Roundhouse build update – the roof is on!

The ceiling from the outside - every piece fitted to the curve. Not that tricky once you get the hang of it...

Following on from raising the walls of this roundhouse in four days, Floyd and Shane have been focussed on getting this little place finished before Winter. And yep, we’ve all noticed the speed at which things progress when you go from a crew of twenty four to a crew of two!

Mind you, once the walls were up and the bones of the roof were on, this natural building project was firmly into the ‘fiddly bits’ part of the build. So perhaps it’s just as well there were 2 and not 20 people working on it. But we’re getting there now! Progress shots below… 

When last we blogged... the building looked like this -

When last we blogged… the building looked like this -

And the mud render on the inside walls were still drying...

And the mud render on the inside walls were still drying…

Nick and Floyd. Undaunted crew of wood and clay and coffee...

Nick and Floyd. Undaunted crew of wood and clay and coffee…

The ceiling - roundwood rafters with recycled hardwood board infill

The ceiling – roundwood rafters with recycled hardwood board infill

The ceiling from the outside - every piece fitted to the curve. Not that tricky once you get the hang of it...

The ceiling from the outside – every piece fitted to the curve. Not that tricky once you get the hang of it…

Shane in process.

Shane in process.

Ceiling complete, time for a layer of hessian before the insulation goes on top

Ceiling complete, time for a layer of hessian before the insulation goes on top

Floyd at the front door - featuring the wonky log as an entrance feature

Floyd at the front door – featuring the wonky log as an entrance feature

And the roof hole is now plugged. We decided this was best under the circumstances, for now at least. Less head loss, and less possible leaky bits.

And the roof hole is now plugged. We decided this was best under the circumstances, for now at least. Less head loss, and less possible leaky bits.

Pepper inspects the progress of the roof

Pepper inspects the progress of the roof

Roof is Pepper approved.

Roof is Pepper approved.

Roof insulation goes on - recycled coolroom panel innards...

Roof insulation goes on – recycled coolroom panel innards…

Waterproof lining goes on next

Waterproof lining goes on next

Waterproof lining over insulation, with lots of cross-bars to help hold soil in place, once we add that on top

Waterproof lining over insulation, with lots of cross-bars to help hold soil in place, once we add that on top

The roundhouse in darth vader mode. This will pass. Soon there will be soil on the roof, and then grasses waving in the breeze...

The roundhouse in temporary Darth Vader mode. This will pass. Soon there will be soil on the roof, and then grasses waving in the breeze…

So the roof is on, and now insulated, and not leaky. Huzzah. Next it’s all about the soil, and the the plants on top, and we will have one living roof.

After that, it will be time to create the earthen floor, chink any remaining cracks, install the pot belly stove and (drum roll) get ready to turn this structure into a home…

And with all said and done, it may well be that we’re finished by Winter, in 3 weeks time. Whoohoo.

As with the Tinyhouse, this natural building project will represent what is possible to make primarily with recycled materials, the resources of the site, a limited budget and a lot of gumption. It’s great to see this earth-bound home rising out of the clay of Milkwood Farm.

p.s. we should be releasing the next and highly anticipated Natural Building workshop details this week, so jump on our mailing list if you’re not there already, and we’ll let you know when it’s happening. 

>> More posts about natural building at Milkwood…

Hooray to Floyd and Shane and Gianna, and to Nick and Michael too. Nearly there guys! Thanks also to Gianna for some of the photos above.

The ceiling - roundwood rafters with recycled hardwood board infill

14 Comments

  1. Nicki Noo
    Posted May 13, 2013 at 8:27 am | Permalink | Reply

    Hello Kirsten! Yes sometimes it great with many hands and sometimes great with a few – I went to a strawbale workshop where our enthusiastic crew rendered over the window of truth ha ha! Love your blog :-) soooo inspiring! Just had a chance to build an upside down fire which was fun and worked true to form! Comments from those around “how come permaculture people always do everything the opposite way?” Answer “because it works!” I cant help it but …I just have this picture of Nick mowing the grass on the roof or maybe a goat up there ;-) thank you for posting so many great ideas they make my day! xx

  2. chipmunk
    Posted May 13, 2013 at 9:47 am | Permalink | Reply

    A goat! Of course! I was kinda wondering what happens when the grass gets really tall…

  3. Liz H
    Posted May 13, 2013 at 10:15 am | Permalink | Reply

    Way back in 1984 when I took my nieces and nephew over to Vancouver Island (Heck, am I now that elderly?) we passed a place with a roof covered in grass and 3 goats up there! Where it was, I couldn’t stop to photograph, and we came back another way.
    Any plans to build a small round house like this in Tasmania? My place has plenty of space, most of an acre in fact. Looks fun, with some volunteer help!
    Meanwhile, I’m getting on with propagating the mushrooms from the weekend workshop held here at UTAS. Liz

    • Rob
      Posted May 15, 2013 at 12:40 am | Permalink | Reply

      The goat house is in Coombs; its the old country market actually. There’s been goats there just about forever.

  4. mexicorosel
    Posted May 13, 2013 at 10:17 am | Permalink | Reply

    It’s looking great guys! What’s the go with getting council approval to build one of these? Do you even need it? We’d love to build one when we eventually find our land, as a sort of observation post to live in for a couple of years before we build our main dwelling, but the whole council thing just seems so daunting, especially when you’re building something alternative to what they’re used to seeing. Thanks for the ongoing inspiration!

    • Posted May 16, 2013 at 4:16 pm | Permalink | Reply

      I’m also interested – especially in the roof. We were thinking of putting a reciprocal roof on our house, but it’s not something most builders/engineers are familiar with. Did you have ot get council approval, and if so, who did the engineering designs for you please? :)

  5. Posted May 13, 2013 at 3:56 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Looks like you got the roof on just in time if you got the downpour we have right now in Hill End.

  6. Posted May 13, 2013 at 9:54 pm | Permalink | Reply

    success in building!

  7. Posted May 14, 2013 at 6:39 am | Permalink | Reply

    I have a cold…I am feeling flat…I have no enthusiasm for anything at the moment…I have a Milkwood post to read? My energy is renewed, I am full of possibilities…I feel like getting “stuck in” again…cheers Milkwood, they should be marketing your posts as cold cures ;)

    • Posted May 14, 2013 at 8:27 am | Permalink | Reply

      Wheeeee! Get ye to Goulds in Hobart and ask for Hannah+Anton’s super cold mixture. cures all ills. seriously.

      • Posted May 14, 2013 at 10:48 am | Permalink

        Cheers for the heads up…just got to drag myself the 3 hours down to Hobart from the tippy top of the Tamar where we are…nah…might just suffer it out in front of Brunhilda (our Aussie made wood burning stove… she’s a great Sheila!) with buckets of hot tea and the dog under my feet like centuries of Aussie women have gone before me ;)

  8. Heather Thorpe
    Posted May 15, 2013 at 8:34 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Some more bedtime stories

    Kindest Regards Heather

  9. Posted May 28, 2013 at 7:25 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Looking forward to see this completed! :)

  10. Rosie McDonell (laguna earthhouse)
    Posted August 22, 2013 at 9:40 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Wondering what plants are on your green roof that can handle the hot, dry conditions of your climate (and ours) with so little soil to hold the moisture??

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