....not a George Thorogood song, but it is the final push to inspection day! What was expected to be an easy and quick roof framing turned into quite the work of art featuring a 4 foot overhang to the front, a 3 foot overhang to the back and 2 foot overhangs to either side. Excellent for pasive cooling what already figures to be a very "cool" building to begin with due simply to thermal mass and walls that breathe. It wasn't as easy as it looked on paper but the crew did a great job.
You might notice the wall section half dark, half light. The dark section is where they sprayed the wall with water. Sprayed with water?! That's right...the lime plaster won't adhere to the building without a moist surface.
Speaking of plaster...here's a picture of David preparing a batch of traditional lime plaster. Beautiful stuff, really, comprised of sand, lime, marble dust, hay and, of all things, nopales cactus juice.
Someone needs to supervise the material prep...might as well be the boss!
Nopales cactus-infused water renders a natural and very effective latex. Sometimes I wonder if we invented solutions to problems we never had and materials that already existed!
And, finally, the plaster goes up. Beautiful in color, remarkable in texture and extremely effective in not only protecting the walls from the elements, but in maintaining the ability of the walls to "breathe." Referred to as latent heat flux, or the ability of the walls moderate temperature by absorbing and giving up moisture, this "breathing" is credited with a healthier interior air quality and with helping to keep the building cool.
And as the sun sets, the guys are still at it. In fact, they are STILL at it as i write. It's a great crew on the project with real commitment to a quality outcome. Sourcing materials, making and stacking blocks, plastering...all phases very labor intensive. I asked Robbie, the crew boss, if he had it to do all over again, would he prefer to go back to stick and stucco construction. His answer? NO! "This is a superior way to build...and results in a much better building...it's worth it." Amen!