Colorado Earthship Build: Day 27 (Atrium framing and last day)

We have come to the end of our time at the Colorado Earthship build, 2015. We did go in to the site today and finished up making the roof box over the entrance to the atrium. I can fill you in on some more of the details of how we went about doing that.

I mentioned yesterday that we had to drill out some holes to put rebar through to pin the posts together. Here is a picture of me up top doing just that.


We had to put two holes in the end of each post. We ended up only putting up four cross beam posts. The drawings had originally said to do eight, but we were short on posts and MikeR said he didn’t want to waste any by going super overkill on the cross beams. So we put two on the outside and two on the inside and filled in the rest with some 2×8 that we ripped down to a true 2×6.

Here is me up top again receiving the last post.


I took a picture from up top of the holes that I drilled into the cross beams and there is one piece of rebar partially pounded into place.


And the shot of having finished driving in the rebar.


It ended up looking like this when we were done.



Kat was the finder and getter of things today and here you can see her awesome ninja skills with some channel locks.


While I was standing up top, I had a rather unique view of things going on around me so while I was waiting for Zsolt to cut the next board, I took a few pictures.

First we have a view of upstairs on the west side.


In the main atrium area on the bottom floor they started to pour the footings for the stairwell that will be put in there.



Here is the east side of the upper floor.


There were a lot of people heading out today, so there were many goodbyes. Steve came by and I was still up top so we did this whole Sistine Chapel sort of hand shake that Kat caught on film.


As you know they put the logs on the roof of the upper floor yesterday so all of those had to be positioned and secured. The second floor roof is also slanted for rainwater catchment so they have to make sure all of the logs are at the correct angle. They adjusted the heights at the ends by putting a “biscuit” under the end of each of the logs. That’s just a fancy word for a piece of plywood.

After that, they put wood blocks on either side of each log so they don’t roll out of position.


Once each log has been positioned, they pull out the big drill again, and bore a really deep hole through each of the logs. Then a piece of rebar that is probably about 24″ (60cm) long is pounded through the log into the beam below. They leave a few inches of rebar sticking out the top, which gets bent over and hammered into the log.


Debra and Jared were busy putting some of the interior doors in their frames.


Kat took a picture from the back west corner of the main room upstairs. It still looks quite skeletal, but I think you can imagine that it will be quite large.


And that’s it. We worked a bit passed noon, but pretty much everyone left the build site when lunch was called. Some were just heading into town, but many of us have long journeys ahead of us. Kat and I went and talked to Hollie and said our goodbyes. It’s been a blast and we have certainly learned at lot, not to mention lost a few pounds too 🙂

We headed into Salida to pick up a few things for the road. If you’re in the old downtown section and look to the north there is a big mountain with a large S on it. I think that is where the Salida radio station is located.


We headed back to our campsite and on the way by, stopped for a final shot of the build site from the highway.


It certainly has come a long way since we first arrived.

All in all, we had a lot of fun. The camp site where we have been staying is mainly an RV park and full of great people, some of them being regulars for many years. We have become quite the regulars ourselves as we sat each evening near the rec hall doing our computing stuff. Many people would come over and we’d chat. I’m sure by this point everyone in the place knows we are building an Earthship down the road.

Some have asked why we would volunteer our time to drive all of this way to build someone else’s house. Experience is a big factor and being in a group of like minded people is a great motivator for our own Earthship project.

In the end, I got one of these.


The paper isn’t worth much, but the experiences are priceless.


2 thoughts on “Colorado Earthship Build: Day 27 (Atrium framing and last day)”

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