Lime: Not Just for Gin and Tonic’s Anymore
As the title of this post would suggest, we were busy lime plastering this week. The putty that had been hydrating for weeks was finally put to good use on the interior south wall. It was combined with fine sand to create the plaster which was applied over top of the hempcrete and slip straw infill’s respectively. I’m not sure we were quite up to the speed and quality of a professional plastering crew but we got the hang of it fairly quickly with a lot of help from Jen and Chris. In the end I think that the results were great. I love the look of the finished product and hopefully we will be a little quicker when we move to conquer the exterior of the wall next week.
Another huge task this week was blowing the cellulose insulation in the ceiling cavity. Because of the slope of the ceiling, we installed scrap tongue and groove pieces as you would blocking into the gaps between the trusses to prevent the loose insulation from slipping down and piling up on the ends. We want a nice consistent thick layer to make sure that there are no thermal breaks. This was definitely a dirty job. Being up in the confined space with cellulose raining down upon you is not necessarily a desirable job. This is one of those thankless tasks that will never really be seen or appreciated but is integral to the performance and efficiency of the building.
The progress on the entry shelter has been steady this week as well. The addition of some decorative pieces to bring a little pizazz to the design tested some of the fine woodworking skills of the team. Fortunately they were up to it and the timberframe structure looks great with that added flare.
There were a few holes to fill in the floor since we left you last and the team tackled those this week. The sections left void during the concrete pour in front of both north entry ways were tiled similarly to the compass in the middle of the floor. This required some inventive design and cutting to make the square tiles fit the semi-circle openings but after that compass the seasoned vets on this team had little trouble delivering some fantastic results as you can see below.
Elsewhere on site the benches that occupy the alcoves created by the gaps in the prefab bale walls began to be installed. With the help of an outside cabinet maker a design was created that will allow for some much needed storage as well as seating.
A late addition to the design of the building was a solar light tube to be placed above the constructed wetland that will treat the water used for hand washing. The concern was that the wetland is located quite a distance from the south windows so to help the magic of photosynthesis a tube was ordered and installed this week. I think the entire class was amazed at just how much light this highly reflective tube could provide. It is something that I think many of us will strive to incorporate into future projects.
The mad shingler Manon is also still hard at work on the exterior. She has put in countless hours on this task and with great returns. Much of the terrific exterior look of the building is drawn from her hard work and the contrast between the more rustic shingles and the cleaner plastered sections. Inside a large team has been working tirelessly getting drywall up, taped, mudded and sanded. This is tedious and repetitive but so important to the overall aesthetic. Once that paint goes on there is really no going back so every attempt is being made to make certain that a smooth, uniform surface is achieved. And, of course, we are using the most friendly drywall compound available to benefit the indoor air quality of the building.