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Thursday, September 15, 2016

Strange, but true, this house could move from place to place

Strange, but true, this house could move

from place to place
Rameshwaram (Tamilnadu):  It is strange, but true. You can move this house with with three bedrooms in the ground floor and two on the first floor could be moved using iron rollers underneath the slab and it won’t fall, nothing will happen to you or the building, when you move it from one place to other.

Yes, this innovative house built by on M. Sahul Hameed (65), a class 5 dropout, was constructed using the ‘raft foundation technology’.  According to Sahul, rotating house also could be built using the similar technology.

Mr. Hameed of Melapudukkudi near Thirupullani worked in a construction company in Saudi Arabia for more than two decades when he learnt making of pre-fabricated structures and various foundation technologies for building houses.

After returning to home a few years ago, he wanted to build a house, using ‘solid footing’ (raft foundation) technology, but faced stiff resistance from the family, relatives and friends. Many said the house would come a cropper, but he went ahead with the Rs. 25-lakh project.

Now the 1,080 sq ft ground plus first floor house at Melapuduvakkudi stood testimony to his steadfastness. Six years ago, when he laid the 1000 and odd sq ft concrete slab with 90 cm thickness and raised pillars on it for the home’s main living, villagers pitied him for wasting the resources.

“But I proved them wrong,” says Mr. Hameed. His wife and five sons – three of them engineering graduates – raised objections, but could not stop him.

“We were sceptical of the stability of the structure, but my husband said it would be strong, and it is strong,” his wife Sarigathul Begam says. He then proposed to build another house nearby, using the same technology, with the full consent of his family.

The house with three bedrooms in the ground floor and two on the first floor could be moved using iron rollers underneath the slab, says Mr. Hameed. He, however, did not build the house with an intention to move it. “I wanted to do something new and built the moving house,” he adds.

The technology is suited for sandy stretches and he is willing to share his expertise with interested people. Mr. Hameed has also addressed civil engineering students of leading engineering colleges in the district on his innovative technology.

Engineers from Madurai, Devakottai, Rameswaram and other places visited his house and applauded his innovation, he says.

What is raft foundation?
A raft foundation consists of a raft of reinforced concrete under the whole of a building. This type of foundation is described as a raft in the sense that the concrete raft is cast on the surface of the ground which supports it, as water does a raft, and the foundation is not fixed by foundations carried down into the subsoil.

Raft foundations may be used for buildings on compressible ground such as very soft clay, alluvial deposits and compressible fill material where strip, pad or pile foundations would not provide a stable foundation without excessive excavation. The reinforced concrete raft is designed to transmit the whole load of the building from the raft to the ground where the small spread loads will cause little if any appreciable settlement.

The two types of raft foundation commonly used are the flat raft and the wide toe raft.

The flat slab raft is of uniform thickness under the whole of the building and reinforced to spread the loads from the walls uniformly over the under surface to the ground. This type of raft may be used under small buildings such as bungalows and two storey houses where the comparatively small loads on foundations can be spread safely and economically under the rafts.

The concrete raft is reinforced top and bottom against both upward and downward bending. Vegetable top soil is removed and a blinding layer of concrete 50 mm thick is spread and levelled to provide a base on which to cast the concrete raft. A waterproof membrane is laid, on the dry concrete blinding, against moisture rising into the raft. The top and bottom reinforcement is supported and spaced preparatory to placing the concrete which is spread, consolidated and finished level.

(Source courtesy: The Hindu, ANI)

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