utorok, 21. septembra 2010

Finished floor base

Another short update - after a long day working. Marian and me helped to prepare more clay mixes, in the end 7,5 double mixes today, so an overall 35 single mixes during the 3 days if we count like we did the first day. We thought originally 20 would be enough... :-)

Here Jaro and Vilo working in the morning (started at 7.30):

From Strawbale Dome Minke


and here at 19.00 in the evening, half an hour before finishing. Was a lot of work but the result looks great! Good job!

From Strawbale Dome Minke


Don't expect any more posts for a few days now, the floor has to dry and then we will see what we do next - probably the windows!

pondelok, 20. septembra 2010

Floor mix preparation

Just a short update - today 2 craftsman with no clay skills came to work on the floor. All 10 mixes and another 2 was used up in 4 vaults... this picture was made in the evening after they left.

From Strawbale Dome Minke


Tomorrow they will be back, and might be able to finish the floor, now they know how to do it quicker. But I am not sure the clay we have is sufficient. Tonight Marian, Kristian and me mixed another 10 mixes (in fact 5, but we did double amounts at one go) so now they have something to start with in the morning... but there is clay left only for about 2-3 double mixes. Wonder if that will be enough.

From Strawbale Dome Minke


Tomorrow we will see - would be great to get the floor done now, the weather is supposed to be good to the end of this week!

nedeľa, 19. septembra 2010

Clay floor preparation

Today another big bunch of participants were leaving. I have the feeling we are saying goodbye almost continuously to someone during the last few days! Here a picture of David leaving, returning to Canada. Was great having you here!

From Strawbale Dome Minke


Because Eduardas and Guilietta were still here today, we had the opportunity to get an introduction to clay floors from them. Here in front of the dome demonstrating the last clay layer on prepared samples.

From Strawbale Dome Minke


To get a good connection with the base, it has to be made rough with water and a rough sponge:

From Strawbale Dome Minke


After a while, before the base becomes too dry (but is not to wet), the second layer is applied. If you want the base layer to shine through, you have to work the top layer into the base clay. Usually that is not what you want, so you just trowel on the top layer.

From Strawbale Dome Minke


It is possible to work with different colors to get a nice irregular pattern. The angle of the trowel is important. The colors are going to change after the hot linseed oil is applied, so better make some samples before you start on the real floor:

From Strawbale Dome Minke


To create a good contact with the stamped floor inside the dome, the floor has to be brushed with water so all loose material is glued together with clay.

From Strawbale Dome Minke


Then the main clay floor can be applied - consisting to one half of corse gravel of up to 6mm and broken sand, but still enough clay to let the whole stick very well together. This makes it possible to trowel it on. Some banging with the trowel on the clay is good for the clay and makes it stronger. The floor needs to be wet before putting the clay mix down.

From Strawbale Dome Minke


To protect the finished walls we attached cardboard paper - a good choice.

From Strawbale Dome Minke


There was also some cleaning around the Dome going on and I managed to cook a meal for 17 participants as well. Now in the evening only a few are left and getting ready to leave in the morning. It will become strangely quiet...

sobota, 18. septembra 2010

24th day - End of Workshop

It took some time to get started in the morning, many finished partying at 3.00 at night... but in the end we managed to get a group picture at 10 o'clock, although some without having breakfast...

From Strawbale Dome Minke


About 10 people left before breakfast, very sad to say goodbye to so many great friends! Some are staying until Sunday or Monday and helping out getting the inside finished. Here repainting some spots of the dome that did not get completely covered by the first layer of paint:

From Strawbale Dome Minke


Some prepared the floor mix for tomorrow - we need about 1,5m3 of mix that will be troweled on the floor tomorrow. Then we have to wait for another 3 days (at least) for it to dry sufficiently to be able to step on it again.

From Strawbale Dome Minke


Eduardas is working some more on the coffee plaster - because of the slow drying, the beans are coloring the plaster. How will this will look after drying...?

From Strawbale Dome Minke


I am still nervous about the amount of moisture below the outer plaster layer, showing values of 96-99% RH. In the middle of the bales we have just 85% RH, which is fairly good. We don't really understand why the sensors give us such high values, and of course we have no idea how the straw looks like inside. So I drilled a hole to see:

From Strawbale Dome Minke


Although the lower levels of the clay look dry, they feel moist if you touch it - so probably still a lot of moisture trapped. It will take time to get it dry, but luckily the straw does not show any signs of decomposing, but is nice and golden in color and no bad smell. So nothing to worry about.

Here a view of the "Window of Truth". After all this nice plastering it might be hard to believe the building is made from straw...

From Strawbale Dome Minke


In the evening we had our first performance in the Dome - the Music Band MED (HONEY) came to play for us. Half way through their program they turned of the amplifier and did and unplugged performance - much better and great acoustics! Thanks!

From Strawbale Dome Minke


Now the official 24 Workshop days are over, amazing what we managed to do in such a short time! Still there is more work to be done, the second last floor layer hopefully tomorrow, then we will let everything dry. First then will we get the windows in, plaster around the windows and finish the window walls. The windows sills outside will also be done then, hopefully in one weeks time.

We think we will need to organize two more "long weekend" workshops: One for putting down a finished clay floor. That will need a lot of manpower because we want to polish every square cm with small stones usually used for tadelact. The second workshop will be held for placing the EPDM and doing the green roof. If anybody is interested and able to join us please let us know! Hopefully we can get this done in the next 3-4 weeks...

