We have been spending this month finishing the concrete ring beam, adding some vent holes near the ceiling and many more layers of earth plaster in all the rooms. We have also added a couple more concrete corner columns to the bedrooms. All in preparation for finally laying the ‘Cascaje’ arched roof beams we made some months ago!
There are many different techniques for incorporating the concrete ring beam into the top of the adobe wall and many ways to conceal it also. Here we have just formed it up on top of the last line of adobes, but you can also make smaller adobes and lay the concrete between them, or a type of C-section adobe brick which then you place the re-bar in and then pour the concrete over and this will create a hidden concrete beam. We have chosen the simpler option and once some earth plaster goes over the columns and the ring beam it will be hard to tell the difference from the adobes underneath.
We are also experimenting with the finish of the african style adobes on the feature wall in the living room; you can see how with a bit of light buffing the adobes as well as the mortar take on a really shiny finish, as though they have been lacquered.