Today we begin actual block production and laid the first few courses of blocks. After solving our dirt supply challenge (who woulda thunk it), the team got into a smooth rhythm. One of the objectives in this exercise is to train the team in all aspects of block making and block making, in addition to proper techniques for laying the blocks, working the slurry and blocking for door and window openings. It was an impressive start under Robbie's confident leadership and with technical assistance from the grand master himself, Lawrence Jetter. In many ways, today felt like a lot of prep, material staging, initial training and some baby steps into details that will serve us well for having practiced in preparation for the larger multi family project scheduled for first quarter 2012.
For this project we chose to use what I would refer to as a "purist" approach: unstabilized blocks, a very traditional slurry and final plaster coats with a lime plaster (more details as we begin that phase.) We had contemplated using a traditional Mexican green roof on the project but opted not to in order to practice the actual roof line and overhangs we have planned for the multifamily project, and after our calculations indicated approximately 60,000 pounds of weight attributable to the roof alone. A nervous construction crew convinced us that more advanced engineering would be in order for that!
Tomorrow sees an expanded work crew and block production in earnest...full steam ahead!