New PDF release: Handbook for Building Homes of Earth

Methods Materials

By Corps P.

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Figure 23 (23a; 23b). The angle between the 3-unit and the 4-unit boards will be 90 degrees or a "square" angle. By aligning the strings along these two boards as in Figure 23b, two sides of the hose can be properly positioned. To begin the layout of the house, a stake should be driven about three feet inside one set of batter boards to form the first exterior corner. The right angle of the square is then located properly at this stake and all measurements begin from here. The stake would be placed just below where the strings cross in Figure 23b.

Figure 24. String lines are then stretched between batter boards to mark the direction and length of sides of the walls. This procedure of measuring and laying out square corners is continued around the outline of the house until the task has progressed back to the starting point. If the house outline is in the shape of a square or a rectangle, the alignment can be checked by measuring the diagonals - the length between opposite corners. If the outline has been properly laid out, and the corner angles are square, the length of the two diagonals will be exactly the same.

The concrete should be "rodded" or tamped into the forms with a smooth steel or wood rod to pack it down solidly. Otherwise, you might get air pockets which weaken the wall seriously. Proper rodding is important over the entire foundation wall, but it is especially important on the outside face because not enough rodding can result in holes that look had. The concrete can be the same as that used for the footing with perhaps a little more water to make it easier to work.

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Handbook for Building Homes of Earth by Corps P.


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