Touch the Earth Ranch-House

Picture Story (cont'd)

Tire Walls


The first tire wall I had to build was the upper level divider wall.  All the others started where this wall met the earth cliff.






The most important tires to pound are the first ones.  The tires at the bottom of the wall will hold up the most weight, so if you don't pack them well the wall will at least lean, if not fall down.  Taking time and seeing that they are compacted properly and level from the very first tire, is worth every minute spent.


Another note of importance is that tires can NEVER be packed with frozen earth.  Frozen earth will not compact, until it thaws.  This little detail had the undesired effect of three walls falling over for one unsuspecting builder I know.  No, not me.






When the center divider wall gets to the upper level earth-cliff, that course then goes around the house.  The tires for this course, and all others, are placed for that course the whole way around, to optimize the usage of tires and spacer blocks.




The first wall about to 'march' onto the upper 'earth-cliff'.  I'm a happy guy.








You can see here, stepping the tire courses into the slope of the site.  This only for an earth-cliff type of construction.   Earth-cliff is illustrated in the background, tire walls don't go all the way to the floor.  This option is only available where a very stable soil is present.   We're lucky to have a clay/sand soil below the forest floor of organic material.  Once that was removed the remaining soil was like concrete (as long as dry).




A couple of more tires and it's ready for the 2" x 12" treated plate and bond beam application.








After applying the sill plate and bond beam, pedestals were made for each landing point of a log-end.  The height was estimated and installed knowing that adjustments would have to be made once the vigas were in place.  Four small triangular 'chocks' were pre-fabricated for each viga (log).  When one was placed, Marlice and I put the chocks in place and moved to get the next log. 




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