May 2011

We have many new volunteers starting this week and who will be working with us for the next 6 weeks on the obra, and various projects around Tibá – welcome to Andrea, Ryan (Canadian), Forrest (Hawaiian), Thiago, Diego (Mexican), and Barbara.

The start of this month saw the much awaited placement of the ‘Cascaje’ arched concrete roof beams. For those of you not familiar with ‘cascaje’ it was a bio-construction technique developed here to minimise the use of cement when needing to construct floor slabs, using the immense power of the arch. We use a timber and metal form to construct these over and over; they are quick to make and ready to be placed in no time. We have now set up a mini cascaje factory in the obra to take over from the adobe factory that has nearly come to an end.

We have also been continuing with the interior plaster. Often, depending on the sub-surface you don’t need to first apply this type of base layer, but as the adobe bricks have such a smooth finish we thought it wise to add this roughening layer to give better adherence to the plaster coats. On top of this will go a thick, rough type of plaster which will even out the texture of the bricks and make the wall more uniform, and on top of this we will add more smooth, finishing layers and then finally a natural paint.

Next, we put the cascaje’s on Peter’s atelier, which is getting closer and closer to ‘lock-up’ stage!

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