Sunday 31 October 2010

Day 201 - Straw bales complete

Last straw bale fitted!

Saturday 30 October 2010

Day 200

... on the plywood between the ground and first floor bales.  We are using this to help the clay render adhere to the timber.

Expanded metal lath cut ready to fit...

An aerial photo recently sold to us, taken on 9th August.  A good overview of the site, bungalow and straw house (and strawbale stack)!

Friday 29 October 2010

Day 199 - Steel bars fitted to roof

The roof sheet will be fitted directly to the galvanised steel bars.

Ahsgrid bars and brackets fitted to one side of the roof.

Wednesday 27 October 2010

Day 197

Clay slip coat completed on 3/4 of the first floor.

More straw progressed on the east gable.

Viewed from the ground.

Housed in aluminium

The soil stack venting through the roof...

Tuesday 26 October 2010

Day 196

... and the second...

Monday 25 October 2010

Day 195

Our first attempt at triangular bales!

Sunday 24 October 2010

Day 194

First sheepswool insulation fitted between gable rafters.

Blocks for the steel bar and brackets decorated.

Top course of bales complete, leaving only the gables to be done.

Saturday 23 October 2010

Day 193

Top course of bales almost complete on south elevation.  All the third course of bales now compressed with the permanent white straps fitted.

Friday 22 October 2010

Day 192

Top course of compressed bales completed about half way along the south elevation.

Wednesday 20 October 2010

Day 190 - First bars fitted on the roof

Blocks beyond ply roof deck fitted along with the first steel bars and brackets.  The corrugated roof sheet will be fixed to these bars.

Tuesday 19 October 2010

Day 189

Starting to compress and fit the top course of bales on the first floor.

Sunday 17 October 2010

Day 187

... and then we made a start on the next course of bales and the next timber ladder.

Before progressing the third course of bales we hung the plywood from the rafters, which will close off the top of the bales (very similar to the ground floor straw)...

When we start the second coat of clay render, the mix is to include chopped straw to help bind the straw together and give it tensile strength.  As part of our research into the best way to chop straw we tried a garden shredder.  This did make a bit of difference but the straw wasn't as fine as we had hoped.  Sending the straw through multiple times did not make a lot of difference.

Saturday 16 October 2010

Day 186

Straw walls progressing well on the first floor - almost all the way round with 2 courses of bales now.

We could then feed the plastic duct through.

It worked really well - leaving a perfect 150mm diameter hole!  Who said you couldn't be precise with straw!!

We drilled a hole through the pipe at one end and inserted a wooden pole to make a handle.  We then started cutting the hole through the straw wall, by rotating it back and forth.

Before we can complete the clay render on the ground floor we need to put the ventilation and extract ducts through the external straw wall.  We fashioned a 'homemade' cutting device out of a piece of steel 150mm duct (the same diameter as the ventilation duct we wanted to use) by cutting ferocious looking teeth in it!

Wednesday 13 October 2010

Day 183

Full height soil stacks put in.

Monday 11 October 2010

Day 181

The cedar truss begining to stand out against the grey rafters (they still need another coat...).  (we apologise for the messy tarps casually strewn around!)

Probably one more days work required on the rafters...

More progress made with painting the rafter feet - now onto the second coat...

The last stretch of clay on the ground floor being applied.

Sunday 10 October 2010

Day 180

The gable rafter on the front receiving their first coat of grey oil.

More progress on the first floor straw walls.

We also made progress on the ground floor clay slip coat.

Saturday 9 October 2010

Day 179 - FF straw walls begun

We also started to paint the rafter feet, as these will be exposed.  We decided on a silver grey oil (Dane Oil) as this will blend with the aluminium roof sheet they will be seen against.  The idea of the aluminium roof sheet was to look quite agricultural as a contrast to the more uniform finished appearance  the cedar cladding will have.  We wanted the rafter feet to look more textured and rough, so they formed part of the roof aesthetic.

The walls are going to be built up with two courses of bales, then a ladder (which is then compressed and tied down), then another course of bales and another ladder (again compressed and tied down) and then a cut bale at the top.  This follows the same principle as the ground floor, but is just one course of bales less.

FF straw walls begun, starting with the south west corner.

Friday 8 October 2010

Day 178 - all composite windows in!

The full height (opaque) stair window is now in!  This window had to be made in two pieces, so unfortunately we ended up with a double frame in the middle.

This completes the installation of the composite windows and door.  The aluminium sliding doors and front door are yet to be fitted (and might be a little while).

Thursday 7 October 2010

Day 177

All windows except the large stair window are now fitted.

The utility door is now in!

Wednesday 6 October 2010

Day 176 - fitting of widows begun

Three ground floor windows, and two first floor windows fitted.

Clay slip coat completed round to half way along south elevation  - GF now about 50% complete.

First fitted window from the outside.

The first window fitted on the ground floor.

Ply sheathing fitted on small timber framed section of wall between master bedroom windows.

Sunday 3 October 2010

Day 173 - Clay slip coat begun

The clay slip coat is mixed up to be the consistency of double cream, and worked into the straw.

Any gaps in the wall are stuffed with a mixture of clay slip and loose straw to ensure the building is as air tight as possible.  The clay slip coat is then worked into the straw walls about 25mm (1 inch).

Clay slip coat begun on straw bales on north elevation.

Lime & hemp insulation (in first floor joist zone of external walls) complete and first floor straw soleplate drilled for hazel stubs.