Sunday, June 5, 2016

Progress versus beaurocracy

In terms of the retrospective approval process... PROGRESS seems to be a measurement of how much paperwork gets generated as a direct result of the emptying of my wallet.

That said I can now confirm that $12000 has been spent on the application of a building permit and the said application is now being "assessed" by the "higher powers" of the Huon Valley Council.

Forgive me for sounding bitter just because that amount of money is exactly half of the total amount so far spent on my  Earthship and it also happens to be the approximate amount required to finish the building.

So... It is Autumn 2016 and my young bloke, Sage and I are back for 9 days of camp fires, bush showers and all things Earthshippy.

To our delight the structure seems to be performing exactly as it should be for this time of year and we are here to continue building for the future.


9 oclock in the morning on a sunny autumn day in beautifal Tasmania and the sun is flooding the earthship right to the back wall and the thermal mass is collecting that heat.


the autumn sun reaching the back bedroom wall

Before we got stuck in to working on our place we paid a visit to Erik to help out a bit around his place, (you might remember Erik from his drawbridge dunny fame).

Sage operating the drawbridge on the dunny.


Erik and Lisa have an old school bus for visitors to stay in and we went up to their place to help install a wood heater for those cold winter months.

Erik and Lisa getting the bus ready for the installation
I sometimes sleep in the bus when I visit them so it was nice to have the fire burning overnight.



My young bloke loves sleeping in unusual places so he was excited to add an old school bus to his list of out of the ordinary places to bed down.

ZZZZZzzzzzzzzz
 Next day we headed back to Brooks Bay and the Earthship to see what we could build in our (now) 8 day stay.

The number one thing to get done on my list was the building of the two operable vents on the roof over the kitchen and bathroom areas in the greenhouse.

operable vents are used in the summer to create the convection engine used for cooling the back rooms via the cool air drawn through the cooling tubes (see liquid mass cooler in this blog).

operable roof vents under construction with Sage helping to figure out how to make them work.

We had already incorporated the basic box structure when we did the roof so we measured up for the flashing and insulation and started working on a way to make them operable.

operable roof vent flashed and weighted.

After scrounging around some ever popular tip shops indigenous to Tasmania we managed to find almost a full set of plastic barbell weights, (being plastic was important because I didn't want the weight to change from them getting rained on).

The weights we connected to some eco decking (a recycled plastic/wood composite material), again chosen for it's water resistance.
These lengths of eco deck were incorporated in the design of the tops of the vents with a length of 16mm threaded rod inserted near the ends for connecting our barbell weights to.

the operable roof box vents completed with , you guessed it... tyres added  as a buffer against the roof.

Remember I said "almost" a complete set of barbell weights, well we had to be creative to get our lids to the tipping point so we added a trye on each one, doubled up on the eco deck and drilled a hole in the bottom of each tyre putting some small rocks in there until we had it just right.

The idea is to have a rope under tension connected to the underside of the lids attached to a cleat on the wall which can be loosened causing the lids to open gently, just pull down on the rope and fix in the cleat to close.

bathroom bottle wall (due west)

having the operable vents above the kitchen and bathroom means we can vent steam and cooking smells out of the building as well.

re-purposed windows with cob infill and bottles (Beautiful).

Stay tuned......



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