“If everyone in the world lived as we do in the UK we'd need 3 planets to support us” WWF
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30 Jun - 01 Jul 11

30 Jun - More fiddly bits

It's surprising how many fiddly bits there are for this roof. We have to put air vents in the bathroom and utility rooms to pass building regs which means putting in piping, then there's the gas in for the back-up water heater and the flue out for same. Then water in and out to and from the solar panel, and then there's all the conduits for electricity and comms. And that doesn't include the chimney if we do install a fire of some sort.

So Dave spent today fitting the various pipes and flues through the back roof perimeter.

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The gas flue is insulated with cork where it passes through the wood, just in case it gets hot (which it shouldn't do). Then outside it's inside a upvc larger pipe to stop it coming into contact with the soil - it's metal and we don't want it to rust. Above shows the cork holding the metal inner pipe in place - we're keeping it central within the pipe in case condensation collects inside. Then below shows the cork insulating it from the wood. And finally the outside ends of these pipes.

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Below shows the air vent pipe coming through the back wall. Then both vent and flue and the water in and out conduit pipe for the solar panel right up against the back wall.

It may not look like much but there was chiseling, gluing, earth moving and cajouling to do.

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At last with the pipework sorted Dave then started cutting the cork for the back and east roof perimeters, which of course had to be manouvered around the pipework as well.

The picture below shows this cork just before I covered it the next day with protective plastic.

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01 Jul - back filling

Which brings me onto Friday - what a day! 7 Sunseeders turned up armed with lots of spades, a mattock but no wheel barrow. We brought one wheel barrow, a coupla spades, 2 thumpers and a mattock. All this to move a mountain of earth to do the first stage of the berm. I'm not kidding, we all worked our buns off, and at times we thought it would never get done, but it did. More mattocks and another wheelbarrow or two would've helped heaps, but we did it. This first stage berm needs to go up to the top of the roof level.

Here's Michael starting on the West side, he's pounding the earth with a thumper to make sure it's nice and firm.

Below that is Sam and Dave moving the earth into position.

And below, Michael pounding it down.

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Dave carried on digging in the conduits...

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And here's Vincent, Jake and Lucie taking the mini mountain of earth from the front of the 'ship to the back. And, below that, the view from the back of the berm where the gas tank/root cellar will be. Vincent and William did a sterling job digging the soil out and transferring it to the top of the berm - no mean feat in this heat.

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And here's the result - a nice smooth berm up to the top of the roof - it's disapearing into the surroundings more and more. It needs a bit more smoothing out and shaping, but this has done loads towards having it ready for the next stage.

Thanks to (from left) Jake, Dave, Sam, Michael, William, Lucie and Vincent. You were absolutely brilliant!

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