Building An Earthship In Darfield, B.C.

We are a family of five living in Darfield, BC.
Our house is six hundred square feet in total and we are feeling cramped.

We have decided to build an earthship!

So starts the adventure ...

Friday, May 22, 2009

Done Digging!

Before ...

After ...

Finally, after over a month of cutting down trees, pulling stumps, digging, digging ... and digging we are done excavating! We have a leveled site on which to start building the earthship.

This last week we have been tidying up the excavation and laying a six inch bed of gravel down to prepare the site. The gravel helps to level the site and provides a good base for the foundation.

Alvin and I started the week figuring out how to screen gravel. We have access to gravel next to our property (thanks Gary and Gail) so I was not keen to truck gravel in. We ended up borrowing three sections of 2" steel mesh from our neighbor (thanks Linda and Mike) and got to work.

This is what we came up with. Most gravel plants are stand-alone and sit beside the gravel pit. A loader is used to dump unscreened gravel onto the screen and then the loader takes the screened gravel and loads it onto a dump truck. Because we were using the backhoe (which is very slow and makes a terrible loader) we built the 'plant' on top of the dump truck. This way we only had to handle the gravel once and the dump truck could be parked right next to where the backhoe was working. Always thinking!

Our gravel separator worked surprisingly well and over the course of two days we screened 19 loads of gravel and leveled the building site. Unfortunately we were unable to screen for drain rock at the same time so we will have to re-screen the rocks later to get this rock.

The next step is to start laying out tires! This is the moment I have been waiting for...

Progress will be slow over the next couple of weeks due to other commitments, but it is exciting to finally be at this point.

Tires to appear soon ...

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