Saturday, September 24, 2011

House progress

Once all the beams were up an extra piece was added to the center beam, and a circular piece was added to the upper cross beam. I love to observe how the crew works, everything done by hand. 
The circular piece was made by several smaller straight piece cut 
tung and groove style each fitting into the other and bolted together.
(please excuse my limited knowledge of technical building terms)

Then the rafters were added (not sure of the correct word)
I love how it looked when standing inside the house and looking up, just like a beautiful sun.
When this was done we were still thinking that we would have a palapa roof.
Once the decision was made to do a ferrocement roof we had to wait for a few more rafters to arrive to help support the added weight.

Meanwhile the two cisterns in the basement were almost completed. 
Each cistern will be able to hold about 11000 liters of rain water. 
Considering that we will have a dry toilet, hence no flushing, which is where 
most of our household water usage stems from, 
that should cover, if not all, then most of our water needs.

 The two tanks are connected. 
Apparently it works better to have two tanks as oppose to one big tank, and this has to do with the solar pump that will bring the water to the tank on the roof, and the levels inside the tanks. 
The tanks will also have an overflow valve.

 Here is Keenan, a well liked visiter at the work site, 
walking around what will hold all the waste from the dry toilet.
 It has been filled up to ground level and slanted a certain percentage, which I cannot recall right now, 
This allows for the urine to run off into a separate space. 
I have seen these spaces in house where the system is in use, and there is no odor... amazingly. 
The added sawdust as well as the toilet paper creates the balance needed for 
perfect decomposition, and it is fast.
You have a trap door that opens out, and every so often 
you shovel an amount of the humanure out, 
leave it in the sun for a few weeks and add it to your garden ( on the none edible plants )
We will certainly be getting in touch, very literally, with our personal waste.
 Quite different from flushing the toilet and never give much thought as to where it all goes. 
More on this once I have lived with for a while:)
Kaleena is standing on the upper slant, and the floor will of course be sealed with cement.
Finally the last rafters arrived and look how pretty. 
They are doing such wonderful work.
For while we thought that we would be 
building this house, that has turned out not to be the case.
Time concerns being of the main reasons, and also our lack of expertise in masonry.
 A complete beautiful sun!
 Like I mentioned Keenan loves to spend time at the building site, he can sit for the longest time just watching, then later he will in some way mimic 
what he has observed and bring it into his play.



  1. This is amazing! I would love to know more about your story! x

  2. wow christina! this is so amazing to watch. i love that you are documenting all of this and how wonderful for keenan and kaleena to absorb this all. an amazing education.

  3. These are very powerful images. The sun roof tresses are stunning. And the dry toilet system and water systems boggle the mind. Clever, amazing. We have friends who use a dry toilet in their trailer as they travel, and it works quite well, and without odor. I am fascinated with these ideas and would like them to become the normal way of doing things. I don't like large systems that depend on so many variables and have such potential for catastrophic consequences in failure. It makes me nervous - we are always living on a tightrope in so many ways. What you are doing is a good, good experiment - and who knows - if you write a book about it, you may change the way the world sees things -


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