Welcome Home Lorenzo!

Welcome home Lorenzo! After 4 months of building, Community Rebuilds wrapped up work on Lorenzo McGregor the Third’s beautiful new strawbale house (Community Rebuilds 5th!) and officially welcomed him into his new home and neighborhood with an open house on June 20. What was a house is now a home. Though Lorenzo won’t fully move … Continue reading

Cheese Curds and Desert Varnish

With the last of the lime plasters up on the bathroom walls on Monday and the exterior wrapped in a coat of blue lime on Tuesday, Ryan’s amazing, patient week of teaching was over. With all of the lime on the house finished, it seemed fitting to move away from our practical education in inorganic chemistry … Continue reading

A Plaster Extravaganza

The Setup Over the past 3 1/2 months we have worked diligently to put together a fine strawbale house. As of the beginning of last week, we had cleared, formed, poured, nailed, screwed, and plastered our way to a pretty clean looking building. But, we were still pretty brown on the inside. So what did … Continue reading

A Practical Lesson On The Lime Cycle

The first exterior lime coat went up at the beginning of this week. It definitely feels like a milestone to be using a new material, not to mention completely transforming the exterior of the building. I remember learning about the lime cycle at school, and specifically remember being told that it was used “in industry”. … Continue reading

Walls Make Rooms

Yesterday we returned to work after a week-long Spring break and picked up right where we left off – defining the interior spaces of our house. The week before break we were busy surfacing our interior walls. We primarily used drywall since we were able to salvage a lot from the trash pile at another … Continue reading

The First Coat of Plaster

It is amazing how many things you can do with a bit of mud and straw. Sturdy, sculptured cob, well insulated light clay straw walls, tough earthen plasters, and beautiful finishes. Different ratios of materials, different applications, but the same basic ingredients.  It’s hardly alchemy, either, being only slightly more highly evolved than the mud … Continue reading

Permaculture Workshop

After finishing installing the straw bales last Friday, it seemed like perfect timing to take a few days away from the build site this week for the permaculture workshop. It not only gave us a chance to finally get all of the straw out of our hair, but it was also a good point to … Continue reading

Strawbale Day 1

An earthen floor

On Thursday we made a significant step in the process of building our home. Over the course of 8 hours we laid 4 inches of mud into the footprint of our building to serve as our floor. It was our first “material” departure from conventional building into the realm of natural and earthen building (though … Continue reading

Building Materials as Food (for Thought)

This week has been all about the details: gable siding, fascia, soffit, flashing. In some ways it has been quite satisfying, like putting sprinkles on a cupcake. Except these sprinkles need to be beveled at exactly 45 degrees, and weigh significantly more than objects that I normally like to hold above my head with one … Continue reading