Shade and Sweet Clay

These houses are coming to life, and challenging the living while we strive towards the  living building challenge. We now have a roof! Aka. SHADE, and crevasse to fill with clay! Big things are happening, and the stares from passersby give us fuel. Both houses now have roofs, together we carried the prefabricated trusses through the door of the house lifting them to a crew on the box beams, then many measurements, cuts, anding staining,leveling, plumbing, ratchet strapping, nailing, bracing, insulating, energy heeling, soffit blocking, chalking, sheeting, tar papering facias, and other technical things we have a roof! 

Last friday as we were coming to a close for the day, and our week I walk kicking my feet in the dust of the work site done with my task ready to call it a day. To my delight I walk over to find my friends mixing up some light brown earth with a greenish hue, straw and water. A surge of energy came running through me as I jump with excitement to plunge my hands into the barrels of mushy clay. With the dry greenish hue clay on my arms , and a bowl cut on my head, I feel like my childhood inspiration: Ace from the Gorillaz. 

We began stuffing the bevels (insulation and design around the windows and doors) which entails jamming straw clay into the crevasses with sticks until you can’t jam anymore, and then continuing to jam more. The highlights of my week include wearing a dress on site (my first time on a construction job), stuffing straw into bevels until the day is gone, and going with Jason one of the lead builds to go harvest more clay by ken’s lake. We took off east towards the La Sals our water source, with red rock towering over us to the north and the south, and sun flowers waving, and standing tall on the sides of the road. We dug as much clay as the truck can handle. I asked Jason if he thought a good majority of buildings could be made out of clay, and if there would still be clay left in the ground, he said ⅓ of the earth is clay, and that there would probably not be a cap on clay.

Written by Fall 2019 Intern, Emma Alaimo.

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