Ground beams and floor slab

Construction work: Ground beams & floor slabOnce the site preparations and footings have been prepared, the ground beams & floor slab, that form the property's foundations, are constructed

Note that unlike the properties shown in the luxury properties section, which are constructed on a concrete float,  this custom property is built with recognisable foundations constructed from the honeycomb of reinforced concrete ground beams you can see in the photos below.

Although this adds to the overall construction cost, it provides properties with a much more solid foundation that will not be undermined by the winter rains and that are less susceptible to movement during earth tremors.

Custom property in Cyprus: ground beams & floor slab

Click on any of the pictures below to view a larger image.

Wooden formwork for the ground beams

Wooden formwork for the ground beams

In Cyprus, wood is used to construct the formwork and the reinforcing steel is now in place in readiness for the ground beams and slab to be poured. All the formwork is custom made on site - unlike the UK where it is mass-produced to a standard size.

Pumping the property's ground beams

Pumping the concrete ground beams

The concrete arrives on site in ready-mix lorries and is poured into a concrete pump. The concrete pump has a telescopic arm which allows it to be poured with precision into the wooden formwork.

Compacting the concrete ground beams

Concrete compaction

As the concrete is pumped into the formwork, it is compacted with a vibrator. This ensures that any voids that may occur during the pumping process are filled.

ground beams completed, shuttering removed

Completed ground beams

Once the concrete has been left to cure, the wooden formwork is removed revealing the completed ground beams. If the contractor has done his job properly, there should be no voids or rebar protruding from the property. Once the formwork has been removed, the concrete should appear flat and smooth, with no voids.

Damp proofing the concrete ground beams

Damp proofing

Many properties in Cyprus suffer from damp. To prevent it in my custom property, the ground beams are painted with a black bituminous paint. This prevents damp penetrating the foundations and rising up the walls of the house. Once it's been painted, the foundations are filled with crushed limestone (havara) and compacted to provide a solid base for the slab.

Pouring the concrete floor slab

Concrete slab

The floor slab has now been poured, compacted and levelled. The ground beams and floor slab form the foundations on which the rest of the property is constructed.