Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Progress report from site - St Valentines Day 2012

The roof structure on Terrace A is now virtually complete, ready for tiling to start next week

This close up shows the progress on the timber framed south elevations.  Almost ready to start fitting windows.

There have been some difficulties with compacting the clay which is being put back into the slope below terrace E.  If it is compressed too much the water gets driven to the surface and the lop layer becomes to wet.  But as of today we think these problems have been resolved, and filling can continue, until it rains!

We have nearly finished shifting the subsoil that is required to complete the "butterfly bank" at the far end of the site.  It is important for that area to have subsoil and not topsoil at the surface.  Top soil contains too many nutrients and would support vigorous grasses, whereas what we want is a wide diversity of plant species and patches of bare ground, which will benefit invertebrates.

A few days of warmer dry weather has allowed the block work on Terrace F to get moving again

Unfortunately we are nowhere near being able to reopen the top public footpath, the weather related delays having taken their toll.

This is Terrace F from the top.  Plot 28, to the right is still available.

The roof is now being installed on the Common House

Note the different colours of blocks on the upstairs flat bed loft walls.  The paler thermal blocks transmit less heat and will prevent an unacceptable thermal bridge through the roof. 

Inside the Mill building, work is well underway to create the showers and toilets

...although the discovery of a couple of unexpected windows means that a few minor changes to the works specification have been required.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

It's February! We have railings, roof trusses and unexpected windows...

The railings along the riverside have been completed - nice industrial look, and will not clog up with debris if the water ever does come this high...

The builders have finished excavating the cliff face by Terrace D. I was interested in the various markings indicating where the finished pedestrian level will be, as they have had to dig down to put underground services in. I was also wondering how terrace D people will want to use the protruding wall nails - hanging baskets perhaps? or attachments for wires for climbing plants?

Trusses have appeared on houses 2-5 in terrace A, but the builders are frustrated by the lovely sunny but freezing weather, which means they cannot lay anymore blocks as the mortar would freeze. So they are unable to finish block laying to install the roof timbers for the flats at each end.
I do admire the scaffolding, so much more efficient and safe than the sort of scaffolding I used when I was a builder in the 1980s...
A similar delay on building up the walls for the guest rooms etc.
Shock arrival of the windows on Monday. The builders are not quite ready to install them.
Our neighbour Ralph from Out of the Woods, who is one of the contractors bidding for installing the common house kitchen. He is showing the range of eco-samples for the surfaces. Despite the happy smile, he is dismayed by the high price of eco materials in comparison with non-eco. My understanding is that is all to do with lack of demand, and if only more people would buy, the price would come down.