Thursday, June 11, 2009

Into the Earth




Spring '09 Into the earth
Finally, after a year of pre-construction activities which included permits, grading, logging, milling, and some distraction to other projects, we started building Terra's House.   The architectural concept which you saw in an earlier post is three rammed earth modules supporting a SIP roof system.  The layout of these separate buildings allowed for a phased construction which would give us much easier site access.  
We marked out footings for the two north side modules, leaving the south side of the building pad for storage of wall building materials as well as equipment staging.  The footings themselves are five-feet across, designed to support the extra wide walls as cantilevered rather than pinned with a roof diaphragm.  The downside to a cantilevered wall design is the extra concrete that has to go into the footings.  The upside is that you can eliminate excessive bolting and nailing in the roof plus you get the soil from the footing to use in the formulation for the wall construction.  It took Luke Noble about four hours to dig the footings for the two modules in phase one and we accumulated nearly forty yards of soil.

The photos in this post show the lay out for the footings, the footings dug, and Terra taking a sample from the stockpile of beautiful red clay we'll use as our primary component in the walls.

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