Building the wall involves placing alternating layers of sandbags and cement. We left a space open for the door at the corner, and Sarah and Deen worked on building a pillar adjacent to the door for support.
The sandbags provide good structural support, use abundant natural resources available in the area, and allow the building to stay much cooler in the warm summer months. The wood frame library on the site is noticeably hotter than the classroom built with sandbags.
The photos and captions below are again self-explanatory, and are in sequence.
|Tom and Estelle fill sandbags|
|Sarah and Estelle carry sandbags to the wall|
|The sandbag prep area|
|The above-ground wall work begins|
|Pounding down the sandbags to level them|
|The sandbags have been placed and watered down|
|Another layer of cement is placed on top|
|Sarah and Ethan water the back garden|
|Sarah gets to use her spackling skills again|
|Berny signs the completed first above ground wall layer|
|Not too bad for a bunch of amateurs|
|After building the frame, Sarah starts to build a pillar|
|The team has found its rhythm|
|Matteo does walls and squats at the same time|
|Estelle helps Sarah build the pillar|
This was our best team effort to date. All five of our team members (Sarah, Matteo, Estelle, Tom and John) worked together very well, under Deen's expert direction. Deen has previously run his own construction business, so he is the one person on the site who really knows what he is doing.
When we were spackling during our first week on the job, we were pretty much all working on our own wall areas. We have always coordinated to collect the sand and mix the cement, but the foundation and wall buildup took the teamwork to a whole new level. Too bad we are leaving soon! It's a great team.
It was also enjoyable to do something that was all of our own work, rather than build on previous work that was done by dozens (hundreds?) of different people. It is easier and a little more rewarding to work on a project this way. But all of the work days have been great. This is an experience we will never forget.