Day 151 – Winter break ahead

08/11/2013

It’s on a rainy kind of day – the ones in Denmark when you feel like someone is spitting on your face – that we decide to clean up the entire site and container. Little did we know that that would be the last day before winter actually kicked in with temperatures below zero, making it impossible for us to do any type of cement/plaster.

But nonetheless we have achieved with only 3 people and some good people with excavators and a MANITOU to do a lot. Let’s see:

The 20 tires were pounded.

The ventilation pipe was leveled and covered. The East side that was our priority because soon Arne was to come and place the water filtering system and tanks. Hence the manual labor for that side. I’m quite proud to say that over 5m3 of earth were moved by 4 people in half a day :)

The water tanks were settled into place and level.

The mechanical water filtering system installed.

Then a miracle happened and we got a mini excavator on site thanks to Line who not only contacted and made a deal with Jm trykluft but also thought us how to drive said mini excavator. ( :) there is always a lot to learn from someone who grew up in the country side). We did not fight about who would drive and have fun with it, but we certainly enjoyed each and every moment of it. Covering the West and back side of the house with back fill inside the geogrid (membrane to retain soil) which led to a bet between Yovko and myself: Was there enough soil to do the entire back fill of the house? (Keep that in mind for later if you please.)

Completed the insulation and Isodrain around the house. Let’s take a second so that I can describe what most likely seems to you like the easiest task in the construction: Understand that none of the wallas were quite straight, even on the sides and specially around the corner (no kidding 😉 ) so insulation was hard to place. We worked with one height of plate at a time meaning 1.20m. On top of which we had to hold up the DPM (water resistant membrane) when we didn’t actually have to add a piece, tape it to the previous lowest one which meant warming up the tape the best we could with parts of our body.. no this is not a sensual journal of the day! After we need to add the Isodrain, also cut in various place to follow the curves of our building then place the geotextile (to prevent soil from going inside the Isodrain and preventing water from being properly drained to the bottom). Once those 4 tricks were done on a meter length we had to go get soil and burry the part just installed. Being careful of course not to put too much soil that would prevent us from placing the next meter of “coverage”. Now repeat the action over 20m length and 4 m at the highest. The 2 first meters were done by the 3 of us. We made a hell of a team but after the mini excavator couldn’t go as high and so the company doing part of VIA’s renovation came over to help us. Of course I’ll spare you the description of the weather (rainy and cold – sorry couldn’t stop myself :)  ) and dirt, and being half buried alive ^^ .   And tantan: enough back fill earth for us.

Cut the insulation/DPM/Isodrain/geotextile in the shaft before backfill.

Placing cable and ventilation pipe through said shafts.

Extending the roof OSB to reach to the outside of the insulation thickness from the walls.

Finishing the connection of DPM between side and roof.

Insulating the roof: placing another DPM + geotextile.

Unloading the windows from the delivery truck. Now I know it seems like a random action, but trust me, the tension was never higher except maybe for the day we installed the skylights. The mini excavator was meant for 500kg but the windows were packed together and hence weighted just a little more than foreseen. Add to that that Line had never handled such precious item on an excavator and that Yovko and I were just nervous. 30 mins later and the windows are neatly stacked and safe. Ready to be installed after a little carpentry on my side and water proofing from Line.

Installing the Front façade windows from Scandia Windows with the help of Tortoft&Mortensen was another interesting day. A 7am rendezvous on site on a rainy day, because Denmark, and a face changing view of our house – not in the middle of the street ^^ – We didn’t do much per say, but it was almost emotional, and something to get used to. No more entering the house randomly in between any of the columns. The next day was actually a little sunny and then my friends, the reflection on it – ineffable, but you don’ t have to take my word for it, come and visit and you’ll see if you care as much as I do, how it takes your breath away.

Preparing for the installation of the skylights. Now that, that was really the unhealthiest thing done by Yovko and me. We place 4 new beams, 2 of which weight at least 80kg that were inside the house and carried up to the roof top. Well I was like 10% of the muscle and kept telling Yovko this was never going to work, but hey, I should have trusted him more! :)

Getting the 6th skylight. Oh yeah, this is a really good one. 2 days before we were supposed to install the skylights, Yovko goes into school’s storage and comes back livid asking me if I saw the 6th skylight! The probability that someone had stolen a 80kg skylight, versus it flying away during one of the storm versus we forgetting to actually pick it up from Velux’s, let’s just say, it was a no brainer. And so on a panic, we contact Velux, who had the 6th skylight still in storage, went to Stark to borrow a trailer and drove off into the sun with Yovko. Now of course Velux had a little mechanic truck that simply lifted up the skylight and placed it into our trailer, but once on site it was only Yovko and myself. We are both on one side of the frame, and I’m there thinking that we are going to place the first end on top of the rest of the neatly stacked skylights and then do the opposite end. But no, Yovko leaves me there holding on to dear life, praying my arms wouldn’t just fall out while he carries the second end to promise land. Bruises for a week after that on my knees, which saved the day and hated me for it.

Installing the skylights was a stressful day.  7am. Tortoft&Mortensen came back to help, but unfortunetly the MANITOU doesn’t go on a 0° level, so they used the vessel to transport the skylight up to the roof, where Yovko was waiting with a beam in the middle and the guys would push the skylights on the beam to reach the other side. I was personally happy for selfish reasons to see that the two of them could lift the skylight but still with difficulty onto the vessel. 9:30 and the job was done while singing One Republic – Counting Stars ☺

Implementing the Byggros green roof in 4 steps: placing a black wobbling plastic plate that retains the water for the plants; geotextiling the hell out of it ☺; dumping all the “aggregates” were the plants are going to take their nutriments from, which looks like dirty volcanic gravel and that needed to be leveled out throughout the roof’s surface; laying the mats of plants that we received 2 days previous to it. And finish the day by lying down on it and imagining a swimming pool at the end of the field :)

 

Boy, I’m exhausted just by reading what we did in only 2 months. Amazing considering the little amount of people we had by our side. But I know you guys were also there in mind and I thank you for that. I know it’s been a long tale for today and I apologize for the dumping (to dumb: 1. To release or throw down in a large mass :)  ) this much information on you, but wasn’t it worth it? ^^

I’ll be back after winter, until then, take care.

Thanks for following,

Audrey :)

 

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