The Temporary Lumberyard Next Door

Thais use a lot of wood to construct buildings that contain no wood. Scaffolding, concrete forms and the supports which hold a floor in place until the concrete hardens are all made of wood. The supports arrive pre-cut to the necessary length. That’s helpful because the supports are spindly tree trunks, not finished lumber. First time I saw them in use I realized that they must get reused from site to site. Here is a shot of them in use.

The house under construction two lots down from my apartment has reached the stage where the wooden supports and forms are no longer needed, so they dumped them in the lot next door. Carefully dumped, in seperate piles for each type. Then a few workers began sorting some of the piles into two adjacent ones. In the second photo below, the piles labeled A and B were originally one pile.

The next morning I heard a truck being loaded and saw that the newly sorted piles were being loaded. That’s when I realized this wasn’t a staging area or a recycling station, it was a used lumberyard. Subsequent customers didn’t receive the same treatment. If they wanted the best parts of a pile, they had to cull the good from the bad on their own before loading. I wonder if this process means that the next time the vertical tree trunk supports are used to hold up the framework of a building floor where fresh concrete is being poured, that the supports are the worse ones left over from the last job. Which were the worst ones left over from the job before that, etc., etc.


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