The weather in October was actually really quite delicious. We probably talk about the weather too much in these reports, but when you are building with earth materials it is important as you just can't build in the rain! After the big push to get the roof beams and bond beam done by the Open Day at the end of September Joel ended up having most of October off ramming duty with only one piece of wall completed during the month.
That section of wall tried out a new and exciting mix........ white cement from Peter Fell, The plan is to switch to using white cement on the main part of the house so we can try and achieve some lighter shades. This new section of wall was constructed with the expert help of Cecile and Julie Anne. Our amazing new french friends. We look forward to having them both back again to help us build many more rammed earth walls!
Progress has also been made inside the one bedroom apartment, even though the walls haven't quite been finished yet. As we are hoping to move into this little unit in the new year we need to get everything moving along at the same time. Therefore while Joel has been building walls (and skiving off to the Earth Building conference) Chelle has been working hard on site trying to get the floor inside the unit level. A complete and utter cock up early on in the piece (where when Joel said "can I just put the Hebel on top of the footings instead of inside it" and Chelle said "yes I don't see a problem with that") has lead to MASSIVE issues! If we weren't targeting a Life Mark rating then it wouldn't be a problem. However we are and therefore need to create a level transition between the inside and outside.
Originally the plan was to just build the floor level up to cover the hebel. However that would have resulted in the huge step between the inside and the outside. Which isn't allowed for Life Mark. That meant that instead we had to dig out by hand (bob cat and digger can't fit in anymore) around 100mm of built up and compacted earth from inside the apartment. URGHH!!!
While we were working hard at that the plumbers were also on site, installing the awesome non PVC dblue plumbing provided to us by Marley. We are using the dBlue as waste pipes in place of the nasty and toxic PVC that most houses utilise. Next plumbing step will be the cooper piping that is being provided to us by Kembla.