Like Grazing Sheep / Columns Are Poured

On January 15th, we finished the last of the 20 concrete footings and shipping container support columns! We’ll let the concrete sit for at least 28 days while it develops the majority of its strength.

Eighty 94-pound bags of cement plus a lot of sand, gravel, rebar, and several weeks of labor went into the endeavor. But you would hardly know it because, like an iceberg, the majority of the project is hidden underground. Given the depth and mass, I feel really confident that this project has good seismic capabilities. And with the large footprints of the footings (like elephant feet), I don’t think we will experience much settling at all, especially with the thick layer of hard-pan clay that we discovered just below the one meter mark.

I am very happy with the outcome of the columns. I feel satisfied, like a farmer watching his crop grow up from the ground from seeds, or a rancher watching his cattle on the range. The columns look to me like a new-breed, genetically-engineered monolithic sheep grazing in the field. These sheep were no doubt bred this way to conveniently pack into shipping containers for transport to market. Here’s a photo of all the columns, all neatly back-filled.

Before we can place the containers, the columns need their steel-plate caps welded to the rebar that sticks up from the columns. That will start next week, along with laying down some black plastic sheeting under where the containers will be, and covering the plastic with a few inches of sand and gravel to reduce the number of weeds growing under our house. Soon, we are going to start making a concrete curbing that will follow the perimeter of the house. The curbing will keep the sand and gravel from escaping, and will also keep the grass and weeds from creeping under the house.

Now on to the septic system!

2 thoughts on “Like Grazing Sheep / Columns Are Poured

  1. How many containers are you getting?

    I thought you were going up two stories.

    What thickness plates, if they are thicker then three eights inch and the holes larger than five eights, if you can use the same design over and over have them punched if your steel supplier has a punch press or an iron worker. I drilled all the plates for my building by hand, I had a good supply of sharp drills on hand no problem but it took me days and days when it can be done in one with a lot less pain in the xxx, Bob

    • The current design calls for six 40-footers and one 20-footer.

      Yes, two stories — two containers up at the second floor.

      I’m going to use 1/4″ steel for the plates. The 3/4″ hole locations are all different, each and every one of the 80 holes! It still might make sense to number the plates, mark the holes, and take them to an iron worker. I’ll try one in my shop using the drill press and see how it goes. Great suggestion, thank you.

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