Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Rammed earth walls and all that

I should have done this months ago! But now I can easily keep everyone who is interested up to date with the progress of build Casa Enbiar. However I will just post a few pictures tonight as it is already late and the plumbers are arriving in the morning and I have to finish painting the back wall of the garage module before they get here.

But briefly - Today Damien and I completed painting the workshop, machine shop, studio walls that aren't going to be "Orangeade" (Maryanne will do them) and have one final coat to go on the garage walls. But I didn't take photos of that (see tomorrow's installment).

Andy, of Unique Earth, and his crew built the TV wall and a couple of overfills today and I photographed that, plus more spectacular views of the rammed earth work we have completed so far.

The day started when I woke at about 3 am and realised what it was that had been nagging at me for weeks - there are no construction joints in the rammed earth walls where they cross the construction joints in the concrete slab. At a reasonable hour Andy agreed this was a concern so I consulted Graham Richmond, the Designer, and Matt Horsham, the Structural Engineer. We came up with a solution.

Then I picked up a diamond coring tool from the very generous and helpful Leigh Pace, a bloke who had an engineering business in Hobart but gave up employing people who don't want to work and kept his astounding array of tools. I was lucky to meet him early in the piece when I needed water to fill our tank since we didn't have a roof to collect it off. He said if I ever needed anything to give him a call because he would probably have it. I have since discovered he wasn't kidding! Anyhow, I had forgotten to install a conduit in the rammed earth wall for the electricity supply and needed to drill a 50 mm hole through 450 mm of rammed earth. No-one in the tool hire business could help, but then I remembered Leigh. Of course he had just what I needed, no mention of a fee. Just like with the generator, bolt cutters, concrete vibrator… And always a happy smile and a laugh. Anyhow, I drilled the hole for the power supply then got on with the day. In the mean time Andy and his crew were hard at work stripping yesterday's walls, forming up for today's and assembling conduit for power points and light switches.

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