Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Requested by the SQL Guy

My recently refound friend 'SQL Guy' asked some questions and here they are answered in pictures. This blog takes requests :)

Above is one of the two permanent waterholes. The two waterholes stay pretty much like this even in the driest parts of summer. We will have to wait and see what happens in a major dry spell!

Above is a Wedge Tailed Eagles Nest. It is currently unoccupied but our land is part of the hunting territory for a pair of wedgies and we see them nearly everytime we are there.

A Noisy Neighbour

We have thousands of these critters and the noise they make is so much more preferable to the sound of traffic where we are living now. I can't wait until we have finished the house and have moved in.
I will be setting up a webcam so as blog visitors can be part of the housewarming party :)

Monday, September 06, 2004

First Window

This is our first window sill. We clamped an insert onto the top of one of the shutterboards to create the window sill. The reason the blocks are two toned is that last weekend we discovered we had left the inserts behind. So we did the bottom halves a week ago and finished them when we remembered the inserts this weekend.

Building the Walls

We are constructing our home using earth as the building material. There are several ways of doing this but in the end poured earth was the method that we chose. The main reason being the small environmental footprint(initial and ongoing).
When building with poured earth the blocks are made in-situ. To be able to do this you need a set of molds to put your earth in. We purchased a poured earth construction kit from Formblock, an Australian company.

In the picture above we have assembled our 'formblocks' (a standard block measures 600x300x300mm), checked our levels, and are ready to proceed. The white conduit(pipe) is to allow electrical wiring within the walls. This particular one is a power point but the same principle applies for light switches, telephones, network cabling, etc.

The earth mix is 8 parts soil, 1 part white cement, and approximately one part water. The molds are filled with this mix, tamped down, and left to set. We usually leave them to set overnight.

Then we dismantle the molds, clean them up, and are ready to repeat the process. The construction you can see is on the garage with the house's slab visible in the background. We thought it prudent to build the garage first so as to learn from any mistakes and then to not make them on the house.

Earth construction has quite a history.

Sunday, September 05, 2004

Greetings Everyone

My Name is Colin and my wife Sarah and I are currently building our dream home in the Adelaide Hills. Adelaide is the capital city of South Australia which is of course in Australia.
For a little while this blog will be running a little bit back to front as I will be blogging what to us is history but to you will be new (and hopefully interesting).
I hope that someone (or two) out there finds this interesting and maybe picks up on some information that they aren't yet aware of. Something that may help them to build their own home or maybe just motivate them to do something new, creative and/or different.

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