Glossary 2

General Construction

Curing – The chemical process of the hardening of concrete. The evolution of wet concrete to green concrete to hard concrete is known as curing. Concrete does not go hard simply by ‘drying out’ and in fact it is a chemical process where the cement interacts with the sand and aggregate. Within reason, the longer a curing concrete is kept wet, the harder it becomes.

Green concrete – The name given to concrete that is solid but has not achieved its final hardness.

Black water – Water that passes out of the toilet system. Water entering the system is not black water (it will be the water supplied as mains water or harvested rainwater) but water leaving the toilet is always referred to as black water.

Grey water – The water that is the outflow from the sink, shower, bath, washing machine or dishwasher. Again, this name does not apply to the water entering the system, which is mains water or harvested rainwater.

Pile – The first and optional (depending upon your soil type, and the type of structure you are going to build) part of the houses foundations. Basically, it’s a long re-enforced concrete pole, either driven into the ground until it hits solid ground or the friction forces prevent it from moving, or a hole is drilled, a steel cage is lowered in and concrete is poured into the hole until it is full.

Chanote – The highest form of land ownership document and the one you should always try to obtain when purchasing land to build your home on. The Chanote (Nor Sor Si (4) Jor ) is registered in the Government land office, and the owner details are recorded on the document. The land is physically marked with corner Chanote markers, placed by the Land Office survey team, and tied to the national grid. (See the Types of Land section for more information)

Marking out – The process of taking the plans, showing the footprint of the house, and physically, accurately, marking that footprint on the actual building plot. The marking out process extends to service routes (water, electric), septic tank location, boundary wall gates, etc.

Striking – Nothing to do with disputes or unions! This I the process of removing the shutters from cast concrete to reveal the final shape, hopefully the one that was planned, with no voids or exposed rebar.

OrBorTor office – The equivalent of the Local Authority, or local government. For housebuilding, this office deals with checking of planning application documents and the checking of calculations, plus the issuing of the building permit.

Bill of quantities – Literally, a list of the different amounts of everything needed to complete the build, with the unit and total prices for each item.

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