Week#15

eARThouse2016 is about to start a new step! Adyengo and Safu are the carpenters chosen for the roofing. They came on Monday to partially set up the scaffolding and understand the job they are going to face during the next period, always closer to the deadline. Measuremens of slopes and peaks are taken, as well as the anti-termite treatment all over the wooden planks done, using an hand pump machine. 

In the meanwhile we took all the measurement of the wooden plates too, 2 by 9 inches section, to be laid on top of the rammed walls, to bear and spread the roof loads. Many things need to be taken into account. For instance, pipes for power sockets  were placed randomly through the wall section, due to a lack of precision while ramming. Moreover, during the last layer of rammed earth, we added some wood and string as anchor system for the roof. These features will need many holes on the planks where to pass through.

On Monday 3 we completed the patio walls and carried a pile of red soil in front of the project for the next flooring step.

After small upgrading works to the formworks, they were moved to Opoku’s house. Recycling the empty cement bag, Luca studied his own “patent” to wrap and tie them off around the metal formworks. He basically folds the bags behind the edges of the metal formworks, then sews them with needle and string and tight everything well.

Friday 7,  Opoku’s house has being started! In two days the rammers quickly built 4 pieces. Many thanks to Edward, Abas, Kofi, Olu, Opoku and his brothers. His family is so much excited and we are also grateful and glad to help him as long as we can.

This new project is not between us and Nka Foundation. In fact, his time we, as LOAD, decided to work in collaboration with Mr. Frank Appiah, the community coordinator and Prof. Mantey, lecturer at KNUST, again along with us to go through this experience in Abetenim. 

On Wednesday 5 we complete all the wall wooden plate, emboding all the pipes and locking string coming up from the wall. It was then necessary to join the plates together in order to create a tight ring to balance all the tension from the roof loads.

We discuss together about shape, angle and details regarding the trusses, which are made out of 2 by 6 inches profile for the primary structure and 2 by 3 inches for the secondary. As soon as we decided the whole design, including the overhang roof about 30 inches out of the walls and the peak height set at 6 feet from the top of the wooden bearing plate, it was time to cut the pieces and join them together before rising them up and nail the structure. In this way, half work is done on ground by us and half by the carpenters on top. In nearly 3 days, from Thursday 6 to Saturday 8, the three big trusses above the bedrooms were fixed!

In the beginning of this week new people came to stay at the Art village of Abetenim. First Lara, a german girl from Stuttgart, who will volunteer for the next 4 months. Further, a small group of artist gathered here and led by Prof. Mantey will schedule different activities, paintings and sculptures. Stefano, land artist from Italy, Ellis and his brother Edward from Nigeria are part of this group. 

Unfortunately, as new friends come, others are leaving. Gina deserved a big bonfire for her last night at Abetenim! Thanks Ginao’.

During the “spare time” in between the roofing, Addyengo and Safu prepared some frames for the external walls facing the working spaces, which will be shaded with babadua sticks further on.

These frames are fixed to the vertical walls by screws and self-tapping screw stoppers and they work quite well since walls are enough hard.

On Sunday 9 we were back to work on Opoku’s site. As mentioned before, the ramming goes quickly and allows us to expect a very short construction schedule. Therefore, we will definetely do our best  to complete it before leaving from Ghana. Many people came to visit Opoku and questioned us about the project details with much interest. 

The hope for an entire long-term development of local living conditions is still getting very strong, but it can become reality only when the community can rely on humble, determined and open-minded people such as Opoku.

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