New build family home for Mr. Y in Yokosuka
– Building a post and beam house using traditional Japanese construction methods –
Part 3: Foundation work
So, with the purification rituals out of the way and the Gods given their dues, it is now time to get on with the business of laying the foundations.
Even though the house will be built with traditional Japanese carpentry techniques, the foundation itself is generally made from re-enforced concrete. Traditionally, Japanese building foundations were large natural stones on which the structural pillars stood. This technique is called Ishibadate （石場建て）and sometimes we still use it today, but that is a blog entry for another time.
As I’m sure you know, the foundation is basically the concrete base on which the wooden structure sits. We build the foundation and drop the house on top, so to speak.
But first things first. We need to determine a level and this process is called the Mizumori-yarikata （水盛りやり方）.
We do this by placing upright wooden stakes called Mizukui （水杭）around the perimeter of the building site and then we attach a wooden board called a Mizunuki （水貫）on one of the stakes. Using a laser-level we mark out the level on the Mizukui and Mizunuki. The level written on the Mizunuki is very important as this will be the reference point for all future surveying activities.
With the levels marked out, the concreters now have line to work from and can commence the site excavation in preparation for laying the concrete foundation.
Meanwhile, the carpenters go back to the workshop and get on with marking out the timber and cutting the joints…
Part 3: 基礎工事