Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Powered Up

Since Mike is out of town, I get the honor of posting to the blog. Unlike him, I'm not a natural writer! So, more pictures today than text.
Today was the day on which our electrician, Mark Creager, had a field day. First, the temporary pole (the wooden contraption at the far left in the picture) - after passing its inspection - got turned on by Dominion Power. It is making everybody's life easier to have an electric connection on site. Most of all, it allowed us to run our sump pump and pump the water out of our basement that had accumulated after last week's rain. We hope this was the last time we had a swimming pool in there.

Next, Mark's guys installed the permanent meter. There wasn't a wall yet where the meter will go, so Aaron and Willie's guys quickly built one. Such is the advantage of Compressed Earth Blocks!

And this is where the circuit breaker panel is. When I go for simulator training in the airplanes I fly, one of the instructors' favorite tricks is to make random circuit breakers pop (they're almost always the ones that make your flying life difficult). Hopefully not much will pop on this circuit breaker panel.

Mark, our electrician, is a very careful and thoughtful guy. Just the sort of qualities you want in an electrician. Electrifying a Compressed Earth Block house is new to him, but he seems excited to learn how to work with this new medium. I think he needed a bit of coaxing to believe us that you can screw directly into a CEB wall. By the time he's done with our house, he'll have done all sorts of things to CEBs that he wouldn't have thought possible.
Power's on!

Walled In

The work on the TerraBricks/CEB is going a bit more slowly than expected. The crew definitely is too small for this job, even though our house is not so big. The Green Machine purportedly is capable of making 300 bricks per hour. We should have had the Green Machine for two or two and a half days.The machine's been on-site for three times longer and they're just over half way through the brick making. However short-staffed and slow, they have been making progress making and stacking the bricks - steady and surely. In addition to stacking several layers of TerraBricks around the whole house, the crew set some posts to guide the plumb and level construction as they stack higher, as you'll see in these pictures.

Meanwhile, downstairs, the framing crew worked on Saturday to frame-in the walls for the guest bedroom, closet, and downstairs bathroom. We're concerned about where the sump and ejector pump pit were located, and what impact that may have on the closet, but it's too late to move that now since the concrete has been poured. We will be speaking with the contractor to find out why this is different than expected. There's probably a good reason, just one that, unfortunately, wasn't communicated to us.