Saturday, September 24, 2011

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Wine Cellar construction

Building a Cob Wine Cellar made sense to me since the thermic quality of the Cob is fairly good.

But, of course, a series of conditions are necessary to maintain cool indoor temperatures.

The roof must have a double layer so that air can circulate in between and sweep away the heat from the sun.

The best way to achieve that was to have a double arched roof with a 2 feet wide space, so that a large amont of air can go through.

Another advantage of building arches was to use small (scrap like) 2 feet long studs-glued and screwed together- which cost me about 40 cents each.

Another condition to keep temperatures low inside the Wine Cellar was to avoid any sunrays on the wall, which can be easily achieved with plants and trees.

Finally, correctly oriented doors that can be left open during the night can have a sweeping effect and certainly cool off the cob wall.

It is indeed extremely rare for nightime temperature to rise above 70degrees F.

Here comes another difficulty...

How to firmly attatch an arched structure to a COB wall?

I welded 4 inch long screws to a 3 feet long reebar, 120 times, to have one vertical screw pointing out from the finished Cob wall at one foot intervals.

To be sure the screw will never come out, I welded a horizontal reebar in the center of the wall, then added 3 feet of Cob wall on top.

Now I was able to screw the plank as a platform where the arches will be nailed down.

My 2 young helpers worked for me 3 days a week, and were a big help to put together 15 identical arches made of over one thousand pieces of wood.

But what a satisfaction when the first arch stood up.

The entire construction is curved around a virtual center with aproximately a 40 feet radius. It was challenging to build such precise cob walls to allow for the arches to align.

I guess I have been very lucky.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Monday, January 29, 2007

December 2006 marathon

constructing the guest room—

Excavation had been done during the year and the foundation started early on

stones were put together
like a puzzle, each one fits in its place.
they are glued together with earth mortar and a small amount of cement

the year was passing by and the desire to see wall rise got bigger

but this work is huge indeed
perhaps 100 tons of cob making,

mixing cob with a tarp would take months…

Wednesday the 13th, three construction workers, from a friend, are available. this is a chance not to be neglected
these guys are immigrants from a far away state (Chiapas) and are not concerned with the end of the year festivities. they are here to make some money and get back to their family.
so I brought them to my place, rented a cement mixer and we made COB

Cobing walls during the rainy season is not the best,
however, the strong and dry winds from the northen deserts are frequent during this season.

it is a gamble, I take…

in fact the very first day is raining
But the wall does not fall apart and the next day is sunny!

The construction goes very well

Sorry, I forgot to take photos on the very rainy days, because we had had three days with hail.
Winds are tonic, thanks for fresh air
That night temperatures were around 28 degrees F
A pipe exploded

Anyway the construction continued and finally the workers went back to their boss

With my little cousin, Coco, and friend, Mario, we managed to finish the ceiling beams and finish cobing using a tarp like the old days

when I realized the strength of my foundations, I decided to build a two story building, and made the walls two feet thick
the first floor ceiling is temporarily waterproof and the second one will wait until May to be built.
this way, for the same foundation and roof surface
I’ll have two rooms
we are wery proud of our three weeks build up
“stand up
little clay house,
a hand full of men sculpted you for the centuries to come.
you are not fragile,
but ecological,
comfortable, and soon, welcoming.”