Buddha Hall Video Updates
We are so excited about the construction happening on the Buddha Hall! Pictures don’t always do it justice. We feel the ground shaking from the heavy equipment; hear the drills, saws, and hammers; and see the flood lamps on late at night.
We hope that you come and witness the process yourself. But if you can’t, these short, unedited video clips give you a taste of what it is like at the site.
Onwards and Upwards: May 18-26, 2023
Work continues on all sides of the Buddha Hall. We are excited that the first of the roof trusses have arrived, indicating that the roof will soon be raised!
The excavators are layering structural fill, adding lots of water, and then compacting the surface with the machine that is steered by a very strong person. The process is monitored closely to ensure that the compaction meets industry standards.
At the Bottom of the Buddha Hall
The team from IVR Excavation are now on site working on the foundation drain that wraps around the Buddha Hall. Skill and courage are needed to run these machines on these steep slopes.
Roof Trusses Arrive
The first of many roof trusses for the Buddha Hall arrived. They are big – only making it past a few trees by about a half an inch! Fortunately, they also made it past Prajna Cottage without hitting with the deck or Venerable Thubten Chodron!
Pouring the Upper Floor Slab: May 11, 2023
Even though the weather was no obstacle, we still marveled at the skill and technology involved in pouring the concrete slab for the upper floor of the Buddha Hall.
Concrete Flows Smoothly
The fair and sunny weather resulted in a smooth concrete pour of the upper floor on May 11th!
Take a look at the effort and skill needed to trowel around the many metal fixtures and other boxes that allow for air flow and electrical connections between the floors. The team handled all these obstacles with ease!
Jason (of Young Construction) explains how the concrete machine creates an even surface using laser signals from a device mounted on the wall.
Full Steam Ahead: May 9 – May 10, 2023
Now that temperatures have risen and the sun is out, Buddha Hall construction is accelerating! More and more contractors are on site, working on various aspects of the building simultaneously.
Laying Flooring for the Desk
The framers have returned and they are currently working on laying the plywood for the deck.
Repairing Waterproof Insulation
Rain, snow, freezing rain, and more snow took its toll on the waterproofing fabric around the foundation. The repair process is now possible with warmer temperatures and the absence of rain today.
Excavating for the Foundation Drain
Perched on a very steep slope, the excavators clean out the area beside the Buddha Hall for the foundation drain.
Finishing the Faswall: Apr 12 – Apr 19, 2023
Our crew tackles the final section of wall and completes the final concrete pour. We are excited to move into the next phases of the construction project!
In order to place the final row of Faswall in one section, the crew needed to measure the blocks carefully and cut them to size with a sawzall.
Ven. Tarpa at the Site
Ven. Tarpa checks in with the workers as the wall nears completion.
Final Wall Pour
April 19 – the final wall pour arrives! The concrete hose needs two strong bodies to ensure that the concrete goes where it should go.
Upper floor work: Apr 6 – Apr 10, 2023
The walls of the upper floor continue to slowly rise. The crew stacks Faswall blocks almost every day, with some days beginning with a 5 am concrete pour. With windows and doors in place, it is easier to visualize the beautiful space that we will soon practice in.
Pumping Concrete By Hand
Pouring concrete into the Faswall walls continues to be challenging with the road restrictions in place. The big concrete pump truck with the “arm” that can reach long distances is too heavy for the roads. The solution is to run a big hose across the upper floor that is then held by two men. Such heavy demanding work!
Window Above the Main Entrance
A space is made for the rectangular window that is positioned above the main entrance of the Buddha Hall on the east side.
Approaching the Main Entrance
A slow walking tour of the exterior of the Buddha Hall from the northeast corner to the east side ending up in front of the main entrance.
Joyous Effort: Mar 6 – Mar 9, 2023
The construction workers are doing much of the hard work: stacking Faswall, pouring concrete, driving forklifts, and many activities we don’t even know the name of. But the community comes together here to help support the construction of the Buddha Hall in any way we can, such as sanding an icy road.
Shoveling the Sand Pile
To prepare for the scheduled pour of concrete into the next section of Faswall blocks on the upper floor of the Buddha Hall we had to loosen up the sand. It gets wet and then freezes. That makes it hard for the sand to flow through the sand spreader attached to the tractor. So, with joyful minds, we got out the yogurt containers and shovels and sanded the road by hand.
Sanding the Road by Hand
The system works well and we enjoyed seeing our efforts bringing results and ensuring that the concrete trucks can get access to the site. The pour was called off the next morning because the concrete pump and the inspector’s vehicle slid off the road!
Where the Windows Will Be
The addition of the temporary wood inserts to mark windows and doors is exciting to see!
Stacking Faswall: Feb 27 – Mar 1, 2023
The focus remains on constructing the walls of the upper floor from Faswall blocks. We know the Buddha Hall will serve sentient beings for a very long time, due to the meticulous work of the crew.
The last two weeks of February brought cold weather warnings for wind chill, wind gusts and poor driving conditions. The Faswall stacking continued on the upper floor on the days when it was reasonable to be outside.
Along with cold temperatures, it would warm up enough so that generous amounts of snow fell from the sky. Without a roof, that snow needed to be removed; but look at the view!
The view from outside the work site is great, but the roof top views are stunning if you are not cutting Faswall blocks.
Pouring Concrete in the Dark: Feb 19, 2023
Weather conditions continue to dictate the when and how of the steps in construction. This time, state-mandated road restrictions required the crews to pour concrete into the Faswall blocks in the very early morning, and in a very short time. They mastered the job beautifully!
Laying the Sand to Prepare for the Pour
Monday afternoon, residents were out sanding the road to ensure that concrete trucks could make it up to the hill to pour the next section of the Faswall walls. The sand had so much moisture that Ven Losang had to constantly prod and bounce the tractor to make the sand move out through the bottom of the spreader.
Backing a Concrete Truck Up the Hill
Road restrictions are currently place in Washington State. That means all heavy equipment has to be off the roads by 9 a.m. Pacific Time, so there’s no time to waste when we’re pouring concrete. The concrete pump truck arrived around 5:15 am, and the concrete mixer arrived close to 6:00. Given the challenging location, all the drivers have to back up to the site. In the dark!
Get that Concrete Into the Block
With no time to waste, everyone was focused on making sure that the concrete was getting to where it needed to go, that is, into the Faswall blocks. Learn more about the Faswall building system here.
One-pointed Despite the View
The views from the vantage point of the construction workers are strikingly beautiful. On Monday, the waning crescent moon was in view, but that was of no interest to the crew, who focused one-pointedly on the wall pour. Another job well done!
Faswall One Block at a Time: Feb 12, 2023
Right now, it’s all about Faswall. The Young Construction team is working on stacking Faswall blocks on the upper floor of the Buddha Hall. Learn about the Faswall building system here.
Hoisting the Blocks
The only way to get the blocks up to the second floor is to have the forklift hoist up a number at a time. Crews then unload the blocks one by one before cutting and stacking them into place.
Don’t Let them Fill Up with Snow!
At the end of each day, the blocks that have been set need to be covered with plastic sheeting to protect the interior of the block from filling with rain and snow.
Lift, Level, then Screw into Place
Each Faswall block needs to be lifted over the rebar, levelled, and then screwed into place. Windows will be positioned in the open spaces you see within the block wall.
Learn from books by Ven. Thubten Chodron.
692 Country Lane
Newport WA 99156 USA
Also see ThubtenChodron.org