The South Building Second Floor Slab
Part 3 - Rebar, Electrical and Plumbing Rough-in 

The forms and the rebar frames are done, and the Styrofoam blocks are in place.

The Styrofoam blocks reduce the weight of the slab without harming its strength or acoustical properties.  They are held in place by the concrete and rebar ribs on each side which provide the strength for the slab.  There will be 2" (5 cm) of concrete on top of the blocks and ribs.  Then there will be an additional inch or so of fine concrete to level and smooth the slab in preparation for the ceramic tile.

At first I was very skeptical of this composite slab, but I was won over after inspecting several houses with this type of construction.  I also talked to a couple of architects who said most new construction in the area uses this technique.  The cost of this scheme is the same as the traditional solid concrete slab.  It helps to provide long-term stability for the building by reducing the slab weight.

The electrical conduit is another thing that is completely different from anything I have seen in the USA.  It's not metal; it's a plastic hose.  Since there is no fire hazard in an all masonry construction, metal conduit is not needed.  This flexible plastic hose is much cheaper and easier to work with than metal conduit.  Wires are installed as the conduits are run to insure that the concrete does not squish the soft conduit.

Enrique and Rúbin are running conduit for the wall outlets in the living room.  There will also be a conduit for telephone and TV at the corner where Enrique is kneeling.

The conduits will rise up in groves in  the brick walls to the receptacle or switch boxes which will be imbedded in the walls.  Here the conduits are temporarily tired to pieces of rebar to keep them out of the concrete when it is poured.

The conduit from this ceiling box and the others run inside the rebar frames to a point above the future switches where the conduits turn down to connect to the switches.



This rats nest is where the conduits turn down to the breaker box in the utility room below.  The TV and telephone conduits also go down here to their junction boxes.

The preparation work is complete, ready for the concrete as soon as the rebar frames for the second story columns are set in place.

This box will be imbedded in the concrete to hold  ceiling fans/lights for the room below.  

These three conduits are going down to the switches for the three living room fans/lights.

The material costs shown here do not reflect the true costs for this phase because we have bought several things (electrical, plumbing, etc) for the entire project.

Cost to date of the south building
2nd floor slab, stairs and rough-ins
(US$   at 9 pesos per dollar)

The cost of the form lumber has not been included because it has considerable re-sale value.  Its net cost will be included later.


  $ 2,275



S 2nd floor slab on 7/13


Previous Phases:

   South 1st Floor Shell


   North 1st Floor Shell


   Property Walls


   Property Purchase



$ 51,449


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