Building

posts for our building project

  • Building,  Courses

    Green Wood Terrace Cover

    During 2015 we held two “Natural Building” courses the second one put a permanent cover over our existing terrace area, this is where we eat during all our courses. The door at the back leads to our summer kitchen equipped with a Rayburn wood fired cooker, stainless steel work area and double sink. The terrace is then the dinning room and social gathering area for visitors and students, we also use it for entertaining and celebrations. During 2016 we will be holding another course and constructing a similar frame and roof to cover our blacksmithing and green-woodworking area. The photos below give some insight in to the process of the…

  • Building

    Breaking Ground Three

    We are breaking ground on the third and last full natural building project here at Permaculture Eden. This is going to be a cob house with a living roof and stone stem wall. The first job is to mark out the foot print slightly over sized and remove the turf from the area. We will keep the turf stored off to one side on a tarpaulin for later use as the living roof. Now first the mark up, I want to mark two arks one of seven meters and one of five. First I have to choose the centre of the seven meter ark allowing for some space around the…

  • Building

    Raising The Roof

    Putting a hat on any building is incredibly important and can be the one area of the building if it fails will have an enormousness effect on the rest of the building. Putting a hat on straw bale building is doubly important as the straw has little resistance to weathering, if it gets wet at any point in its life span and stays wet it will simply decompose. In this building the roof will cost more than any other part of the building and this in not normal, normally the foundation will be the most costly part of a build but as our foundation has no cement products in it…

  • Building

    Raising the Frame

    This is the most satisfying part of the building process, after two weeks of hard work and then learning challenging round-wood timber frame joints to test the patience of even the best woodworker the moment of reward arrives. We have built two A Frames and another square frame with corner braces to hold it ridged. The order of work here is to raise one A frame to one side of the building in it’s final resting place. then raise the square frame in it’s place at the back of the building once pegged these two frames will stand independently supporting each other. We gather all hand on site including short…

  • Building

    Building The A Frames

    This is without doubt the most rewarding stage of building for me working wood is my life’s passion and without doubt my strongest area of skill and experience. One part of this skill and experience is my ability to see the 3 dimensional object I need to make in my head, a skill I have honed over many years of woodturning and carpentry projects. However this is not easy for unskilled students who have little or no experience of woodworking or any craft for that matter, I am even surprised in the lack of hand eye coordination that has been exhibited here this year. This has made me reflect deeply…

  • Building

    Building 2nd Stem Wall

    For this stem wall we returned to the same site for the materials as for the first stem wall, this time round though everyone got involved and shared the work load much more evenly and fairly. You can see we are protecting the clay in the centre stopping it getting wetter so its easier to sift for the earthen plastering stage which comes later. Below we are approaching the end and fatigue has set in with some of the students. The end and it fits the mud sill pretty well. the mud sill will lift the straw bales away from the stone wall and help prevent condensation on to the…

  • Building

    Breaking Ground Two

    Here we are at the start of the second of our constructions for 2014, all buildings are only as good as their foundations, so its important that students understand the importance of a good foundation. The key is to understand one thing first and that is the “frost line” this is the depth to which your soil freezes in the winter, you may be lucky and in your global region there is no frost but in most temperate climates where the majority of humanity inhabits there is an issue with frost. Our frost line is 60cm that means the soil in our region freezes to a depth of 60cm, so…

  • Building,  Craft

    Greenwood and Blacksmithing

    The first week of our second building course is an introduction to green woodworking and basic blacksmithing, both of these are my own personal passion for creating both beautiful and functional hand crafts. The week starts out with buildingĀ  drawhorse’s to used later in the week and during the natural building course. Above their working on the legs for their own drawhorse while using my old drawhorse to hold with. They need to make some cylindrical pins for the clamp to pivot on, some work on a pole lathe makes this a simpler task. First a quick demonstration from the master. Here is Nadine trying to enjoy the challenge. Everyone…

  • Building

    Even More Walls Going UP

    The second week of our second building course with a large pile of clay sitting over the site still unused from the previous course I asked the student if we could spend a couple of days making cob to use the clay instead of just moving it. The students agreed so we have just finished two days of cod mixing and cord wood brick laying. Below is the east side of the building after six days of cob work with between 4 and 8 people working at any given time. With only Michelle left from the first course with experience of making cob and laying bricks she worked all day…

  • Building

    More Walls Going UP

    We have just finished teaching our 13th Permaculture Design Course during which we usually include a group work exercise and a couple of other practical sessions in addition to the international curriculum we follow. So we asked if we could make these sessions cob workshops to help get the house finished and all agreed it would be a good idea. So a couple of afternoons of cob making and cord-wood brick laying were had by all and it was such fun. The end of the group work exercise sees the small window surrounded by walls. Much to the pleasure of all involved. Then a second afternoon of cob work and…


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