|The indoor work site
|The mix ingredients showing the difference between volume and weight
Large flexible buckets were useful to discharge the mix into, a bit at a time. A full load filled about 4 flexible buckets three quarters full. The flexible buckets have two handles and were light and easy to pick up and were able to be shaped as needed to pour the hemp mix into the formwork. A scoop made from a cut down juice bottle was very handy to get the hemp into small spots or to direct it into a specific spot. A range of timber and tampers was used to tamp the mix once poured and levelled in the formwork in layers of about 5cm. Short lengths of timber were useful to tamp in hard to get to spots. When I got up to under the first noggins the formwork, by luck rather than design, was higher on one side than the other and I was able to push the hemp in under the noggins by hand. This was easier because the noggins were right at the top of the formwork. And so I made the next rise on top of the two small sections of wall I had made previously. Working on my own was slow work. I think team of four, two preparing and mixing and two tamping, would be an efficient workforce.
|Hemp wall second lift
|Solar Connections installing the solar panels on the roof
|Solar panels hidden behind the wall between the highlight window and sliding door
Paul and the boys from Solar Connections also did all the electrics. For the light switches and power points in the external hemp walls they ran the cabling in conduit to plastic boxes. Following discussions with Paul we worked out the easiest way to do them was to set the outer edge of the box 55mm from the frame, the same spacing my formwork will be. This way the formwork can be screwed on and the wall filled without either having to cut a hole in the formwork for the box or providing some sort of filler so the box did not fill up with hemp. The 55mm distance was used by placing a 10mm packer of timber behind each box. When we render the walls we will just have to remember to put some sort of packer on the box so that the render will not curve off at the boxes and will have a flush surface when the face plate of the switches is attached.
|Plastic box for power point
|Cables run in conduit to box
|Form work and duckboards