The rammed walls are about to start! 2 days yet to place the metal formworks and check any issues before starting. At this step we also need to make the timber frames for windows and doors, which will be connected within the earth walls while ramming. It has decided to do treatments against termites first and varnishing afterwards. On Wednesday 17 Edward and Abas worked with us mixing and ramming for the first day. Gradually the walls portions will rise up and thanks to the all volunteers who are joining us we will work restless until the end!
Here some pictures of the week. We also had some moments to discuss about technical issues related both to the overall design and specific details, and more improvements will come soon.
The metal formworks are quite heavy to carry and lift up. Secondly, the pressure of the ramming can bend a bit the metal plates, therefore we added some external supports.
After three days of ramming we have been optimizing the all process, setting the T shape formworks first, since they are the most complicated ones. Working afterlunch too, we will be ready to start the day after mixing very early in the morning and have enough time to ram one full formwork before breakfast, dividing then the T into a smal T and a linear form, in order to ram two more pieces. With the I shape we can even ram 3 times a day. The mix we are using contains 8% of cement, while 10% sand and 82% of red earth and enough water, around three buckets. The maximum mix at the time is with 40 buckets in total, to avoid the cement to harden before castining it.
We will try to ask as many workers as possible to join this process, from the village and sorroundings. It is very important at this point to share the techniques with interested people and let Edward and Abas teach others through thier experience and passion.