Thursday 30 September 2010

Day 170 - GF straw complete... again

Last ground floor straw wall complete (for the second time!)

... the completed window linings on the first floor.

First floor window linings complete in the bedrooms...

Our home made straw and tarpaulin pool filled with milled clay, and soaked in water.

Tuesday 28 September 2010

Day 168

GF straw almost complete... for the second time!

Lime and hemp completed round to the stair window.

Sunday 26 September 2010

Day 166

Hemp and lime complete from front door on east elevation, all along south elevation and half way along west elevation.

The north west corner complete.

Top course of bales complete on the north wall.

Saturday 25 September 2010

Day 165

The first bales put in on the first floor under the windows, ready for the window linings to be begun.

Top course of small bales begun on the north wall.

North wall re-instated!

More straw taken out of the north elevation, most of it was in fact dry but better to be safe than sorry!

Friday 24 September 2010

Day 164

Straw completed on south elevation and south west corner.

Blocks fitted to each rafter for fixing the gutter to.

Head section to both sets of sliding doors completed.

Restraint straps fitted on the west gable.

Thursday 23 September 2010

Day 163 - solar panels fitted

Solar panels fitted on the south roof.

Monday 20 September 2010

Day 161

Hemp and lime completed under the FF window in the east elevation, and about 1/2 of the east elevation complete.

Straw is now re-instated in the south wall - except the top course of small bales.

Sunday 19 September 2010

Day 160 - starting to put in the replacement straw

The straw back in the south wall, now the timber has had a chance to dry out.

Finally all the wet straw was out of the walls, and we could start re-assembling the walls.

Both corners on the west gable had to be taken down.

Top course of bales on the east elevation removed to check for wet bales.  No evidence of wetness was found on the lower bales, so thankfully these can remain in place!

Lime and hemp insulation put in under the first floor windows, hopefully it will have dried sufficiently by next weekend for us to fit the bale under the window and make up the window linings.

Saturday 18 September 2010

Day 159 - rooflights fitted

A lot of the east end of the north wall had to be demolished, but we are hopeful that the corner can remain in place.

We managed to save some of the lower two courses of bales.

The wet straw in the north wall taken out.  The bales around the full height window were very wet.

The main rooflight over the stairs fitted (by ESB roof glazing specialists).

The rooflights on the south roof.

... and the second...

The first rooflight fitted by ESB (roof glazing specialists)...

Rooflights on the temporary floor, waiting to be fitted.

Mix 3.

The tests for the second coat of the clay render are now complete.  The mixes we tried are:

Mix 1
1 clay: 2 sand: 1/2 straw

Mix 2
1 clay: 3 sand: 2/3 straw

Mix 3
1 clay: 4 sand: 1 straw

Mix 4
1 clay: 3 sand: 1 straw

Mix 5
1 clay: 4 sand: 1 straw

Friday 17 September 2010

Day 158 - hemp & lime insulation test

The hemp & lime insulation tried out in the zone to be filled.  We filled it up to the top of the first floor straw ladder.

One load filled just over 1.5 holes and used about 3/4 bag lime and 3/4 bale of hemp.

There should be just enough lime to coat the hemp.

These quantities made about 1 barrow full.

The ground floor bales finish under the first floor joists, and the first floor bales will begin on top of the joists, so we have a gap in the zone of the floor joists (300mm deep) which needs to be insulated.  This space is an awkward shape (mainly due to the floor joists being 'I' shaped), and we thought the easiest way to fill it tightly (with no air gaps) was with a hemp and lime insulation.

We wanted to test this first to see how difficult it was, how well it worked, and how long it would take to dry.  The mix we used was 3 hemp to 1 lime with just enough water to coat.  It is a dry mix.

As the number of bales that got wet was much greater than at first thought, we did not have enough dry bales to finish all the walls.  Very kindly the stud, who we had given some bales to earlier on (as we had ordered more than we needed), agreed to exchange some of our wet bales for dry ones.

Sunday 12 September 2010

Day 153 - roof membrane complete (at last)!

Spare membrane fixed below the main roof, on the roof overhang, to help shed water further away from the straw walls until the aluminium sheet is fitted.

View of the completed roof from the north.

At last, fully completed roof with ridge strip in place and tarps over the rooflights.

North side of the roof well underway.

South side of the roof completed.

Eaves drip plates fitted to north side of the roof (they are mill finish aluminium but shown here with a white protective film over them.

Timber to head and verge now finished for the two single rooflights, just the main large rooflight over the stairs to go.

Progressing with the membrane today - the aim is to finish it before the day is out!

The test bales lined up.

Mix no.1 applied to the first test bale, over the slip coat.