The house is progressing nicely, soon the roof will be added then the walls, all this should happen in the next few weeks. We are still planing to move in by the end of december.
As I mentioned in a previous post, we decided to build with rocks as it is so very abundant all around us, that does however mean the use of plenty of concrete to bind the rocks.
The foundation is rock and pure cement, but the binder between the rocks in the walls will be a mix of cement and mostly lime.
One day a truck arrived filled with huge tree trunks, both Miguel and I felt so sad, how can we claim to be building sustainable if we use 50 year old trees in the structure.
Apparently they are sustainably logged, when the woods reach a certain age the owner is allowed to cut an area, he must replant three trees for every one cut and then they must not be touched for 50 years. Still makes me sad though:(
It does makes me happy that there are rules in place for these practices even here in Mexico.
Another change, one of many, is that we are back to constructing a roof made of ferrocement
( a lighter cement, sand and water mixture) as oppose to the traditional palapa roof (thatched roof), which for the longest time we felt certain was the best choice. Many reasons for this change of heart, the main being the ability to catch water.
We are building one or two huge cisterns (about 20.000liters) to hold the captured rain water, with the idea that we will be able to store and supply all of our water usage from the rain.
Another thought was that the palapa will need to be replaced every 7 years or so, that is if a hurricane does not get at it before that.
And so even more cement...
Much of the building materiel is not 100% ideal, but I comfort myself by the fact, that this will be a strong house that will last a long time. It will supply our water needs, we will reuse all our greywater to grow food and plants around the house. The blackwater will be composted and used in the garden on none edible plants.
The energy use will be supplied by the sun and to start out the stove as well as the refrigerator will run on gas.
So while I cannot say that it will be the perfect "green" house, certainly it is a big step further from where we came, and another step in the right direction.
Here is the house site just a few weeks ago, digging down to the bedrock for the foundation.
Lots and lots of rock everywhere
Foundation wall underway
spaces in the circle are for the 8 wooden posts that will support the roof
all the wood trunks were left in the front of the property and moved one by one by hand, by 12-14 men. It took 3 days to move them all.
center beam and all remaining beams raised by hands and strings..
Keenan loves the building site, and helps when ever possible, his favorite these days is to mix his own "cement" mixture
these walls will be the basement that will house the cisterns and also provide for storage space
Last I saw the structure this is where it was at, that was 4 days ago, I imagine the cross beams for the roof have been added by now...more to come later
A few images from around the land.
The clean up of the cenote is well under way, this Sacate tree, (also known here as the bubblegum tree, because the sap is where the original gum came from, the children have chewed it, and it is just like gum only without the sweetens) had fallen presumably in a storm and had to be taken out..
cleaning first the tall grasses, and then the sediments, all that we take out of the cenote is reused to build soil in other areas of the land, and to make compost
and we had our first baby chick hatch