Tuapte Semper Ingredere Via

Community, People, Localization – a return to a human scale

Archive for August 2012

Getting plastered

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Started plastering the interior walls of the house this week.   Clay, mortar sand, water and chopped straw mixed together.  Goes on looking grey and once dry should be a taupe colour
First coat is a layer of slip – clay, water and mortar sand – that is mud consistency.   This gets brought in by bucket and and scooped up and smacked on to the straw by hand.   Second coat follows behind that which has the straw added to create a consistency that’s similar to making a hamburger.   Grabbed it by hand and smear over the first coat.

Finished west and north wall with two coats on.

Someone follows behind with a trowel smoothing out the plaster.

Crew at work getting the second coat on the north wall and others getting the first coat on the east wall

Once the first and second coats are on its left for a week to dry before the final inside coat is sprayed on for a clean finish.  Unlike lime plaster or concrete plaster there will be no cracking and fixing any damage to the wall requires just a bit of mud and straw.

Just a bit of the south wall to finish off. Guy in the middle flew in from the UK to work in return for knowledge from my builder, Deirdre who he is talking to.



Written by dcveale13

August 29, 2012 at 9:22 pm

Bale Walls

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With the strawbales all in its amazingly cooler inside.  And quiet.  Almost like walking into a cathedral its so quiet.  Bales block out all the heat and sound.  Once the doors and windows in will be very quiet.   Most passive solar strawbale houses won’t drop below 45-50 degrees inside during the winter using the sun alone.   A good fire will keep it toasty

Working on hooking the generator up to the pump to get water for plastering.


West wall and North wall. North wall at the back has been shaved (weed whacker) back for plastering. West wall has the unprepped walls. 18 inches thick

North and West wall all prepped for plastering. Window framed in.

House from the back half of the property

Wishing I had a glass of wine after shoveling dirt over some straw mulch.





Written by dcveale13

August 18, 2012 at 8:02 pm

Strawbales going up

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First load of bales going up after the Civic holiday.  Second load coming tomorrow so the walls should be done by tomorrow late afternoon.   Bit of finish work next week to tighten them down and wrap around windows.


Bales stacked inside the house and the north wall just about filled in

About half the bales on the first load.  Take up a good chunk of the floor space

Bales stacked inside

North wall with its one window. Big black tubing in the foreground is the intake from the well

Window with the straw bale under and around. Window sill of pine will eventually go in there.

chimney in




Written by dcveale13

August 8, 2012 at 8:53 pm

Posted in Building, Cameron Veale

Waiting for straw bales and starting the mounts for solar panels

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Farmer is harvesting his grain the last week of July and bring the strawbales down on August 7th.   These will go in fast to create the walls.  Windows and doors get framed in and the plastering starts week of August 27th.


Double framing with foam insulation on the floor. Stawbales sit inside the double framing and are built up to the ceiling.

Double framing. On the left the low window sills are about 2 feet off the ground. Creates a sitting bench 18 inches wide. The window at the far end has the sill set up higher. (engineers wouldn’t allow a bigger windows)

Starting building the solar panel structure.   4×4 posts sunk into the ground and cut off at 45 degree angles.  Aluminum rails will mount to the posts and the panels to the rails.  Two sets of 4 panels will give me 1.1 kilowatts per hr on a sunny day.  One hour of sun should power the house needs.

4×4 posts for the solar panel array



Written by dcveale13

August 6, 2012 at 7:37 pm