Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Floors and Fireplace

Progress is really rapid now with work on several aspects of the building all happening simultaneously.
The cedar decking has been installed throughout the covered areas and the ramp that leads out of the building (shown above) has been finished. The builders have done a particularly good job fitting the ramp between the hazel stems either side creating exactly the effect of walking through the trees that was wanted.

The picture above shows the cedar decking on the 'balcony' on the left hand side and the floor of the main teaching room being put down on the right. Much of the internal floor has been constructed using floorboards salvaged from an old barn at the Trust's Foxburrow Farm centre. The redwood floorboards were quite sound (apart from a little woodworm that has been treated). The boards will be sanded down and treated with a hard oil which will bring up a lovely orange/red colour.
A fully glazed wall will separate the outside deck from the teaching room.

The woodburner which will heat the entire building has to sit on a substantial hearth to isolate it from the timber floor structure. This has been built using old hearth bricks and a lime mortar.

This is the view looking down into the shuttering that has been put in place to enable a clay lump wall to be built in the fireplace. The wall will be 300mm wide and approximately 1.5m high and will act like a giant storage heater soaking up the heat from the woodburner and then keeping the building warm at night.

The original plan was to make the clay lump from clay dug in the wood but it wasn't quite the right consistency. Instead, Mike Canham found some original  clay lump (at least 170 years old) that was left as waste after an old cottage was renovated.

The clay lump is simply shovelled into a cement mixer with some water to wet it enough to reuse.

We have also got Excel Electrical on site this week doing the first fix electrics so lots of decisions needed on lighting, placing switches etc.

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