Letters from Chile – the House Building Gets Underway

Editor’s Note: This is Part VII of a series. If you haven’t already, be sure to catch Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV, Part V and Part VI.

The site awaits workers in the early morning

The building stage of Miguel’s house has been underway for a few days now, so I figured it’s time to let you all have a peek. I’ll make this post mostly pictorial – but if you have questions or suggestions, feel free to comment/discuss.

The posts were all sourced from trees growing within
a few hundred metres of the site

Not that the dog could care less

Jose Carrión, brother to Javiera and Jorge, gets started
on framing for the foundation

The architect and builder discuss….

Wladimir and Santiago get mixing concrete by hand. The sand and stones are
all sourced locally (the sand from the nearby riverbed)

Minimal concrete is used – here for the nine structural supports
(as per the design plans shown at bottom of this post)

Stones are stamped down into the perimeter trench

Which is then laid with a superadobe base

The earth and sand dug out of the trench makes up most of the bags’ contents

Barbed wire goes between the bag layers, to keep them in place

Like the stones underneath, the superadobe bags are compacted by hand

Meanwhile, the posts are being prepared…

…before being bolted into place

It’s starting to come together!!

There’s nothing like unwinding around the campfire after a hard day’s work

Continue on to read Part VIII: a Little Historical Context