ROOF Appears and New Swirls Begin

Life on the ecoBuild site is like a swirl of red wine in a glass . . . and now, the wolf is away from the front door. Roof energy has made a change from the open - the vulnerable - the exposed to the sheltered. Sitting within the growing abode today during light rains offered protection and comfort . . .just what the straw bales were waiting for.


Tune Wednesday?

The earth-bag crew set new bag laying records this past weekend in their mission to get back on schedule, and in order to take Monday off for the Super Bowl festivities.  The superadobe walls are growing higher, and as we transform into a well oiled machine, the first curved section is now almost at its final height of 1m.  Today we are laying a french drain behind the wall (seen below on the left with J-rad carrying the pipe, Trent & Loren laying it, and Travis acting like he is thinking) so that the increasingly wet climate of Wanaka won't compromise the foundation of the wall and cause slumping.

    Meanwhile, the carpenters continue to saw and hammer away.  Jonny and JJ are seen in photo 2 securing the trusses in place above the ensuite bathroom and wardrobe.  
Brendan and Doug start to create the feeling of real walls with the addition of the 'green' "Ecoply" (which seems to be a bit of an oxymoron, but is a bit better than normal plywood) sheets over the framing next to the kitchen.  
The shapes and spaces of the home are really coming together now, which is incredibly exciting and morale boosting.  The corrugated steel roofing has been chosen and ordered, which will soon provide shade and shelter from the piercing UV intensity that is New Zealand sun. 

     And of course Simon and Trent have been putting on the after-burners in the joinery shop (and the Touch Rugby field!) and are making some serious progress on the custom window frames.  The craftsmanship and soothing feel of the wooden frames are spectacular.  Here are a few recent shots of the workmanship:

Check out the mortise & tenon and joint action on the corners!
 Here is a hinged window frame awaiting its glass and hardware.

We will send you off with a classic Beatles track to sum up the progress on the site as well as a celebration tune for the coming return of mastermind and chieftain Tom Jennings to AltShiftNZ HQ,- see you soon!


Kick it!

The vibrant music at the site (boom box in top photo) was on by 8:50AM, and all of us were sure that the surrounding neighbors were enjoying the uplifting lyrics of "Can I Kick it!" by A tribe Called Quest.  While the AltShift crew may never reach Bruce Lee's level of spinning hook kicks (clocked at 60 mph), or the All Blacks (host nation of the 2011 Rugby World Cup!) precision kick passes on the Rugby pitch- the crew have been battling on at the site and getting kicked in the local Touch Rugby league. 
Check-out the last three photos and one will see- how the fine young men have been 'kicking it' and - the progress made over the last few days. Photo #3 is taken from what will be the heart of the kitchen, with views toward Treble Cone; and Photo #4 is a shot from the 'street entry' looking into the home, with those reclaimed beams supporting the green-growing roof section. In the upper left of picture #2, it is exciting to see the framed opening which will allow a quick-exit onto the high-grassy zone. Ohhh- the plans we all are creating in our minds for the leisure time spent on this upper living space - it's bound to provide a good escape, a place to 'kick it' back. Book your World Cup flights now and enjoy October 2011 from 97 Kings, Wanaka!

Bag it!

Happy Chinese New Year to all, as the new moon finds itself in Aquarius and we enter the year of the Rabbit. It is Friday here, however not a T.G.I.F. because tomorrow is bringing in another day at the site. Soon the men will be celebrating T.G.I.Saturday! Get ready to enjoy 2 new blog posts, this one focuses on the earth bags. Three photos are presented and thanks is given to the rich Cardrona Valley earth (above) and the labor of industrious young men. The street landscaping is taking on sinuous growth and new dimensions.