Build diary – week sixteen, mud, mud, glorious mud!

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 – 10th September to 14th September.

The weather seems to have turned with wind, rain, cold and sunshine this week, but we carried on working outside or in as the weather changed.
Working under the canopy allowed us to put the final external lime render finish onto the largest of the walls transforming it from a rough coat to a beautiful smooth surface that brings out the organic form of the underlying straw structure.



Meanwhile a couple of the guys started to set-out, dig and prepare the foundation pads for the main decking supports ready for the timbers that arrive on Monday. The distance you can see from the foundation pad to the wooden post gives an indication of just how wide the decking area is, 3 meters! This is going to be a fabulous space for activities or just sitting on and enjoying the view.


Mud! For a change not, the state of the site but the second coat of clay render that now covers the whole interior. These walls will, like the external walls, have a smooth finishing coat applied soon. It’s goodbye to the straw, never to be seen again but, just to prove that the walls are indeed built from straw, there’s going to be a ‘truth window’ a small section of the straw will remain exposed beneath a glass screen.


And in case you were wondering about the shingles, work is progressing apace now we have a new supply of the shingles themselves. The picture shows the ‘joint’ between the shingle roof and the Sedum roof where lead ‘soakers’ (small pieces of lead inserted beneath a tile and formed over the edge of the adjoining roof) have been used to create a weather tight joint.


Chris Gregson



  1. Katherine says:

    Are we going to be able to apply final coat of interior mud. Think it would be nice to be able to see some physical sign of human hands


    1. Great question Katherine – here is Chris’s answer:
      “Although the builders are scheduled to do the clay finishing during the week there will be an opportunity for our members to ‘make their mark’ once the project is complete. It has been proposed that a tree-shaped relief is modelled in clay onto the ‘library wall’ where shareholder involvement and personal expression will be encouraged.”


Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.