You are getting this message because at one time you said you might be interested in helping us with straw bale house construction, or at least we think you did.
We are building a straw bale house on our 5.5-acre property just outside Winlaw, BC. We are planning the straw bale/plastering component of house construction for July 2011, and we need volunteer helpers. We are looking for generous friends who are willing to work all day on our property in the beautiful Slocan Valley in exchange for:
· On-site camping and free food
· An opportunity to experience this interesting building technique under the guidance of Habib John Gonzales, an expert straw bale builder. See http://www.sustainableworks.ca/ for more information about Habib.
· A pleasant work environment, companionship, and evening revelry. (We hope.)
We will need a work crew of 8 for each of two 6-day periods – a 6-person construction crew, and 2 people for support tasks, such as food preparation and errands. Our current plan is:
July 11 through approximately July 16 – Straw bale wall raising Tasks include installing exterior stucco mesh, carrying and stacking bales, retying partial bales to custom lengths, stuffing gaps, trimming the walls, installing interior stucco mesh and sewing mesh in place, masking framing lumber that will not be plastered, and otherwise preparing for plastering.
July 20 through approximately July 26 (with Sunday off) – Plastering Tasks include setting up scaffolding and tarps, mixing plaster, misting the walls, applying plaster (two or three coats), and cleaning equipment.
Both phases require at least some big strong people for the heavy work.
We will supply a tool belt, work gloves, rubber gloves, safety glasses, hearing protection, sunscreen, and most tools. It would be helpful if volunteers could bring a hammer. Please label any tools you bring. If you cannot bring a hammer, that’s okay – we’ll have extras on hand.
Volunteer workers are invited to set up tents on our property. Amenities include good drinking water, an outhouse, and sun-warmed water for handwashing. Food is provided; we will cook and eat together. Dietary restrictions will be accommodated, but we will need advance notice. There is swimming in the Slocan River, a 10- to 15-minute walk from the property. We hope to have an outdoor shower set up by then, but in any case, hot showers are available at Karibu Park, a 10-minute drive from the property. There are also non-camping options, such as rental cabins at Karibu Park and several nearby Bed and Breakfasts.
Please let us know if you might be interested in helping out. We will be sending out more messages as plans progress. If you don’t want to get any more e-mail messages about this, please let us know and we’ll take you off the list.
Habib is using our house site as a venue for a 5-day workshop on commercial methods in straw bale construction during the week of July 4th. The course is intended mainly for design professionals and owner builders. Participants do not need building experience, but should have a serious interest in learning theory and technique. If you are interested in the workshop, contact Habib at .
Susan K. Stevenson R.P.Bio
101 Burden St.
Prince George BC V2M 2G8