Yesterday and today we bolted down the two side walls, there are over twenty thunderbolts in each wall! We pulled out a string to make sure the walls are straight and Stephen went along with the SDS drill to cut the holes and I came after screwing down the bolts!

Today we drilled air holes for both the roof ventilation and the air conditioning “source”.

The side wall has 21 114mm holes to allow fresh air to enter which will be drawn down into our earth tubes for cooling before entering into the house. Well this will be what will happen when we have built the house! Each hole will have a covering of stainless steel mesh to protect against insects and larger creatures and another layer of fluffy geotextile to filter larger dust particles and stop those sub millimetre bugs and creepy crawlies! The 21 holes adds up to over 210000 square millimetres which is double what we need but with the extra barriers of the two filters (mesh and geotextile) we need to make sure the pressure and speed of the air supply is not too badly affected.

We also drilled another 21 holes along the front of the garage to allow air to circulate in under the roof boards to make sure it never gets damp and rot. This is all in the building regs! These holes will just have the stainless steel mesh covering them.

You will not be able to to see these holes in the long run as there will be another cladding layer using the pretty Cedar wood!

Finally we have started building the middle internal wall that divides the garage from the garden room. We reinforced the sole plates and to improve the tie down structural strength by inserting 170mm high 18mm thick OSB strips in between the two halves of the wall. This is needed as there could be a potentially large “up” force in high winds blowing across the roof or blowing into an open garage door or doors causing a significant upward force inside the garage! This is why all the roof rafter themselves needs to be tied down using metal angled brackets. Our structural engineers had calculated all the numbers and this is what we have to do!

We have bolted the sole plate down and it is now all very solid and ready for the rest of the wall to be constructed tomorrow!

(close up of reinforcements of sole plates)

By Shaun

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