Even though it seems like things have been moving quite slow. We have progressed quite a bit this past fall and winter.
November 2014 was a very busy month for us. We had gotten a lot done. We had poured the forms for the interior walls and then promptly after started leveling the ground for the greenhouse tires.
Our friend Joy came out to give a helping hand.
Joy was so grateful in getting her tire completed that for her victory pose she decided to hug her tire.
Allen and Arron had pounded 60 tires for the greenhouse wall. This brings us to a total of 575 tires used for the Earthship.
We had to wait until January 2015 to pour the papercrete needed to support the two corner tires.
It has been raining a lot this winter that it gets all of our dirt wet. Once we dry out really well we will have dirt to pound the last two tires for the greenhouse. The next step for the exterior greenhouse wall will be to dig out the dirt in the middle of the tires and pour with cement with a J bolt added. The J bolt will be used to fasten down the wooded plates to the tires for the framed in glass wall.
Bond Beam and Water Bottles
Going back to November for a moment. We had used up all the compacted bottles we had for the bond beam. We still had 1 and 1/4 rows to finish which means 415 bottles left to compact. We did this when we had that week of arctic cold weather.
In December we had nice enough weather that we finished laying down the rest of the bottles needed for the form and were able to get the top coat of the bond beam done as well.
We had used 2, 370 compacted plastic water bottles for the completion of the bond beam. The next step was waiting for a 3 day window of the perfect weather to finish and pour the middle of the form with cement.
While we were waiting we have been compacting water bottles in our camper.
We have compacted over 1632 water bottles thus far with the help of some friends named Doc and Joanne Furbee. Including the bottles that are already on the footing we now have enough bottles to lay down 9 rows for the Kitchen and LivingRoom. This will give us 3 feet of wall height.
Because we are using cement motar to fasten in the bottles with we need to wait for the weather to be above freezing at night for 3 days in a row. This is the same reason why it has taken so long to complete the Bond Beam as well. The first 3 days are the most critical for cement.
Bond Beam Completed
The 3 day window for pouring the bond beam finally arrived and we took advantage of it. February 7th, 8th, & 9th had the temperatures we were looking for.
We are grateful for the extra cement mixer that Jim had brought that day. It made the work go so much faster. Especially when we had extra workers available to mix the cement even faster.
In Michael Reynolds ebook he suggests to make the cement mixture a stronger mix. We decided to do this since it is a vital part of the roofing system. We used 94 pound portland cement, trucked in cement sand and aggregate from on site. When it was all said and done we had used 22 1/2 bags of cement to finish the task.
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.