Thursday, July 29, 2010

Things are definitely moving on...

Well it's been a while between posts and that's mainly due to the fact that there's been so much going on both onsite and off.  We've moved house 3 times in the last 3 months so between that and working on the house, there hasn't been a lot of time to devote to postings.  Now that we have some shelter the straw walls are going up fast.

Joe has been busy cutting and shaping bales to fit them around posts and window openings.  The bales sit on a bottom plate filled with pea gravel.

We're not using rebar starters as they tend to cause condensation problems later on.  Instead we are using small dimension battens running from the floor to the roof on the outside of the bales.  These are cut into the face of the bales and tied together with wire forming a kind of ladder truss.  The strength of this simple design is surprisingly good and we have the added benefit of having something to attach paintings and shelves to later on. We are pinning the walls internally with wooden stakes but that's only to stop them toppling over before we get the external battens on.
The windows for the house are very simple carpentry windows made using panes I found on Trademe. These will be non-opening and will have fixed wooden louvres on the side for ventilation. I'll show you some close ups of these once they're in.  In the meantime here's a shot of the macrocarpa sills that Jamie Ticehurst (our local sawmill) cut for us.

Not only are the straw walls going up fast but the timber ones are too.  We are using 150mm framing for these with cavity battens to improve the weather proofing.

The weather is definitely starting to get cool. The rain has been fairly persistent but when it stops the frost is magnificent.

That's about all I can manage at the moment.  I'll try to keep you updated a bit more regularly and give you some more details about the various systems that are going in.  It's a real whirlwind onsite right now with all the different trades showing up and doing their things - lots of stuff to report to you on...

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