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 Post subject: Re: Rammed Earth Journey
PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2012 7:42 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jan 12, 2008 5:29 am
Posts: 179
Location: Blue Mountains
Well, life is still doing it's best to get in the way of building but some progress has been made.

In an attempt to clear some of the clutter around my site (the downside of buying things on ebay is that they never come up when you want them so most things you buy, you have to store somewhere), I have started to work on some of the main outside jobs. Some water tanks were taking up too much room, so a couple of days work had them sitting in their final resting place. I am making a courtyard behind the garage so this area is built up with rock retaining walls. The tanks sit on a sand pad that is formed with sleepers.
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The sleepers were joined with halving joints...
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...and these were drilled and pinned with reo bar to hold them together.
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Sandy fill was then compacted into the frame and the second hand tanks placed in position. The tanks are positioned to give the courtyard some privacy from the adjacent building.
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Bluey.


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 Post subject: Re: Rammed Earth Journey
PostPosted: Sun Dec 16, 2012 5:51 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 09, 2012 12:38 pm
Posts: 40
very very nice bluey, love the bluestones and the sleepers, very rustic....
are you sure thats level :wink:
keep up the good work...Newman (hawthorn house)


Last edited by Newman on Fri Dec 21, 2012 7:22 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Rammed Earth Journey
PostPosted: Fri Dec 21, 2012 2:53 am 
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Joined: Thu Dec 20, 2012 4:25 pm
Posts: 10
Hi Bluey

Have spent many, many hours reading up on all the projects on here - and there are so many that have really inspired me ... But yours has to be right up the top of my favourites list :)


I think what you have done is absolutely awesome and incredibly inspiring - and it's great that you have taken the time to write it all up in so much detail

I have been trying to get a sense of perspective Of the size of the house in relation to the land that you are building it on - I am sure that you said somewhere in the thread that the house is 5metres wide .. But I can't see any reference to how long the building is and how big the block (or building area) is

And I hope that your thumbs on the mend!

Anyhow, best wishes for the remainder of the build - I will continue to watch this one with great awe

Regards
A|T


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 Post subject: Re: Rammed Earth Journey
PostPosted: Sun Dec 23, 2012 10:59 am 
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Joined: Fri Aug 04, 2006 12:34 am
Posts: 148
Location: Bega
Bluey, I am enjoying the progress, keep at it :-)

Steve


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 Post subject: Re: Rammed Earth Journey
PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2012 6:57 am 
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Joined: Sat Jan 12, 2008 5:29 am
Posts: 179
Location: Blue Mountains
Thanks Newman for your continuing support.

Steve, good to hear that you are still around and that you are enjoying life in your pavilion. I look forward to the next installment on your place.

Aussietanker,
I appreciate the kind words and am pleased that you have enjoyed reading about my project. My block is 18m frontage by 55m deep. The house is 5.6m wide (5m internal dimension plus 2 x 300mm thick walls) by 23.7m long (including the deck). The garage is 6.6 x 6.6m (6x6 internal). The house and garage are set back 1m from the side boundary and the buildings are set back 8m from the street. The back of the block joins the bush and since there are no fences to the neighbouring properties, the block appears bigger than it is. It is a small block for the area it is in.

My thumb has completely healed now thankfully.

Are you considering your own build?

Bluey.


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 Post subject: Re: Rammed Earth Journey
PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2013 5:57 pm 
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Joined: Thu Dec 20, 2012 4:25 pm
Posts: 10
Bluey wrote:

Aussietanker,
I appreciate the kind words and am pleased that you have enjoyed reading about my project. My block is 18m frontage by 55m deep. The house is 5.6m wide (5m internal dimension plus 2 x 300mm thick walls) by 23.7m long (including the deck). The garage is 6.6 x 6.6m (6x6 internal). The house and garage are set back 1m from the side boundary and the buildings are set back 8m from the street. The back of the block joins the bush and since there are no fences to the neighbouring properties, the block appears bigger than it is. It is a small block for the area it is in.

My thumb has completely healed now thankfully.

Are you considering your own build?

Bluey.


Thanks for the reply bluey ..... I really appreciate the time and effort that you (and many other members on here) take in documenting the build details. And I'm guesing that it's probably the last thing that you want to do after a hard day "on site" - but it sure gives all those that are following the various builds lots of inspiration, lots of ideas .... and lots of practical tips & advice... So please keep the posts coming!

