Colorado Earthship Build: Day 23 (Atrium nailing plate and concrete form)

You know it’s going to be a rough day when the excavator is dragging itself up the hill.


We’ve been working that excavator pretty hard, so I’m not surprised if he’s getting a little slow 😛

There was a bunch of weird stuff that happened today.

Take for instance this picture. It looks like I have been replace by an donut eating alien.


And this person kept popping up in odd poses.


Though, she almost fell out of the window after that one.


This is where we started and ended our day: at the front of the atrium. We had to finish the trex nailing plate. It requires a double plate and the joints from one layer couldn’t overlap the second so we had more angles to figure out.


We had a hilarious moment in a not-really-funny kind of way today. Jared, one of the guys who was responsible for building the form for the atrium pour was around. I thought he would be able to tell us what angles to use for the cutting of the plates. His answer? “Oh it doesn’t really matter, just make it up.” That was funny and disturbing all at the same time.

Luckily, I had a pretty good idea what the angles were from all of the cutting I did yesterday, except now they had to be applied a bit different for the second layer. We eventually got it to work and our joints looked pretty snazzy, if I do say so myself.


To put the second plate on, you have to tighten the nuts on the anchor bolts nice and snug, then use a grinder to cut off the excess threads sticking up passed the bolt. I took a picture of Russ doing just that, with sparks and all.


Believe it or not, it took us until after lunch to finish the two layers of nailing plate. Kinda crazy when you think about it, but hey, when it’s all trial and error, it takes a while. It did feel like it was slow going though.

Probably because this crazy lady kept showing up and striking weird poses.


After we finished the plating (at least, as much as we could) we had to build concrete forms to pour the end pieces that were missed originally. I have never build a concrete form before and it wasn’t the most pleasant experience because I was trying to do it quickly. Mike R came by a couple of times and asked if it was going to get poured today. I answered, “I hope so.”

Here is a picture of the one side that we did.


We ended up finishing just a bit after clean up was called. We were using bits of previously built concrete forms screwed together with bracing and what not. It didn’t look pretty to me, but Phil came over and looked at it and said it was okay. So tomorrow morning, that will be the first thing we do.

Here is what it looked like from above at the end of the day.


Today, when we arrived on site, Kat snagged a before picture of what is going on up on the roof. Here you can see they have started the framing of the vertical green house wall for the second/back floor. Yes, the floor is wet because we had quite a bit of rain last night.


This is what it looked like by the end of the day. All of the framing in place, along with the big beam up top. Also, all of the tires for the back wall have been pounded and the can wall form for the upper bond beam has begun as well. The buttress forms are in place and ready to go, though I don’t think they have the rebar in them yet.

Quite a bit done for just one day.


The bottle work beside the doors is coming along and looking quite fine. Heather truly does a fine job.


Here is a closeup of freshly laid bottle bricks placed in mortar.


We had a visit from the lonely monkey bottle wall inspector today. As you can see, he does look pretty lonely, but at least he has a place to sit.


Remember those arches they are building above the entrances to the garage? Well, they’ve made quite a bit of progress.


You can see in that picture how they have extended a can wall up the outside of the arch. This is because the top of the arch is supposed to hold soil for some planters. It should be pretty neat when it’s all done.

Tomorrow, after we pour the missing concrete corners, we’ll start working on the framing for the atrium.


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