Posts

,

Rootcellar progress: a roof!

skillbuilders celebrating the reciprocal roof

It was an exciting day today for the Natural Builders at O.U.R. Ecovillage: we laid the reciprocal roof frame on the root cellar.

I had participated in a roof structure like this once during the Natural Building Colloquium in the Czech Republic where Tony Wrench taught us how to do it. I took notes that day and was very grateful I did when we started planning for this one.

I solicited the help of the building team and found that everybody wanted to try it and a couple of guys had a bit of experience. Thankfully the root cellar is a small room, so rather low risk for trying something.

We had prepared the poles by peeling the bark off. The walls were ready and the placement of the poles marked.

The biggest question was where to place the Charlie and when we started laying poles on we found that it needed to move a little. Once the process was started it all happened very fast and without further problems. Have a look:

 

 

, , ,

Cobbing a root cellar

root cellar gargoyles


Cob week for the Natural Building Skillbuilders and we’ve been building a Root cellar for O.U.R.Ecovillage.
Cob is still my favorite way of building: I simply feel happy as soon as my hands get into it.
This time around we have high production energy on the site. The goal was to get these walls up by the end of Friday and it was done by lunchtime.
The cob was made up by a bobcat and the group is packing it onto the walls in tall lifts- following a technique that Gord Baird from eco-sense shared with us. This technique allowed us to finish the walls of the first room in 4 days- and that included our learning curve!
Now new terms like “Baird Cob” and “power lifts” are floating and once again we see how there’s always more to learn and try out.
We’re playing with some sculptural detail as well: gargoyles surround vent pipes, buttresses and more.

rammed earth tires


Located on a North Slope, we started with a rammed tire foundation and retaining wall against the slope. This building will be earth sheltered on the South Side, is shaded from the east and west and we’ll give it good overhangs on the exposed sides.
Once the walls are finished we plan to lay a reciprocal roof structure and build up a living roof for more protection from sun exposure.
Doors are big enough to bring a wheelbarrow in: we imagine sacks of potatoes, crates of Apples and plenty of other delicious produce from the garden to be kept here in the winter.