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Natural Building & appropriate technology’s blog 10

Article 10 of Natural Bldg and Appropriate Tech Internship

We had a lot of rain these last days and it was such a relief to see the sun shining yesterday. Tes had the opportunity to take the seed out to dry. And here we are in autumn, heaps of harvest everywhere, and it takes quite a few hours to sort this out. Let’s not forget that all the seeds here are processed by hand!


All the seeds waiting to be looked after.

Friday we harvested almost all of the logs that we need. And Monday we went through the process of taking off the bark. All together we took out our spades and our motivation and went through with the job. It was one of those tasks where every single person is working. No one’s standing there waiting for something to do. And Yeah! 10 people working together can do amazing things. In half a day we took off all the bark from the trees, ready to be used!


Everyone working together.

That afternoon we had time to work on our solar oven! Two out of four are finished! We will now wait for the sun to shine and the birds to sing (even if it doesn’t affect the cooking process) to bring out our oven and give it a try. I tell you, they are beautiful. I will post some pictures when the food is inside.

Another group had to work on the foundations of the building, preparing the site, reviewing the design and how it fits the council’s regulations.


The peeling process as demonstrated by Tom

And that night, rain again. And this morning, rain again. So, today we had a special session in the workshop, under the roof. And they are my favourite! There we have the opportunity to really learn some small but wondrously practical and valuable stuff. I had a lesson from Big Ben where he taught me how to sharpen chisels. I am really grateful, being able to look after our tools is so important in a possible future where the masses of obsolete products will be used up.

We started the foundation piles where there is only the bond beam, and we can get started on the wall bracing and roof. For the foundation we used some concrete at the bottom, a steel bar coming on top in the middle aligned with the walls. In the workshop, Tim lets us have a go with some of his tools. It was the very first time for me to do some welding and I found it very enjoyable!


Angry Ben having a go at the drop saw with the advice of Tim


Joseph experiencing the joy of welding.


Silus and Rafa creating the round structure that will hold the concrete around the steel bar.

After having all the bits and pieces we laid in the foundations in the holes made for it. It was a quick job, and well done. One had to mix the concrete and the other filling in the concrete and making sure that the foundations are at the right place. We used the profile to lay out a second square 90 millimetres outside the inside 10 square meters area. It defines the exact placement of where the steel bars are going to sit. These steel bars will hold the weight of our posts.


The two Bens and Simon checking the design.


Making sure the steel bars are level and at the right place.


Silus, super accurate and always a good smile with him.


Here are the foundations. 100 millimetres under the level of the strings will be our floor. Hard to imagine at the moment.

~Oscar Morand, 5 March 2013, Natural Building and Appropriate Technology Intern

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