Natural Home Show House 2009 | The Big Dig: Site Excavation for Slab and Rainwater Harvesting Tanks

By Karen Adams 

Natural Home Show House rainwater site
Karen Adams stands in the huge hole dug out on her building site, which will house rainwater harvesting tanks that will supply the family’s water needs. Water is a big issue in Texas; Texans have seen wells and aquifers dry up because of the extended drought. The Adams family hopes to have their system in place to capture what rainwater comes their way before they occupy their new house in June 2009. Photo Courtesy Karen Adams. 

The site work continues and it never ceases to amaze me how many people are involved doing their special task all on the same project, many of which are occurring at the same time. Over the last week we’ve had a Bobcat operator, a heavy duty rock excavator and a slab expert working to ready the site to begin the next phase of construction. The biggest (literally) difference on the site now is that we have a seriously large space dug out to accommodate our rainwater harvesting tanks. The cavity will house two 20,000-gallon tanks that are approximately 38 feet long and capsule-shaped. The actual hole is about 43 feet long and 25 feet wide and varies in depth. Good thing our tank manufacturer Xerxes is close—the comapny is in Seguin, Texas, (about 65 miles away) and makes the finest water tanks available on the market.

Also, the slab forming. It seems this type of slab prep work that incorporates lining up bags filled with limestone aggregate is rarely done outside of the state. Because the Hill Country basically sits on a limestone shelf, the material is plentiful and not too expensive, so it is used as the base layer before the slab is poured. The house footprint has been outlined, so it allows us to see the shape and positioning of the house on the property, which is a half-acre lot in Tapatio Springs in Boerne, Texas. The architect, Ben Adam, has done a fantastic job designing the house that will be nestled into the gently sloping hill, among the old oaks.

Read more about the Natural Home Show House in Karen Adams' blog archive.

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