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May 10~

We kicked off the day today by finishing the eighth and final course of straw. Much of our time was spent high up in the air on ladders and scaffolding (all OSHA laws and regulations followed). Throughout the morning we perfected the final course of straw in order to ensure that it could be completely covered by the incoming box beams. The corners of the building were adjusted and corner bales were staked into place with bamboo.

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Meanwhile another group was busy preparing the first coat of slip, which is a mixture of clay and water – it will soon be pressed into the straw walls. The slip was diligently mixed in two standard kiddie pools with a large mixing paddle. The mixture was then portioned out into wheelbarrows and 10 gallon buckets for later.

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After coming back from lunch it was time to position the box beams on top of the straw walls. The box beams were very heavy and awkward, so this was a task that required numerous hands to complete. They were brought inside the building and hoisted up onto the scaffolding where they could then be places along the top of the straw. All thread rods were then inserted through holes in the box beams and connected to anchor bolts in the concrete. The remainder of the afternoon was spent tightening down bolts on top of the box beams in order to compress the straw bales.

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On top of all of this action, our videographer came today to get some shots of the worksite and our progress. He conducted interviews with the OG Joseph Trumpey himself as well as several students Maggie, Tegwyn, and Will. More interviews will take place throughout the day tomorrow.

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Post by Ian Crowley

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