Having the land has helped me to put a better perspective on the house and how it sits on the land ... The block is bigger that i had guessed

I am really looking fwd to seeing the continued progress of your amazing build over the next few months ....esp how you go with the earthen floor

Yes, I will admit ... You and steveJ , along with many of the other builders on here have totally inspired me and I am thinking of doing my own build - which will be our "retirement" home .... I am especially interested in doing an "insulated rammed earth" build that is as energy efficient as possible with (hopefully) as much recycled material as possible .... but i have never even done so much as build a dog house previously and don't really feel that I am very "handy" or very good with tools at all - in fact, I know that I'm not:(

So while I am a little "daunted" by the complexity of the process i feel that have lots of time to learn & to research as we haven't even bought land (still trying to work out where etc) and are not likely to want to start building for approx 2 or so years

I am thinking more along the lines of "sub contracting" all/most of the tasks out, and being more of the "organiser" or "facilitator" ..... But doing as much of the hack labouring work myself ... I am also considering doing some sort of Tafe course (maybe like 6 months full time?) to learn about the process of building so that I understand that process better ( ie so that I know what order to do all the tasks in etc ) ... And if anyone has any recommendations on good or useful courses I would be very happy to hear your recommendations ( maybe just pm me with details so that it doesn't clutter this thread)

Anyway, too much rambling from me - looking fwd to seeing more progress here bluey

Regards
A|T


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 Post subject: Re: Rammed Earth Journey
PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2013 7:44 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jan 12, 2008 5:29 am
Posts: 179
Location: Blue Mountains
AT,
Sounds like you have the right idea in the way you are approaching your build. I will be interested to see how things develop.

After a break over the festive season I returned to the heatwave and forecast of extreme bushfire ratings. I have spent the last week trying to make the building and site as prepared for fire as I can. This has involved rearranging the site by moving flammable materials away from the buildings, sealing up openings in the external cladding, installing the bushfire flyscreening to the deck area and removing vegetation that had grown up adjacent to the house. I also filled the water tanks that I recently installed and attached fittings so I can connect up the fire pump that I have been storing for the last few years. I have kept all of the fire shutters closed when I have been away from the site.

I cleared a small firebreak along the side of the house. The shutters on this side have been secured. I installed perforated corrugated iron over the gutters and eaves that is very effective in keeping leaves out of the gutters...
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I made up the stainless steel flyscreening to the deck area. It was very difficult installing this by myself which resulted in some wrinkles in it. It will work as an ember screen for now and I will try to fix it up later...
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I still need to make up shutters to the high level windows and the large sliding door to the deck...
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At this stage if I do get caught in a fire, the garage is my most secure building. It is further from the bush than the house and it currently does not have any windows in it. The entry door is metal clad as are the panel lift doors. The corrugated iron on the walls even has earth walls behind it. I have been finishing sealing all of the gaps with sheet metal flashings and as a temporary measure I have placed rock wool insulation beneath the corner cappings on the walls to completely seal it...
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Hopefully I do not need to put any of this into action but having sat through the hot windy conditions that we had last Tuesday (with a bushfire burning nearby in Lithgow) I really appreciate the added peace of mind all of these measures will give me. If that is what a day rated as 'Extreme' feels like, I reckon that I am definately just going to close the house up and leave if they ever give our area a 'Catestrophic' rating :shock: .

I suppose that is the price you pay for living close to our beautiful bush :) .

Bluey


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 Post subject: Re: Rammed Earth Journey
PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2013 6:38 am 
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Joined: Wed Mar 25, 2009 8:51 pm
Posts: 104
Location: Tungkillo, South Australia
Bluey wrote:
If that is what a day rated as 'Extreme' feels like, I reckon that I am definately just going to close the house up and leave if they ever give our area a 'Catestrophic' rating

We're not quite as bad with open pasture around the house area (BAL 12.5), but still our plan will be secure the house then leave on a catastrophic rated day.

I've been looking at ember ingress preventatives and we're going to use a product from http://www.insulation.com.au called ember guard. It's not FZ rated though, just wondering if your measure will get you through occupancy certification?


Edit - emberguard page is at http://www.insulation.com.au/products-1 ... insulation


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 Post subject: Re: Rammed Earth Journey
PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2013 7:39 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 16, 2012 8:34 am
Posts: 85
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Bluey,

Progress is looking good! I'm very interested in your screened decking, as that's something I'm going to have to attempt when it comes time to build the house - it has a screened "outdoor" courtyard intended to give our cats some outside space to enjoy, without actually being outside. Being in -FZ certainly complicates that a bit...

Bluey wrote:
If that is what a day rated as 'Extreme' feels like, I reckon that I am definately just going to close the house up and leave if they ever give our area a 'Catestrophic' rating


I hear you, but from what I've seen of your build I'd be reasonably confident that your buildings will survive a fire coming through. Remember, buildings usually only burn down when fire gets inside - keep it out with shutters, screens and intelligent detailing, and it'll probably be fine. Your choice of Rockwool to fill the corrugations is a good one - that's what's specified in the -FZ roof detailing, so if it's good enough for the most extreme situations it'll definitely serve you well in yours.

angelis wrote:
I've been looking at ember ingress preventatives and we're going to use a product from http://www.insulation.com.au called ember guard. It's not FZ rated though, just wondering if your measure will get you through occupancy certification?


