Academy, Day 15

I’m sorry I didn’t post anything over the weekend. I got caught up in working on our assignment and various other necessary activities, like doing laundry and buying food for the week.

On Saturday, we had a class on how to calculate your electrical needs and how to size your solar/wind system accordingly. The second class was on wind power, but unfortunately, wasn’t very helpful. I guess you can’t win(d) them all πŸ˜›

Today, our first class was all about the different Earthship types. We went through the early models such as Pit Houses, U module and Hut styles. There is a second class we will have on this that will cover the Packaged and Global models.

Our second class was on all of the components that make up what is called the Power Organization Model. This is all of the controllers and breaker boxes and what not that take the power from your solar array (or wind turbine), sorts it out, stores it in the batteries and serves it up to your standard breaker panel. I’m not an electrician, but the components seemed fairly straightforward. I’m sure the more details you want, the more complicated it gets.

This afternoon, we did the big concrete pour. I’m going to say right now, my estimate was pretty dang close at 16.8 yards. They ordered two trucks for a total of 16 yards and they were short, so we hand mixed the last bit.

You may have heard me mention the name Phil in some of my other posts. He’s one of the long-time Earthshippers and one of our teachers/supervisors. If you watch some of the Earthship videos on youtube, you’ll probably see him as well. This first shot is of Phil prepping the boom from the back of the concrete truck.


You can’t see his shirt, but it says, “Eat Locals” with a picture of a zombie chasing a farmer on a tractor. I thought that was pretty funny πŸ™‚ We all waited with great anticipation and eventually the concrete started to flow down the boom. We were all very excited.


We poured the footings first. Here is a picture of Phil doing finishing work on the footing. I got to do a bit of that too.


However, it wasn’t long before I was recruited to join the bucket brigade to fill in the bond beam up top. The footings were easy, as we could pour those right from the truck, but the bond beam is higher than the truck, so we had to haul it up the back of the building. I’ll tell ya, we had everyone on that bucket brigade and we moved a lot of concrete in a relatively short period of time. I managed during a short break to snap my very first selfie, covered with concrete.


Here is a shot of the crew working to fill up the buttresses. Because it’s so deep, you take a piece of rebar and continuously shove it down into the poured buttress to get it to settle and work out any air bubbles. That’s what they’re doing here.


Then, once it’s all poured, you do some measuring, and place anchor bolts in the concrete so you have something to attach the nailer plate with that will go on top of the bond beam. Here is a shot of the final bond beam pour.


That’s the end of our story for today, I wonder what will happen tomorrow πŸ˜€


6 thoughts on “Academy, Day 15”

    1. Unfortunately, I won’t be here long enough to see the final version of the one we are working on. We have been taken on tours of many finished ones though, and I have a tonne of pictures, I just need to sort them all and post some galleries.

    1. Yes, in the bond beam pictures, you can see the big, plastic cisterns along the back. We’ve talked about them a fair amount. What would you like to know, in particular. I can tell you that each one holds 1700 gallons, or 6460 liters.

    1. Depends on your annual rain fall and such. They’re putting five on this house we’re working on. It’s going to be a two bedroom, two bathroom meant for a family. Also, it’s in the desert, so when it does rain, you want to store as much as possible.

      Myself, I’m thinking more storage is better, especially if we have drought conditions. It will also depend on budgets πŸ˜‰

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