Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Documenting Strawbale Addition - 5

There has been loads of progress on the strawbale addition since the last documentation post. Above is a series of photos to show the developments. To summarize - we laid the radiant floor heating pipes and covered them with crushed limestone, on which we will lay our earthen floor. Then Greg picked up the strawbales, purchased from a local farm - a very exciting day to have them arrive in the huge moving truck! Of course, baby Maya is around most days to help supervise the activities...

By now, all the strawbales have been placed, and the walls are now filled in. As we are doing wood framing (as required by our city building department in order to get our permit), we need to notch every single bale to fit them tightly around the stud walls. This is immensely labour intensive, compared to load bearing walls or even modified post and beam, which most strawbale homes are built as. Thus, the photo of me using a small chainsaw to notch the bales! We also had to retie bales to be able to fit them into the smaller spaces, or triangular segments of the wall near the roofline. We are currently stitching on the mesh (chicken wire) with baling twine to hold the bales tightly in place and for the plaster to stick on. The walls will have an appealing organic undulating shape and curved corners, as it's impossible to have bales so tight that they form straight walls. This is the beauty and warmth of the strawbale "look".

We hope to start plastering on the weekend, including simultaneously the interior and the exterior plasters. We hope the weather stays warm and dry for at least another month! These coats of plaster need time to dry slowly, and we need 3 coats (scratch coat, second coat, finish coat).

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