May 2009May has seen the tyre walls growing nicely. By the end of the month we are on the 12th course. The wall itself is looking good, strong and stable. We have used cement to fill the voids to improve the strength and reduce the wobble during ramming. This is not usually done but since we are having very tall walls we are stabilizing it like this. We are also about to put in some long cement/rebar lintels across the window frames. They will be longer than necessary to additionally stabilize the walls.
We also have installed the main wood frame of the second floor mezzanine. This frame will additionally hold the wall from moving/swaying.
We have a new addition to the crew this month! Kaila Binney from the USA is a permaculture teacher and practitioner. She has launched the internal planters off to a fantastic start. We have dug holes and made plastic bottle walls to contain all the planters within the earthship. We have a total of three planters that are all linked together running around the house by gravity to the overflow point which exits the house just underground and then down to exterior gray water treatment planters. The kitchen sink, bathroom shower will both flow into these planters from different locations. All this with no pumps since there will be no recycling of gray water back to the beginning of the planters. I am comfortable with this since the planters are oversized and will clean the water adequately for release to banana planters outside for final treatment. We will also have the ability to flush the planters if needed. The bathroom sink will be used to fill the toilet for flushing so were are using all water at least twice.
Plenty of pictures to see below!