Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Our second last wall completed. This is the bathroom wall with a large 'nook' to allow for a feature art creation. It should look fabulous when completed.

Sort of looks like a scruffy mining camp. Under these huge tarps are our beautiful rammed earth walls. Unfortunately they won't see the light of day until the roof can protect them. A good month away.

So, it seems that fall in the Ymir area is verrry short. You blink for a second and there is a foot and a half of snow to contend with. Despite the few on the crew that are silently giddy for the possible earlier ski season, wet heavy snow is not conducive to a an efficient rammed earth building process. Even our prized carpenter Travis has to put in snow-shoveling time.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

On the very top of the 10 foot wall we pour a 6 inch concrete bond beam to strengthen and tie the heavy wall together. Not easy getting hundreds of pounds of wet concrete up that high. Luckily we have a Bobcat attachment that mixes the concrete and lifts it up to the height that is required.

Dean caught working inside the forms rebar forest.

Our latest wall ramming creation. We experimented with another Rammedearth technique for this wall. Instead of shoveling and ramming 10 inch layers of material, we instead tried 'continues ramming', where you are constantly compacting small layers that your workmate is slowly shoveling into the form. It creates a different look. More monolithic without the layering effect.
We have now finished the yellow wall sections of the house, and now are onto the remaining white.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

All windows and doors
need a strong supporting beam above them to disperse the weight of the roof and snow from crushing them. These headers can be made from a variety of things - wood, concrete, metal. Cole has used plates of steel - sprayed with saltwater to create an appealing rust effect. Very cool.

Around the exterior of the house are 10 walkway lights stylishly built into the walls.

Cole's new bedroom doorway.

The pictures here show the nice detailing on the doors and windows using layers of wood build into our formwork.

These are a couple of pictures of the windows that we rammed into the walls of the main living room.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Dean has been experiencing a pretty rough week. First, his house was burglarized in Calgary. On the way to his burglerized house he ran out of diesel and damaged his engine. Then, while his car sat overnight at the worksite because it wouldn't start, a bear pranced on it and broke his side mirror. No doubt looking for the tasty bison jerky he always seems to have on hand.
Considering his bad luck I might consider not teasing him on the blog for awhile...maybe.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Ohhh, another late night. Finishing another wall by spotlight. The October days are getting shorter and shorter, not to mention the chillier mornings. Time to get the long underwear out.

One attractive feature of the living room area are two round windows placed on opposite sides of the room. A difficult challenge to develop a round window frame that could withstand the weight and pressure of the rammed material above it, as well as have the capacity to come apart once the wall is completed.

Wow, where did the week go.

Roland and Lahana are standing in Cole's new double doorway, opening to the front patio of the house overlooking the river. The two colors, white and chopstick yellow, artistically rammed by Tom and Johana, were meticulously placed layer upon layer to create this beautiful effect. Soon large French doors will attire the entryway.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

A bird's-eye view of the house site. Next we will connect all the walls together.

This maniacal contraption on the bottom - turned into this outstanding wall above. Emerging beautifully from its chryslis. The formwork is quite a bit bigger than Dean's cabin.

Okay, these are the recently connected walls on each side of the house. The left is the west side, the right is the east side. It's slowly coming together . As you can see we are receiving some really nice weather for the end of September, and it looks like we have another good week ahead of us. Let's hope for a long and mild fall so we can get the roof on this thing.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Ouch, that's tight. On these connector walls, the space between the older wall and the window frame is just big enough for a body to contort themselves within. A struggle to place insulation, avoid sharp rebar, shovel earth, and work with the ornery pneumatic tamper.

Dean and Robin forming-up one of our window boxes. Robin, on the right, unfortunately just received a nasty compound fracture on his left thumb. Terrible luck for him, and the crew for losing a great worker. Hopefully, with a little time rejuvenating at home with his family, he can rejoin us in finishing this project. Take care my friend.

A completed connecting wall with a window that we just finished on both sides of the house.