Strawbale Building in Golden

Monday, August 28, 2006

Construction thus far

Catching Up

For the past 2 years, my husband and I have been planning to build a home in Golden on property owned by he, his three brothers and his father. We spent those two years, meeting with our architect, working out the land situation with Keith's family and deciding what was really important to us. We decided that building a "green" house was a priority with strawbale being aesthetically appealing to us both.
In April 2006, after two years of questions from friends and acquaintances about the viability of this project, Keith began excavating the site. This proved a bigger job then he had anticipated and ultimately resulted in a 13 foot excavation on three sides. We then had a lag of about three weeks waiting for the building permit. Once we had that in hand, Jeff DeMyer, our builder, was on-site preparing the ground for the foundation, and temporary power.
We used insulating concrete forms for the foundation and missed a houseboat holiday at Lake Powell to be present for "the pour." Apparently, this was a nerve-wracking day for those who knew the consequences of inadequately braced forms, but for me, it was progress. On July 14, 46 cubic yards of concrete were successfully poured in the forms and a foundation was born.
In the midst of all of this, 200 some strawbales were delivered to the property. We felt pressured to buy them and have them delivered well before we needed them because we didn't know when and if a second cutting would be done and if there would be enough straw when we needed it. Who knew there was a science to strawbale stacking but Keith did and we stacked and covered the straw to survive several months of weather before it was needed.
Once the foundation was in, the plumbing rough-in was completed, a wind shear wall was erected and glulams were ordered for the basement.
The glulams were raised on August 22 that will be not only aesthetically pleasing on the ground floor, but structurally necessary to support the concrete main floor.
Today, galvanized steel pans were delivered that will hold the concrete slab on the main floor and remain exposed on the basement level. This isn't architectural steel so a good part of the afternoon was spent cleaning the rust from the water that sat on steel prior to delivery.
Jeff and crew worked on framing for the deck off the main bedroom and cutting the glulams to fit all the spaces.
Clearly, there are many details missing, but I wanted to get this started so everyone could see what progress we have made. The process remains a great adventure for me but I'm not there everyday. Keith is working 14 hours a day on the project and thinks about it the other 10 hours of the day. When steel shows up rusted, it wears on him much more then it does on me.
Jeff, Jessie, Ilan, John, Alex, Brian, Ryan all work on various aspects of the house and fill the atmosphere with great energy.
Stay posted for more detailed progress.