Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Learning curves

Here is a view of one of our lintels - old railway sleepers, with a special groove routed to help keep rainwater off the window and wall. You can see below the white limwashed wood that is becoming embedded in the cob walls, to help distribute the weight of the joists.

The walls in the 'sun room' in the east are complete now although we're leaving plastering for later.

The biggest headache for us has been the roof. This has nothing to do with the cobbing and ecological aspect, but is to do with the elegant curved, 'organic' structure our architect favours. It looks beautiful on paper, but finding carpenters and builders prepared to work with the complicated angles involved has taken a year and a half! We finally have an expert on site and so the curved trusses are at long last going up. The delay has held us up a little as we can only build the second storey cob walls in rainy weather once the roof has at least basic covering on. Meanwhile we have been continuing with workshops including most recently Muizenberg High School, who are keen to come again! One good thing about all the rain has been to see how well the walls have coped, even before the final lime plaster that is the real protection.

You can see here the north face, which gets most rain, and most sun. A couple of the large windows that will make up most of the face can be seen awaiting installation inside the house. Not much cob here: this should cut down on re-plastering on our most exposed face, gives us passive solar energy, and gives the house a magnificent mountain view.

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