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what do you think?

Thursday March 1st, 2012. High winds, low 50’s.

Mixing bentonite clay, Terra, water and cement, for finishing the foundation of the rocket mass oven inside Nicodemous’s house.

[ ]…If your house is on the ground, and you have one flood your house is wrecked, all the wood will just buckle right off. That’s your house that you’re trying to maintain. I mean that’s not even rain or sun damage. A house out of the ground, you have 60% of your heat hitting the house because you have a big flat painted wall. Trying to cool a house on the land, in this environment is ridiculous.

Doesn’t matter how much the wind chill factor is because you can’t protect the heated surface from the wind. When you’re on the ground, any environmental storm, Tsunami, whirlwinds, you’re done, on every level.

What do you think about strawbails?

What climate?

In the desert.

The problem is with strawbail is you think you can build your house quick…You’ve got three factors why I’d say no…Rodents, biggest population of ground ferrets right here. The other thing is everything else is dry, literally you have to bring the straw in, it’s not even from the area, and that’s another good reason I don’t use it. Because I have to ship it in to where I’m using it. Doesn’t matter if it’s a wall that big, it’s still a trailer. I’m telling you, when you think about it, two people to manhandle each bail off the truck, then you gotta peg it and put it in. Two of you guys could fill 40-50 sand bags in the time that you’ve gone to fetch a load and pegged like 5 bails. Literally you’d be driving, most of your cost would be gas.

If we wanted to build some sort of like open studio structure…like a box…

You could do that too, this doesn’t have to have a roof on it. You could build just a wall.

But what if we wanted some sort of rectangular enclosed space.

Rectangular? Your always into your fucking squares..Again, square doesn’t work in here..

But what..

OK, WHOA, just stop. Hear me out.

When you’re working the environment, when you’re an ecologist, ok, or a permaculturalist, show me anything that nature gives me that’s a square, or rectangular…That’s the problem, the second you build a square out here, it’s gonna look like a fucking box, it’s gonna stick out like a soar thumb, because nothing is fucking square.

If I look at Garth’s teepee I can go..spccceeuuyyu..speecceeuuyyuu..sticks out like a soar thumb.

but then ok, so what if we want to have some sort of open space…

Again, I can show you a hundred different ways of building a shape, and I betcha if I go up there the shape is already 2/3 constructed by looking at what you have been given, and that’s what I mean, you walk in there and you’re like..Gonna build my house here, that’s where it’s gotta be..but literally you turn around and there’s the rocks and there’s the arch, and a little wall here. That’s what happens. 9 out of 10 times people fixate on something so square…It’s not concrete.

In the mindset of looking for something organic, you walk in from the city and boom, and you keep telling me square and I’m gonna kick your ass if I walk out there and it’s looks rectangular…because it’s gonna be like, that’s your house. Nothing in nature is square…this whole shape the way it’s built, wicks water , because it’s round. What’s the strongest symbol in any cycle?

A square?

No, it’s not, its a circle.

What builds culture? What builds unity?

What about triangles?

Triangles are not on this plane, ok, they’re all elevated stakes for the stars…

What about Buckminister Fuller?

You’re living in a triangle.

I know the guy, and he studied plants, and that’s how he got the idea for it. because all plants on a basic level when you look at them, it’s poly. I mean you can go polytetrahedran, crossahedran, all these shapes you think they’re square,..go and look at them, they’re the most elaborate stars. There’s certain types of rock formations that are block, the only reason why that happens is from water going through them and breaking out layers between layers, and that’s all it is…the whole…the Asian mind about permaculture…the reason why I say the Asian mind, is because a lot of the things I’ve learned are built in to asian culture, so we’re trying to learn ecology, but nobody wants to look at China or Japan, I’m telling you, on a level of stupidity, there is so much out there that is 1000’s of years older than us, and then you go and you have a look at it and you’re like why is this like this still..and I’ll tell you, it’s because it’s been built with nature in mind, Wind and water are the two factors that you have no control over, and you go and look at Asian design , everything is round, and you look at their tiles, round and a half round, round and round…They know that wind wraps around you. If you have a square surface, you hit angles, and you have to reinforce the building against those shearing factors.

You know why I love this house? Because one day I will have an excavator, and right on the flat area here, about 2 meters from the sand bagged wall I’m gonna dig a hole. 10 feet down, and I’m gonna make a whole tunneling system, and you walk through that door, and I could have fifteen hives all built on this hill and you won’t even know it.

How do you retain those?

I dig a hole…I have this whole house ok, this house looks like, a half round here, entrance here, here’s another window bay there, here’s the kitchen over here…So basically, here’s my retaining wall. I go outside and I excavate a tunnel. Ten feet down from the ground. Then I cut out this wall and I start building with sandbags until I get up to eight feet, then when I get to the top all you do is you build your self a plywood frame, with an arch in it, between the walls, and you post. And then you pack your sandbags on edge…knock, knock, knock, knock. and then you compact the whole thing and you pull out your jacks and you go to the next one down. You can make arches, windows, anything, out of sandbags.

And so if your building off of a boulder is it the same principle?

I go up to my boulder like this, I go and put my sandbags right up to it. Boom, boom, boom. Right next to the boulder, and when it gets up to four feet, I take a drill and I drill a whole, buuuuueechhhst. I take a piece of rebar and run it through the bags. Then I build my next layer. bbuuwwwrrrrruupp..four bags up. Drill a hole. Brruupp. Put some rebar from the top down. Done. The problem is it’s only as blank as you allow yourself to see it. Options are open, literally I mean if you get a masonry drill bit and you can drill some anchors, six inches is more than enough. I mean literally you’re drilling into solid rock, I can’t pour concrete that thick. It’s the joke.

Would you be worried about earthquakes?

Again, think about it, when the earth moves, it moves all at the same rate.

This is all retained, because the walls are leaning out. Everything moves at the same rate. If your house is a sand bag wall, and it’s on the ground and the rocks on the ground, and the whole ground moves it all moves at the same rate. The earth cannot compress against itself like that. It’s one shear movement. Put it this way, anything bigger than you in a rock formation, is two tons. So anything bigger, like if it’s the size of this room…How many of you could you stand in this area?

Like 50?

So now you’re talking 50 to a 100 tons, it’s not gonna move. You’re talking about earthquakes. That’s how I’m building this thing, it’s closer to a rock than a house. Because when your walls are compressed and they lean…Really, flat out, you try and move something that’s compressed. Any building they build a footing and they put it on. Compressed building is when they build a skyrise, and then they go and they take these anchors and they shoot them, poooooffttt, poooofftt, deep into the ground, and then they put tension cables on there and they tension the foundation down with bug rubber blocks under it to keep the pad level. and that’s tension. Houses aren’t built with that in mind.