Wednesday, August 15, 2007

roof's watertight & we're testin' clay

straw clay

last weekend we received and installed the 6-1/2" insulating panels (structural insulated panels, R38) on the kitchen roof and installed a drainage plane made of roofing paper over the top as a temporary roof which will also act as a backup roof after the finish roof goes on. thanks to the small crew that did so much and braved standing so close to the edge!

next weekend (starting thursday) we will begin framing windows and doors in anticipation of straw bale stacking. i'll be giving mini straw bale workshops over the weekend describing how it all goes together and works as, essentially, a structural insulated panel. we'll cover how straw bales are made, the way they lay in a wall, how to re-shape a bale with moss's groovy giant sewing needles, how to stack, pin and attach the bales to the frame.

i'll also be showing people how to mix clay based plaster (using local connecticut river valley clay) and how to apply it to straw bales. michel and i performed experiments yesterday with various ratios of clay and sand to determine a good mix for our walls (one is pictured).

we're planning to delay the installation of the metal roof until the straw process is rolling so as to give ourselves as much plastering time as possible before freezing weather sets in. the roof paper we used is rated for six months of exposure. the metal roof is scheduled to be delivered this friday.

thus far we've received a good deal of the kitchen equipment. thanks to rick cole who has donated a three bay sink with wings and a cook top for the snack area as well as restaurant grade stainless pots. we also have stainless sinks for hand washing and the snack area. but, we still need a stove! so if you're privy to restaurant auctions or know someone who's looking to offload a restaurant stove, please let us know. we'd like an eight-burner with two ovens ideally. we're also looking for restaurant grade stainless prep counters.

next monday and tuesday we'll have thaddeus, the exacavator, up on the land, installing the water and gas lines and the 500-gallon propane tank. if i can get them up to the site, the final well connection will be made as well, leading the way to potable water from the well (after we shock and test it).


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