6-9-2010: Construction progress DKA sixth and seventh week (30 August 2010)

Five weeks of preparation and construction have passed.  It were five beautiful weeks with days of 30-40 people joining the activities of EcoVillageBrabant  at De Kleine Aarde.  Now this holyday time is over and most of the people have to continue with their work or with other things they are active with.  But this does not mean that we are stopping with our construction.  


As I mentioned last week, we succeeded in hoisting the four largest beams and connecting them with some additional steel.  And that’s where the activities of the next two weeks starts.


The first part of handling the tree’s will be the construction of the six roof-beams on these four large beams.  A challenge is handling large weights and dealing with some kind of precision to get a nice underground for our roof-plating.


And sometime one can make a wrong calculation.  This time we thought that the large tree was too long and we cut it shorter.  But we had to undo this action by connection the cut-off part with some remains of the steel connections (that was also a wrong calculation but resulted in some material we could use now) If you take a good look you can see in top of the second beam some connection to hold the end-part.


All right, back to the real construction again.  First part was “learning to handle the large trees” without the need to hoist them up-and-down each time you have to adjust the connections.


The roof-supporting  parts that we making now have only tree long beams and afterwards two additional beams will be added to form the upper edge of this roof part.  All the details of how the first two roofs interact with the second two roofs and the third two roofs are on the drawings. But for people who have little or no experience in reading a drawing and translation the information into a 3D idea, this is not easy.  This is something we have to solve at later stage.  Also because we have the idea that we need to change the layout of the construction at some points.


But, if we are clear in your communication, and take care that we understand each other, then the hoisting of the trees into position is just  fun. 

Do what you love

7 8

Do it together

9 10

And love what you do


With all the large trees up now, we have the plan to send back the hoist equipment and rent or buy some small equipment to deal with the smaller parts.


Our method for positioning and adjusting the level of the roof beams is “rolling them away for shaping the position and rolling them back to test if the connection is good. 


Also for the roof above the kitchen area and the toilet, we put all the beams on the supports at one time and than we put one after each other into the right position after cutting the tree at the under-side into the right shape,


First we estimate how deep we have to cut away the bottom tree to give a good and level support. Second step is cutting a “landing zone” with a electric saw and a saw-guide tool (here standing on the scaffolding)


Second part is cutting the right form with the mould and the electric saw.


After that we can roll the beam into position and check the shape of wood shaping work at the under site.


And we check if the top side of the beam is at the right level in relation to the wire we positioned to check if all beams are in line with each other.


It looks simple, it took some time to find the best way to do this, it needed a lot of time to do all the work, but in the end the result is satisfying.


And with most of the large roof beams in position we are already looking forwards to the next steps.


As mentioned before, the drawings are giving all the details how we can continue.  Not always information that is easy to read, especially if you think of changing some details.  The best solution is first continue building on a smaller scale ( 1:50 )  That’s the reason why we made a new scale-model.


With the model and the building together it is much easier to discuss about the plans for the next steps.


Now we have the first three beams of the lowest roof part, we can continue with the beams that surround the opening in-between the first and the second roof level.


Step one at this stage is making the v-shaped support that, in the middle, also supports a vertical beam that goes up to the third roof level.


During making this scale model, the layout of the top part is changed several times to find again and again a better solution of designing this part with a construction that is simple to put together and also rigid enough.

Cheerful greetings from Wouter