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the first wofati - allerton abbey- version 0.7

 
Lab Ant
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I got a request for some better perspective on the building, so here are some pictures:

This is the uphill side, the wider part of the T shaped floor plan.



The first picture is a wider view of the site, looking a bit like a construction site right now. Allerton Avenue, the access road is off to the left where my truck is pointed. The uphill side is the left, downhill is right. It is on a pretty mellow slope. One of the things Paul wants to do differently in the next Wofati is choose a site with a steeper slope, so that more of the dirt for the earth berms can come from the uphill cut.

The second picture is the downhill side, which I have been working on. Paul considers this the "front" of the house, which makes sense if you are walking to the site from Ant Village. Evan's plot is closest to Allerton Abbey and is about 100 zig zagged yards down the path between those two dirt mounds.
IMG_20150816_123618636.jpg
wider view of the construction site
wider view of the construction site
IMG_20150816_123834539.jpg
downhill side
downhill side
 
pollinator
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I'm wondering if light clay could have a place in awkward areas like the one around the door. If you have a bit of clay on hand, you've clearly got the straw required to make this...

I've only worked with it(briefly!) in the context of a framed wall, where it was easyish to add plywood to both sides for a form prior to tamping. Here, you have the existing wall as one side of the form already.. A chunk of plywood on the inner side that screws into the existing wood and is moved up as you finish each section, plus a thin(temporary?) sheet where the light clay meets the strawbale...

Not sure how one would work around the sill, but the upper part looks fairly straightforward past there. There would be some when you near the roof, as well.

I don't think tamping would work well without starting from the floor, and doubt that you feel like redoing the completed section, which is looking good!
 
Jesse Grimes
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Dillon Nichols wrote:I'm wondering if light clay could have a place in awkward areas like the one around the door. If you have a bit of clay on hand, you've clearly got the straw required to make this...



My understanding is that clay straw mix, even heavy on the straw, is more of a conductor than an insulator. The purpose of this wall is to be super insulative, so pure straw it is. The whole thing will be covered in cob, which will seal out any air leaks, and the door is going to be something like 7 inches thick and packed with wool.
 
D Nikolls
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Jesse Grimes wrote:
My understanding is that clay straw mix, even heavy on the straw, is more of a conductor than an insulator. The purpose of this wall is to be super insulative, so pure straw it is. The whole thing will be covered in cob, which will seal out any air leaks, and the door is going to be something like 7 inches thick and packed with wool.



Interesting... the mix I worked with was definitely light and airy; it was easy to believe it would be a good insulator. Looking around, I see a few places stating an *estimated* R19 for a 12" light clay wall, which would be ~R1.58 per inch... (http://www.designcoalition.org/articles/Natural_LHJ/liteclay.htm
)
'The Natural Building Companion' characterized light-clay as the second most insulative common natural building, behind strawbale.

I'm seeing results from R0.94 to R2.68 per inch for strawbale... This test achieved a measured R1.45 per inch from strawbale: http://web.ornl.gov/sci/roofs+walls/AWT/HotboxTest/Hybrid/StrawBale/


*If* that estimated R value for light clay isn't off by more than a third, it's at least in the same general ballpark.


Cob over that door surround should look great. Not having to wait for light clay to dry before it's a good insulator has something to be said for it, too. Winter is coming!
 
Jesse Grimes
Lab Ant
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Sorry I haven't posted an update in a while. I have been slowly plugging away at the downhill wall on Allerton Abbey, while focusing more of my energy on building a winter shelter on my Ant plot. I cam to the conclusion that the project was too big for me to take on while also trying to establish my own homestead in the Ant Village. I am finishing up the downhill wall, and Paul is looking for a natural builder to finish off the project and collect the rest of the bounty. He posted about it in this thread.

I have had two gappers show up in the last week to help out with the project and much progress is being made. Thank you Kai and Jake! Kai and I started out by finishing off the last of the framing pieces, such as the door lintel, and filling in the gaps around the poles with straw. We created the shapes we needed with expanded metal lath and then stuffed the cavities with loose straw, then packed it tight. This was really helpful for filling in the complex spaces around the posts and joints, and Kai and Jake were really good at it.


20150903_162158.jpg
Scribing out the notch for the edge of the door lintel
Scribing out the notch for the edge of the door lintel
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Metal lath holding the straw around the post joints
Metal lath holding the straw around the post joints
20150908_131237.jpg
Kai and Jake being awesome
Kai and Jake being awesome
 
Jesse Grimes
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Over the past few days, gappers Kai and Jake have been cobbing like mad and have finished covering the outside of the downhill wall. One layer to fill out the low spots and even out the wall, and another layer of cob plaster over that. Its looking pretty sharp. Thank you Kai and Jake!

20150912_173100.jpg
Kai filling in the top of the wall
Kai filling in the top of the wall
IMG_2015-09-15_12-35-02.jpeg
Jake and I with the finished wall
Jake and I with the finished wall
 
pollinator
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It's looking like a house!
 
Posts: 529
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What's that pipe sticking out of the lower left hand corner of the wall? Maybe I missed it some place, but is it anything significant?
 
Jesse Grimes
Lab Ant
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The pipe was a last minute addition. It is there in case we ever want to install a sink and have a drain out the wall. Much easier to install a conduit now than to bore a hole through the wall later.
 
Dave Dahlsrud
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Cool, good idea! Thanks for the insight.
 
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