Archive for January, 2012

Past 40%

Saturday, January 28th, 2012

Getting closer to that half way mark! Lots of disruptions from both weather and family commitments over the silly season have slowed progress, but since returning from my two weeks off the build is progressing nicely.

First pic above shows progress down the western wall. The drawing above is the section chart I use to plan what needs to be poured for the next work day. We now have sections 1 and 2 of the 6 sections to 7 layers and have started the first of the window voids as seen in pic 2. Pic 3 is showing the formation of the remaining expansion joints in this wall.

I have 6 blocks left to pour in section 3 and then we’re onto the skinny blocks for the rest of this wall. I can now go back to pouring full width blocks on the east and north walls as well continuing with the skinny blocks. With so much formwork in place I expect to get a lot of blocks poured over the next few weeks.

Once the build is 7 layers in height right around the fixings for the return verandah will be incorporated into the pour of layer 8 and we’ll use a laser level to get this accurate for the corner blocks then use a string line/spirit level combination to get the correct levels for the remaining blocks.

Update on progress

Wednesday, January 4th, 2012

I had always intended to take a couple of weeks off from the build to spend some time with family and will get back to the site and restart building on Jan 9.  Heat is now an issue as well, I’ve set a tools down limit of 35C onsite to keep myself and volunteers safe from heat stroke and exhaustion.

It’s still going up, at least I can say that. We copped a 46mm downpour late in December that wiped out any chance of working safely on site until after Xmas. Imagine a skating rink made out of clay and you’ll have an accurate idea of what the area around the slab was like to walk on.

The first window is about to be started in the western wall which will bring with it some set out issues with positioning the end plates where they need to be to form the opening. We’re also getting close to starting on the
“skinny” sections which will effectively double the blocks we can set and pour before needing to strip the formwork down and reset it.

That brings with it one more issue that I think I have sorted. Since the wood frame for the wet areas is NOT load bearing as it would be in a conventional house we are building the earth wall then fixing the frames in place. To satisfy the BCA and our engineering I still need to fix the frames to the wall using wall ties, however there is no easy or accurate way to fix these small wire ties where they are needed. I am instead going to fix threaded rod into the wall using a steel matrix made out of strap steel to accurately determine the position. Once the walls are up we’ll then build the frames to these positions and use a galv angle bracket and a couple of M10 nuts to fix the frames to the walls.

I am not sure this is even necessary since the external wall is loadbearing and the ties in a conventional build simply stop your brick wall from falling over. However, since they are specified in the detail drawings and engineering we have to have them in place.

Update on costs

Wednesday, January 4th, 2012

60 tubes of polyurethane and LVL lintels as specified by the engineers from Bianco for $1245
Building Products Online for the Weepas and extensions $72

Total project spend is now at $294 004.11
House only is now $80,051.61
Cost per square metre is now $277.96