Monday 10 September 2012

Hemp Building Video and meeting other hemp builders

With help on site over the last two weekends we have been able to film a little bit of the hemp building process.

As we have got closer to the roof our rises have had to get smaller, as your arm reach gets smaller when you are building at almost head height. The invention of the micro tamper, with a handle as long as your fist helped save the day. It joins the wide and narrow full size tampers, the half sized mini tamper, the L-shaped tamper, and the no handled tamper as well as various sizes of timber (for narrow spots) as pasrt of our array of tamping implements. Further difficulties have also become apparant such as how to get the hemp mix to stay against the lintels where there is very little space for it to key into the other side. We will try our solution to this issue next weekend.

Tampers - Wide, Narrow, Mini, Micro and L-Shaped
Difficult section at lintel above window
It was with great joy on Saturday that we started hemping the main pavilion of the house (the house being in three pavilion like sections) and shared this with Nicole, another hemp builder from the south coast, who will commence building her hemp and stone walled studio soon. Nicole shared with us the progress of her build, including the ease with which she got Council Approval, compared to the difficulties I had, despite us building in neighbouring Council areas. Hopefully we will be able to continue to share hemp building knowledge and resources. After working on the higher sections of the walls working back at ground height was refreshingly easy.

Tamping the first rise in the main pavilion
First rise in the hall and main pavilion
View of the future courtyard garden
 With the formwork stripped off we could see how much we have done. We have done 132 mixes to date over 4 weekends, which I estimate means we are 1/4 of the way through the walls. Another milestone is that we have used one of our five pallets of binder. To get the hemp out of the way of the walls so that we can build them, we have been using about half a bale of hemp until they are light enought to lift ontop of each other. With a bit of manouvering we now have access to all the walls so that the plumber can finish roughing in all the pipes. The plumber was not able to do this earlier with all the bales of hemp in the way. I had been planning to do the kitchen wall next until I realised the gas and water pipes had not been properly finished off. Instead we hemped the back wall of the main pavilion, until I realised I could not go more than one course high as the pipes had not been put in for the instantaneous hot water system. We can not go much higher on the back pavilion until I get the awnings put up as they attach to the frame. Hopefully I will be picking the steel connector plates, for the awning, up from the metal fabricator this week, so this work can get under way.

Walls finished to lintel height
Back wall of the back pavilion
Inside one of the bedrooms
Back pavilion and hall with expansion joint between

We also saw four seals this weekend

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