I have 3 carpenters, 1 electrician/plumber/carpenter, 1 welder/laborer and 4 laborers working on my house full time. To pour the concrete floor today we hired 8
laborers for one day.
The first floor is on a total of 20 piers of various heights, the shortest is about 4 feet and as you go down towards the ocean the piers get taller. The house is 7 meters by 12 meters (about 33 feet by 40 feet) and will have two stories. On the ocean side of the house will be what they call her a terrace but what I would call a patio or porch. It will be 26 feet long by 10 feet deep on the first floor and 27 feet by 10 feet on the second floor.
Both floors will be 4 inch thick concrete with tile (when I can afford the tile.) I do not like anything I build to fall apart so I used 1″ rebar going one direction and 5/8″ rebar the other direction. I used the 1″ because I have a 6′ cantilever that is not supported and I wanted to make sure I have enough strength in the floor.
I used steel decking like most commercial and industrial buildings are made of. I tried to get steel that is 1.2mm thick but it had to be special ordered from the island of Luzon and would take 30-45 days so I settled for the .8mm thick steel they have on hand in CDO.
When I used to work construction they would use bar joists close enough together that they did not need to use any additional support to pour the concrete on the steel deck. I used steel I-beams 10 feet apart so they used a forest of coconut lumber to brace the steel deck until the concrete cures.
The slab a total of 1291 square feet and 4 inches thick so they will pour about 15.6 cubic yards of concrete. ALL of the concrete is being mixed in a small diesel powered cement mixer.
Since the floor is roughly five feet above the surrounding ground they are using home made buckets to lift the concrete up then using a bucket brigade to shuttle the concrete to the lead carpenter who is dumping them. One of the other carpenters is doing all the troweling alone.
I had bought a bunch of plastic buckets for them to use on other projects but the lead man said to buy empty 2 1/2 gallon soy sauce jugs. They cut them in half and used some #8 wire that I had left over from a project in CDO to make the bail handles. They are far more durable than any plastic bucket and cost half as much.
To give you a little information about concrete. It weighs about 4050 pounds per cubic yard. I think that is dry weight and not wet weight but I am not sure. They use way too much water in the concrete they mix here so it is easier to level and finish but it weakens the concrete but it is impossible to get them to use less water so I gave up trying.
Anyway since they are using a bucket brigade each man has to handle every bucket. If my math (calculator) is correct that means each man will handle roughly 63,544 pounds today. I will repeat that sixty three THOUSAND, five hundred and forty four pounds.
Not every one is in the bucket brigade all the time. Two guys are running the mixer, two guys are shoveling the concrete into the buckets, two guys are filling empty cement sacks with sand and gravel that will be carried to the mixer and dumped in and one guy is doing the trowel work. As they get closer to the mixer they will not need as many in the line to they will be able to rotate out and rest but it would have killed me this morning to do as much work as each man did before lunch.