I will continue the blog, although maybe not every day, but depending on the newsworthiness of our activities on the Dome. Keep following us!

piatok, 17. septembra 2010

23rd day - open day

Today is open day and close to one hundred people came to see the most exciting strawbale/clay building in Europe!

From Strawbale Dome Minke


Here a view from the skylight:

From Strawbale Dome Minke


At 16.00 we had a presentation of ArTUR (the NGO organizing the event), the works of Gernot Minke and my presentation of the building procedure:

From Strawbale Dome Minke


From Strawbale Dome Minke


Our cooks prepared some tasty bits of their cooking:

From Strawbale Dome Minke


From Strawbale Dome Minke


Ecoshop had a presentation of different ecological products:

Here some visitors at the entrance, notice the relief in the plaster, connecting the entrance with the dome:

From Strawbale Dome Minke


And a view up into the dome - don't forget, only straw bales carrying the load...

From Strawbale Dome Minke


We got our first window sill done! The metall border to the glass is not very straight, so very problematic to connect even with special tape from 3M - probably need a thicker tape for the other windows.

From Strawbale Dome Minke


And one vault has gotten the names of all participants, 1st and 2nd workshop, written in the plaster. Hope we did not forget about anyone...

From Strawbale Dome Minke


From Strawbale Dome Minke


From Strawbale Dome Minke


Christening of the dome with chamapgne! Probably some repair work for tomorrow!

From Strawbale Dome Minke


In the end - PARTY TIME in the dome! Well deserved!

From Strawbale Dome Minke

štvrtok, 16. septembra 2010

22nd day

Night shift - Julius, Guilietta and Eduardas are still working now close to midnight. They want to put some plaster on a still wet surface today, so that they can work on it tomorrow... but what color should they choose?

From Strawbale Dome Minke


Midnight view of the dome, lit from the inside:

From Strawbale Dome Minke


Painting the dome from the inside with a creamy white was the main task:

From Strawbale Dome Minke


and the paint was applied having a lot of fun:

From Strawbale Dome Minke


From Strawbale Dome Minke


Alexander and Pierre in the skylight trying to fix the skylight motor:

From Strawbale Dome Minke


Outside workshop preparing the window sills inside and outside:

From Strawbale Dome Minke


The day started with rain, but the sun came out in the afternoon - here Minke sitting on the top of the dome. The plaster looks dry enough, but there is still a lot fo moisture trapped inside - in the middle of the bales there is around 85% RH, but on the outside just below the plaster 96%RH - it was 99% RH yesterday, so let's hope this trend will continue...

From Strawbale Dome Minke


The small clay dome got a wooden board above the entrance and some bags were put for the green roof - as we can not cover the big dome with the EPDM, we can make a trial run of the green roof on the small dome.

From Strawbale Dome Minke


In the big dome more plastering was going on - this time the kitchen vault with coffee plaster. Coffee beans were mixed in a coffee colored plaster

From Strawbale Dome Minke


and applied on the wall by Jonas and Christo - will look good and for the moment smells good as well:

From Strawbale Dome Minke


Eduardas was occupied doing another relief with several colors - here not finished yet:

From Strawbale Dome Minke


And outside the fascade needs a lot of work, slowly finishing one vault after the other - today we exchanged the ordinary screws to stainless steel screws which arrived a few days back:

From Strawbale Dome Minke


Tomorrow we expect more rain, not so nice on an open day! We hope to get a lot of visitors in the afternoon. On Saturday the workshop will finish - with a lot to be finish later. Because of the long drying process the EPDM could not be put on, the green roof will need at least a weekend workshop to get done. After drying the windows need to be mounted and still a lot of plastering will be necessary. The floor also needs to be done. But compared to what has been done so far, that's all peanuts... :-)

streda, 15. septembra 2010

21st day - Dome art

A bit of chaos in the beginning, no wonder when you have 5 plasterers working on the same dome simultaneously. In the end everything calmed down and the result is stunning. Here Eduardas and Guilietta putting the last touches to the relief:

From Strawbale Dome Minke


It started this morning with scratching, wetting and plastering the dome walls:

From Strawbale Dome Minke


Then the relief was made by several plasterers, Eudardas keeping an eye on the overall look:

From Strawbale Dome Minke


Some corrections were necessary, but for a workshop the result is fantastic:

From Strawbale Dome Minke


After the relief using the brush for smoothening the edges gives it a nice, soft look:

From Strawbale Dome Minke


Here a view down the skylight with David on the scaffolding:

From Strawbale Dome Minke


And a view of our house from the top of the dome:

From Strawbale Dome Minke


The window team insulating the window edges with wood fibre boards from HOFATEX having a good time and doing a great job:

From Strawbale Dome Minke


Outside the XPS fits perfectly around the window. Better insulated window "frames" will be difficult to find.

From Strawbale Dome Minke


The cutting XPS workshop: using a hot wire and stencils gives a very precise result:

From Strawbale Dome Minke


and here the picture of the day dedicated to Pedrinho from Brazil who is following the blog every day. Happy Birthday!

From Strawbale Dome Minke


Tomorrow the dome will get a warm white clay "painted" surface...