The past two weeks have been largely dedicated to tire packing!  The team is now picking up speed and if there are volunteers on hand to help they are able to complete an entire coures of tires in one day.  We are now halfway through the 6th course, out of a total 13 – almost halfway.  It usually takes between 15 and 30 minutes to pack, level and plumb one tire.  Before you can take the sledge hammer to the tire, however, the entire course of empty tires is laid out to ensure that they form a running bond pattern with the tires below.  This running bond is part of what locks the tires together vertically and gives them their strength.

In addition to all the tire-related work (transporting tires, cutting blocks, mixing dirt), materials are being prepped for the patio roof.  There has also been a lot work preparing the site for rainy season, which will soon be upon us.  A fair amount of time has been spent digging drainage trenches and creating paths for the water that won’t interfere with our building. 

More glass bottles are being collected and assembled into bricks for the next workshop. Once we have enough of the right colors we are ready to put them in place, and then get the patio roof up. I’ve also been spending some time getting all of our construction drawings updated and cleaned so that we can better communicate our design and construction process with other people.  And finally, I had a chance to travel to Nicaragua to a gathering of all the Architecture schools in Central America.  It was a fascinating trip, and the conference had some interesting presentations, but the type of alternative construction we are doing is still pretty unknown amongst other Central American students and professors.  There was a lot of talk about how countries in this region can build in a way that doesn’t destroy natural resources and I was happy to show LWH’s work and demonstrate that there are people who are already building like this everyday.

Stay tuned as the walls continue to take shape over next two weeks . . .