Angelis - that looks like a very similar product to Rockwool ("mineral wool"), which is what we need to use in our roof design:

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This is the approved sheet-metal roof design for BAL-FZ ratings, and it's basically 15mm tongue-and-groove ply on top of the trusses / rafters, then regular OBHW battens, then 75mm Anticon fibreglass blanket, then the tin. Exposed edges (eaves, ridges and gullies) are packed with Fibretex Rockwool (or that EmberGuard you linked to), and that's that. Nowhere for embers to get into the roof structure, nowhere for them to lodge and smoulder. Barring something like a tree coming down and penetrating the roof, it's not going to burn.

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Simon.

The adventures of an owner-builder in the Tallarook Ranges


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 Post subject: Re: Rammed Earth Journey
PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2013 9:17 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 25, 2009 8:51 pm
Posts: 104
Location: Tungkillo, South Australia
All good then Simon.

Must admit I haven't looked into the FZ requirements as they don't apply to us and as you'd know there's enough to research without going further than you need. Just thought it was strange this product listed up to BAL-40 so I thought I'd ask the question.


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 Post subject: Re: Rammed Earth Journey
PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2013 8:25 am 
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Joined: Sat Jan 12, 2008 5:29 am
Posts: 179
Location: Blue Mountains
Thanks Angelis and Simon for your feedback.

I should note for everyone reading this that my plans were submitted prior to the changes in the bushfire regulations that came in after the Victoria fires. The fire regs at that time did not allow for Flamezone category. The highest level was called Level 3 and then anything beyond that was subject to an independent report. The main things from my report are that I am not to have external timber or timber structure, there should not be any gap bigger than 3mm in the exterior of the building, the windows are to have toughened glass and I need to install non-flammable shutters and stainless steel flyscreens to all openings. When I look at Simon's roof detailing it seems that there are now a lot more regulations around what is acceptable construction for Flamezone category.

If you are planning on buying or build on a block that would be subject to a FZ category then it would pay to find out what additional costs are involved in meeting the current standards.

Bluey.


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 Post subject: Re: Rammed Earth Journey
PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2013 9:24 am 
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Joined: Thu Feb 16, 2012 8:34 am
Posts: 85
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Bluey wrote:
The main things from my report are that I am not to have external timber or timber structure, there should not be any gap bigger than 3mm in the exterior of the building, the windows are to have toughened glass and I need to install non-flammable shutters and stainless steel flyscreens to all openings.


That's a basic description of the -FZ requirements as it happens. There's a bit more in the details, but it sounds like you're building to BAL-FZ standards already. It's a good thing :)

_________________
Simon.

The adventures of an owner-builder in the Tallarook Ranges


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 Post subject: Re: Rammed Earth Journey
PostPosted: Sat Mar 23, 2013 8:38 am 
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Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2008 2:46 pm
Posts: 320
Location: wycheproof
hey bluey you've done an exceptional job loving it well done :D :D :D :D


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 Post subject: Re: Rammed Earth Journey
PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2013 1:40 pm 
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Joined: Thu Dec 20, 2012 4:25 pm
Posts: 10
Hi everyone ..... Hope that you are well ......Any chance of an update and a few more pix bluey?

Regards
A|T


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 Post subject: Re: Rammed Earth Journey
PostPosted: Wed Jul 23, 2014 12:14 am 
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Joined: Sat Jan 12, 2008 5:29 am
Posts: 179
Location: Blue Mountains
Wow.....it's hard to believe that it is so long ago since I last posted. Things have really been happening in the last year and a half and only a small portion of it relating to progress on the house. I can see that my lack of posting directly corresponds to meeting my wonderful girlfriend, Suz. Quite a good distraction really. Her love of chooks, gardening, permaculture and the simple life fits my lifestyle like a glove. We have been working hard getting the garden set up with raised vege beds, fruit trees, chicken coops, worm farms, compost bins and planting native seedlings.

The other significant event since my last post was the October bushfires. The fires went through our street and thankfully my house survived. Unfortunately 7 of our neighbours properties were destroyed including 4 houses directly across the street. Thankfully I was away at the time and Suz just closed the house up and got out with the chickens when she smelled the smoke. It started only a kilometre from our street so she had little time to do much else. The fire burnt right up to the house but there was practically no damage to it at all. Makes all the effort of building to the fire regulations seem very worthwhile. The rammed earth walls and window shutters did a great job.

Here is where the fire came down through the neighbouring vacant bush block...
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...and from the back of the block.

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I lost some building materials that were stored in the back yard and the temporary toilet burnt down but somehow almost everything else survived.

The remains of the temporary toilet and timber pile...

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Things are looking much better now than they were back then so I'll try to post some pic's of progress on the house and the work on the garden soon.

Bluey


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