Two months in…

Hard to believe we’re already two months into the Fall Semester. Every stage of the build has taken so much careful work, yet gone so quickly. First, some background:

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Here is our home, the ‘Campus’ —specifically the front yard, where interns are known to gather after work and eat freeze pops at an alarming rate. They’re irresistible after a long day working in the summer heat… you should really stop at two though, as many of us have learned.

More importantly, the build!  This is a shot of the Ershadi’s house a couple weeks into the semester.  The concrete foundation has been laid down and the form posts and box beams are up.  It was an exciting time in the build, as every day yielded some clearly visible progress.

More importantly, the build! This is a shot of the Ershadi’s house a couple weeks into the semester. The concrete foundation has been laid down and the form posts and box beams are up. It was an exciting time in the build, as every day yielded some clearly visible progress.

 While most of the interns worked on the house, a couple of us worked with Bill, one of the subcontractors, helping him lay down utility lines.  We first located pre-existing pipes with shovels and pickaxes so as to avoid puncturing them, and then Bill came in with a U35 excavator and did most of the dirty work.  Because of the Ershadi’s long driveway, it was quite a long hole.  Afterwards we laid down PVC pipe for electricity lines, visible in the photo.


While most of the interns worked on the house, a couple of us worked with Bill, one of the subcontractors, helping him lay down utility lines. We first located pre-existing pipes with shovels and pickaxes so as to avoid puncturing them, and then Bill came in with a U35 excavator and did most of the dirty work. Because of the Ershadi’s long driveway, it was quite a long hole. Afterwards we laid down PVC pipe for electricity lines, visible in the photo.

After the box beams came the trusses.  They were prefabricated in the factory, thank God, and we managed to get them all installed in about a day.  Working on the hip trusses helped a lot of us (or at least me) to appreciate the mysterious powers of our speed squares.

After the box beams came the trusses. They were prefabricated in the factory, thank God, and we managed to get them all installed in about a day. Working on the hip trusses helped a lot of us (or at least me) to appreciate the mysterious powers of our speed squares.

With all the trusses up --- Alan, on the left, walks away after singlehandedly installing the trusses, not fazed at all.

With all the trusses up — Alan, on the left, walks away after singlehandedly installing the trusses, not fazed at all.

Alan was the star of the show during truss installation, but then Jack (on the right) totally outdid him by singlehandedly installing the plywood roofing with only a single pneumatic nail gun and an iron will.  Here Jack is pictured scouting the surrounding area for precious resources after a triumphant roofing session.   The rest of us learned the meaning of true hardship and camaraderie as we endeavored to level the subfloor insulation.

Alan was the star of the show during truss installation, but then Jack (on the right) totally outdid him by singlehandedly installing the plywood roofing with only a single pneumatic nail gun and an iron will. Here Jack is pictured scouting the surrounding area for precious resources after a triumphant roofing session. The rest of us learned the meaning of true hardship and camaraderie as we endeavored to level the subfloor insulation.

Here is one of our many photos of apprentice builder Will getting some shut-eye after a night of what we can only guess to be unimaginable debauchery.  Will and the other apprentice builder, Jess, are a huge blessing on site for their experience and good cheer.

Here is one of our many photos of apprentice builder Will getting some shut-eye after a night of what we can only guess to be unimaginable debauchery. Will and the other apprentice builder, Jess, are a huge blessing on site for their experience and good cheer.

Finally, with the straw bales installed!   Reached this point September 1st ---Farmer Dave delivered a big load of straw bales (as well as some peaches) and then we set to work stacking the bales after some much appreciated instruction from straw bale veteran Doug.  Our house is finally starting to look like a house.

Finally, with the straw bales installed! Reached this point September 1st —Farmer Dave delivered a big load of straw bales (as well as some peaches) and then we set to work stacking the bales after some much appreciated instruction from straw bale veteran Doug. Our house is finally starting to look like a house.

Tim Knowlton
Fall 2015
Moab, Utah

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