Reconstructing our foundation

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Even in today’s tough times, I still believe in people’s ability to change and develop. I believe that anyone can become great in time if he or she has a true desire to improve, and I believe that only with the help and enthusiasm of these great people we can one day reconstruct our world.

If we look closely there are many similarities between building a house and building a personality.

For instance when driving in the countryside if we take a look at the houses, we will see that, a lot of times, when reconstructing something we tend to start from the outside. The first thing we change is the envelope: we put a new layer of insulation, we paint the walls, we put new windows and although these are all good changes, without a good foundation the first cracks appear in no-time revealing the old building.

We do the same with ourselves, we start by changing our clothes, our cars or our jewelry but we rarely think of changing our thoughts or our values.  You might say that any improvement is better than no improvement, which could be true, the only problem with improving only on the outside is that it doesn’t last.

So next time you start renovating your home, check first if you have a strong foundation. The most obvious signs that the answer is no are cracks in the plaster, walls, and at corners of the doors or windows. Curling and tearing of new repairs or doors and windows that don’t close properly can also be a sign of a weak foundation.

Traditional methods of improving a building foundation include over-excavation or additional concrete but a good solution is also the use of mechanically stabilized earth or MSE, composed of cohesionless soil and Geosynthetics, components that interlock in order to create a stiff platform over weak, compressible soils creating a structure that distributes loads widely and uniformly over underlying soils. This solution can be used also for stabilizing unstable slopes instead of concrete walls. The main advantages of MSE walls is their ease of installation and quick construction. Of Course the best solution depends on the specific soil conditions that is way it is very important to get an expert opinion before doing any repairs.

In building a personality we can look at our values as our foundation. Without strong values it is hard to build a good personality, however we should never stop evaluating if our values are helping or hurting us. They define the way we think and that defines the way we speak and the way we look. How can we pass something to the next generation if our foundations are weak? If our values change every time someone offers us a 10% raise, if we only want the easy fix to our problems, if working hard for something scares us, if we don’t care about the environment and the people around us, how can we hope that our children will behave in a different way? It is in our power to change not only our future but also the future of others.

The same goes for buildings, if we want to pass something sustainable to our children then we need to start building better houses, that are friendly to nature, consume less energy and have a strong foundation. This will ensure they will withstand the test of time, the same as great personalities do, long after they have passed away.

So next time you want to build something ask yourself this question: Do I want to make something for a moment or for a lifetime? The decision is only yours!

With best regards,
F.M.B.
reconstructromania@gmail.com

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