[click here to enlarge view]
Shooting concrete on the villa walls.

Mary Ann's Tropical Building Page

Report #8:
October 9, 1997



Since our Sept 25th, 1997report about building on a Caribbean island, we have

Hints: Click on any small picture below to see it larger and visit the Site Map for previous and future progress reports, house plans, bookstore and references.

Long-Lasting Hinges and Hardware

We had lots of good feedback to our request for a supplier of stainless hinges that could survive Anguilla:

Guest Villa Walls Sprayed with Concrete

For this building, we are using a method called 3D panels, developed by an Austrian company. We heard about this system from local architect and then it was independently suggested to us by architect Laszlo Kiss of Kiss+Zwigard Architects, who has used it successfully in the USA. The system consists of wire mesh panels with a foam core, which are assembled and then covered with concrete.

[ shooting the first concrete] [Closeup of shooting action]

The special concrete mixture (shotcrete) was applied to the panels with a concrete pump. The pump delivers the wet concrete to the panel via a large hose and air via a small hose. Air and concrete are mixed at the nozzle and the result is a build-up of concrete to any desired depth.

According to our project manager, this system was very efficient, but has some technical drawbacks. The pump reacted badly to pebbles in the unsifted sand. After sifting the sand, the operation was flawless, but a bit too late for the two hoses blocked with dried concrete. Fortunately, when this system fails, the concrete can still be applied by hand.

[Concrete sprayer-click to enlarge] [Spreading concrete by hand-click to enlarge]

Another lesson learned was not to apply the concrete on rainy days. A good tropical downpour that occurs before the conrete has set up will wash the concrete off the panels, leaving just a concrete puddle!

Interior Walls and Exterior Plastering

[Interior partitions-click to enlarge] [Walls covered-click for large view]

The interior partitions, walls, and closets of the Guest Villa are also formed of 3-D panels. All have received a coating of concrete, although we requested a thicker coating on the outside for additional strength and protection from the elements. Once the outside walls had concrete applied to sufficient depth, it was plastered.

[Abode look-click for large view]

The exterior walls have been plastered with concrete in an "adobe look". We wanted a soft look for the concrete walls, which 3-D panels do nicely because of the curved mesh connecting piece at each corner.

Outdoor Dining Patio

[tiled patio-click to enlarge]

As described in our August 22nd report, we constructed a rock and wood fence across the waterfront to keep out the goats. We chose a couple of spots for "outdoor rooms" and lowered the fence in those areas. The dining patio is in the middle of the property, over a beautiful cove and looking up the sand of Shoal Bay beach.

We dry-laid terra cotta tiles over a bed of sand, covered with "crusher waste", which is a by-product of making crushed rock. The crusher waste in Anguilla is similar in color to terra cotta. After it rained a few times, the crusher waste set up very hard and held the tiles firmly. Crusher-waste concept and execution by Daniel Stevens, our fence builder, who also helped plastering the walls.

Grass Path and "Hardscape"

[Moving rocks into a wall - click to enlarge] [garden hardscape-click to enlarge]

We're developing our "hardscape". Rocks around the palm beds and grass paths from the beach to the house. The grass will be soft to walk on and will clean your feet before you reach the house.

Preparing to Start the Next Building

We have completed the detailed plans for the Office Building. Because Bob insisted on a downstairs conference room of 24' by 28', it was necessary to lighten the upstairs by using a wooden roof and interior walls instead of concrete, and to have the supporting beam engineered. As of Oct 9th, this issue is unresolved.

[spetic tank-click to enlarge]

As part of the site prep for the next two buildings, the septic tanks have been built. The holes were dug earlier pounding rocks for palm trees. Preparing the site for the Technology Center has involved clearing the brush, pounding some rock to ensure proper height for the cistern and boat storage area, then figuring out the driveway and entry, with landscaping plan.

Site Map: Links, Plans and Other Info

Latest News from our Construction Site

Past and Future Progress Reports

Plans of the Main House

Plans of the Software Center

Plans of the Guest Villa

Tropical Construction Bookstore

Links to Related Sites

Building Material Sources

Beach Shack Contact:

Mary Ann Green
Box 931, Shoal Bay, Anguilla, West Indies
Fax: 264-497-3295
[Home] [Mail] URL: www.beachshack.ai
Email: maryann@beachshack.ai