the site is actually filled with bamboo. we used a bobcat to help with the task but made sure to use our hands and shovels in the critical root zone of a neighboring pecan tree. we never saw any of the pecan's roots so everything worked out well. Adolpho, who operates the Austin based landscaping service American Trees, is helping us out with the site prep (we're also using them to haul off construction waste that we cannot recycle). They've been great to work with thus far and have gotten things done quickly and on time.

there was A LOT of bamboo and there is still a lot more under the rest of the site. these are just the roots within a 5' strip on the east side of the lot.

Garden Street Residence Construction Begins! (Almost)

January 31, 2011. By lowdesign. 0 comment(s).

Construction for Garden Street Residence should start within the month. Site prep has already begun.


The existing site used to be a garden/playspace associated with the house next door.

Over a 2 day period (Jan 27 - Jan 28), 4 workers demo-ed the existing asphalt drive, picked up all construction and natural debris, and deconstructed existing site elements.

On January 29 a crew hauled off the construction waste we could not salvage. The site is ready for construction to begin on March 2 (when the financing finally closes).

We were able to salvage a great amount of brick, tile, concrete and wood which we will use to develop the landscape design.

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