It was time to cement in the poles that would hold our solar panels. Arron is busy scrapping off the rust on the poles.
Allen has been busy digging trenches. These are for pouring the foundations of the walls. With the use of forms this will give us a level surface to build our wall on. Allen and Arron first started using a pick axe for this task. Found out really quick that using a pick axe through rock is not an easy task. So we bought another tool, a demolition hammer, to make the task a little easier. Goes much faster than a pick axe.
We have also started the construction of the bond beam. Allen and Arron first put in the metal rebar stakes then tied the rebar going across. This will give strength to the cement when it is poured.
Then the metal lath is cut that will be nailed on both sides of the rebar. This will help the cement mud stick to the tires.
Then the placing of the cement mud and compacted water bottles that goes on top of the metal lath. The reason why we call the cement used to put down the bottles "mud" is because there is no aggregate. It is mostly sand and is very stiff. Almost like working with mud pies except it is concrete.
Allen levels the bottles as best as he can when they are placed. Since the tires do not offer a flat surface we level the bottles using extra cement mud when needed to create a level surface for the bottles. When the bottles are level then this will make the final layer level. Making it easier to level the top of the bond beam.
The first row is complete.
The cement mud gets extremely hard when dry. With the compacted water bottles being 20 times stronger than a brick this combination of bottles and cement will make for a very strong bond beam.
Mary Severin writes about her families embarkment on a learning adventure to build an Upcycled Home using Earthship Principals. To find out what these Principals are click on the Earthship Principals link above.