Last three weeks before the end of eARThouse2016 workshop. The busy schudele is putting much pressure on time but the main works are about to be completed and only finishings will be left soon.
On Monday 24.10 we went to buy the water tank at one factory around Kumasi and since we are running out of covering sheets we bought more. Actually, we called the truck for the transportation last Saturday, but it broke in Juaben, with no chance to continue farther on and we came back. These are the kind of issues we often face here which make schedules very unpredictable. By the way, this time everything went smothly and we unload the material at the site late in the afternoon. We also brought some wooden boards left to the workshop in Juaben to cut them half and reuse them for the doors, optimizing the cost despite having an unrefined look.
Tuesday 25.10 was a very great day. In fact, the carpenters have completed the roof and the flooring step has also been started! We then continued the floors ramming until Friday 28.10, thanks to Edward, Kofi, Abas, Adamu and Quaquagy. Within the three bedroom we have rammed two layer, using 2% cement content. For this job it took three days, whereas the two open working spaces around the patio need just one day. For these parts, we increased the cement up to 5% of the red soil and sand mix. Since we pack few bags of quarry dust, sifted from foundation stones in the beginning, we decided to use it to have more aggregates range within the mix and reduce the amount of sand, which is almost finished. Same for the fine soil, left from the foundation period too. In total, we added one bucket of quarry dust and two bucket of fine soil to the mixed.
Opoku’s house is also rising fast, even if sometimes there is not so much collaboration with the guys who worked with us, who are kindly offering help to Opoku and ram when formworks are set. Unfortunately, we notice that the sense of volunteering among fellows within the same community, regardless any money the help will bring, isn’t really strong, even though it works very well within the same familiy members. Opoku’s brother are indeed freely contributing a lot on the side of him, aware of how important this house is for Opoku’s wife and children. We hope their motivation can inspire those younger builders like Edward, Kofi and Abas, who don’t seem very aware of their opportunity to develop their communties and spread their business in this field. In fact, the interest around Opoku’s building is increasing a lot, showing how much this techniques can be affordable by any people from any social level around rural villages.
On Wednesday 26.10, after the bonfire night to celebrate Stefano’s sculpture, te transparent sheets were measured, cutted and placed. We also started to set the metal mesh and mosquito net around gables and windows.
Moreover, the babadua screens look very nice, and the people at the village are starting to call this project “Babadua house”. Actually they don’t recognise the value behind this material, even though they know it belongs to their roots. It looks to them as a less value or worse quality feature compared to the rest of this project. We hope that by the end of it, they will identify the babadua richness, which doesn’t comes from its prices but the tradition and the ingenious use made by the ancestors.
Finally, on Friday 28.10 the carpenters started the doors frames, cutting all the pieces needed and placed them properly. The frames are made out of 4″ and 8″ boards, just nailed horizontal on a side and vertical on the other side. The structure looks very easy but strong and it will take no more than three days, hinges and lock included.
Finally, on Saturday 30.10 we spent the all morning at Opoku’s place, setting the formworks for the third out of four levels.