Glossary 1

General Construction

Cast – As in ‘We cast the concrete’. The process of pouring and distributing the wet concrete into its final place.

Chair -A small, concrete disc with wires set inside. Used to keep the steel rebar within the concrete being poured, so that no metal is exposed to air or water.

Rebar – Metal rods and frames, worked into cages and meshes. Used to strengthen concrete. (As in Re-enforced concrete).

RC – Re-enforced Concrete or, concrete with a steel rod or mesh inside it for added strength.

AAC block – Autoclaved Aerated Concrete block. Lightweight, foamed concrete block, lighter than traditional concrete block and consisting of sand, lime, cement, water gypsum and aluminium powder. Once formed, the block is ‘cured’ under heat and pressure in an autoclave.

Span – The distance between two sides of a room, measured between the RC beams, plus 1 beam width.

Plank – A re-enforced concrete slab, used to form floors on the RC frame of the house. The plank is of known thickness and reinforcement, based on load bearing and span.

Footing – The first part of the house – the piles, spot piles, plinth beam. Basically, the foundations of the house, from which the house itself will be built on. In the West, footings could be a trench filled with concrete, then a brick base course and Damp proof course membrane on which the slab is cast and the house is built up from.

Makro – No, not the discount store (though that is available in Thailand) but rather any mini-digger.

Soakaway – The part of the water system, both black and grey water, at the end. The final effluent pours into this and is distributed into the surrounding soils and neutralised via microbe action. The water literally ‘soaks away’ into the soil.

Shuttering – The solid temporary wall around columns, beams or slabs they set the size of those slabs and columns. The shuttering is fixed into place and then the poured concrete is bounded and cannot spread out or run away. Once the concrete has gone off, the shutters will be removed and reused elsewhere.

‘Gone off’ – Refers to the chemical process of the hardening of concrete, the pour is said to have gone off when it has hardened into a solid structure, before it achieves its final hardness.

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