Monday, March 17, 2014

Solar Living Institute

Saturday morning, we went over to the Solar Living Institute, and helped guide a group of students through the process of building a solar car from a kit, and got a tour of the place ourselves. Brian, the other intern here at Salt Hollow had been an intern at the Solar Living Institute just before coming here, so he helped the students learn a bit about natural building as well. It was great to get a primer on the kinds of building projects that we'll hopefully get a chance to do this summer. We have discussed building a wall and bench out of cob. Cob is a combination of clay, sand, and straw, and is a nice solid building material. We even got to see the shower house that they build a few years ago out of cob (see pictures). The one big drawback to cob is that you have to keep it out of the water, otherwise it can erode over time. Brian is really excited about hybrid adobe, which you apply like a skin on the cob structures, and makes them waterproof. (Hybrid adobe is a combination of cement and clay.)

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