Build diary – week one, the basics

Build diary

With great pleasure I am handing this blog over to Whistlewood volunteers. If you would like to contribute, you can write your own piece as Chris has or send me notes using the contact page or via Whistlewood.

By Chris Gregson 21st May to 1st June

Welcome to the first of a series of diary pieces documenting the progress of the Roundhouse build. Despite the trials of the British weather the first two weeks has seen our beautiful green field turned into a building site with an (almost) completed track and the footings for the Roundhouse virtually completed.

But first things first let’s meet the team that’s undertaking the build: Dales Contracts Ltd.

the team
From left to right: Tom, Stefan, Tom, Lewis (office), Paul (Director, site), Peter (Director, office).

Peter and Paul have many years experience in the construction of low impact buildings including wood, strawbale and passivhaus builds which they are passing onto the younger members of the team, Tom (without the beard) is only 16.

As you would expect the first job was to prepare the site by excavating the topsoil down to the underlying clay. A process that seems to have created ‘Whistlewood mountain’, seen in the background of the photo below. Some of this ‘mountain’ will be used to back fill the excavation once the decking has been finished with the rest formed into a grass amphitheatre in front of the stage.

A shallow circular trench was then dug and back filled with Limecrete, mixed on site, onto which the trench blocks were laid. In keeping with our green credentials these blocks are composed of 70% recycled material which, of course, can be recycled again if ever the foundation is taken up.

Filling the trench with Limecrete
Trench being filled with the Limecrete.
the first blocks being laid
First of the blocks being laid onto the Limecrete base.

Once the blocks are build level and up to five courses the wooden base plate can be installed and the strawbale build can begin next week.


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