June 22nd, 2012 – Ribbon Cutting Ceremony #3

There is always a little piece of sadness whenever something is severed. Cutting the red ribbon tied to the front door of 496 Bowen Circle – the new home of Eric Boxrud and Nancy Morlock – a home built in 4 months by 8 amazing interns from all over the US and 2 dedicated builder/instructors … Continue reading

To the Spring 2012 Crew – from Eric Plourde, Instructor and Builder

Spring 2012 Building Crew

-Final Thoughts- As I sat alone in this straw house tonight and stared at another nearly finished project I felt more pride and more surrounded by beauty then I have on any other project I have been a part of. I have built a lot of things, a lot of very beautiful things but little … Continue reading

Finish plaster and final adobe floor coat. Done.

The end of the semester came as we lightened up the rooms, wall by wall, with finish plaster. Each day we shuffled in, masked edges we wanted to keep nice, listened to words of wisdom from Kelly Ray on plastering technique, someone was mix master, cooking up the days plaster, Eric was always floating about, … Continue reading

Whoop-ds, Schwoop-ds, and farewell Alyssa.

Before we begin our final interior plasters, we must first sob in our mixing buckets because our fellow intern Alyssa had to part with us a couple of weeks early to jump into a Montana trail crew program. If I could see the computer screen well enough through my tears, I’d wish her well. Sniffle. … Continue reading

Mud, mud, mud. Hint of lime.

Our interior and exterior walls each receive three coats of earthen plaster. In the past couple of weeks we have learned how to apply the second coats, which are applied with hawk and trowel. In one hand (usually the left) you hold the hawk, which has a pancake’s worth of plaster balanced atop it. In … Continue reading

Dirty Dancing

Hey folks! I’m guest posting with Lauren this week to fill you in on all of our dirty (or as we all like to say, “dare-tee”) work since Spring Break. Our fist day back we installed windows, tied up some loose end projects, and prepared for our initial coat of exterior mud. Within a few … Continue reading


In the same week that we learned about solar pv panels, we installed our windows, also known as glazing. The amount of glazing determines how much sunlight will penetrate the house and provide heat input. Our house is designed with the majority of its glazing facing south to gain solar radiation. The energy is absorbed … Continue reading

Hot Spots are Bad

Jeff Tobe and his PV Panel

Jeff Tobe from Solar Energy International did it again! Welcome back, Jeff! Thanks for making the trip from Paonia to again share your knowledge of the sun’s power. In the morning we received our dose of Electricity 101 – ranging from AmpsxVolts=Watts to why inverters are so cool. In the afternoon Jeff led us through … Continue reading

Drywall, plaster, sun tubes, gable vents.

In the past couple of weeks, we have been tying up several smaller projects. The was parted into small groups or pairs: affixing the last pieces of roofing onto the eyebrows, drilling through the roof to add sun tubes into the bathrooms, screwing drywall to the ceiling and some walls, lath stapled onto other walls, … Continue reading

Interior framing and learning about cob.

Gotta get caught up… Two weeks ago, after trimming and setting our bales, we started framing our interior walls. We learned about standard (16″ on center) and advanced (24″ on center) framing. Then we began framing our interior walls, paying special attention to which walls would be lath and plaster and which walls would be … Continue reading