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Roof Steel

Thin-shell concrete: Armature plus well cured portland cement and plaster sand; dry measure mix = 2.8± sand with each unit of cement. This combination is also called ferrocement. Three dry sand measures to one dry cement measure is also a popular ratio for the mix. Experiments at the Ferrocement.com Roof Laboratory have verified that both sand and steel can be successfully replaced with biological fibers such as flax, hemp and jute.

The central chimney marks the spot of many open fires and congenial conversations before the house was built.

Mahatma Gandhi would have smiled upon visiting here and learning that some of his thoughts were appreciated in discussion during construction. Perhaps he would have seen the solidity and known how humble homes such as these will exist far longer than most nations.

It is not chance that the homes used for example are small, nor is it due to poverty.

The plumber, Jeffrey Johnson, describes these dwellings as maximum minimalist. They were built to explore the imagination and present an alternative to the economic absurdity of a system based on unending growth for immortal corporations. Smaller, earth friendly homes such as these pay for themselves many times in maintenance and insurance savings.

Remember, when the armature is hard underfoot it feels like solid ground. Then the structure or sculpture is ready for placement of concrete plaster.

The above photo illustrates how the center post supports roof rafters. It also gives a hint of just how close outer space really is (closer than I thought).

The distance to totally outer space is about 0.0077 times planetary diameter. Humans cannot live as high as the highest mountains, which are 0.0006 as high as diameter. Outer space is closer to us than outside an apple skin to an apple. Econ ½3 is probably the most important college course in the galaxy, especially here on Planet Earth, at this particular juncture of historical crosscurrents and crescendos.

At this and every moment of every day at uncounted locations around the planet are incinerators belching the garbage of plastic packaging, medicines, paint, ink and sandwich bags into the thin puddle of gasses that are the skin of Mother Earth.

Dateline, Halloween, 2006, Greenfield Recorder: Connecticut River is poisonous three ways. 1) PCB and DDT, banned but still here from the last century, 2) Mercury, now mainly from coal power, 3) dioxins, from trash incineration. Though mercury contamination has dropped since controls have begun to be placed on trash incineration, it still destroys human and other animal health. What kind of trick is that?

We who build for the long tomorrow are self-nominated to worry about the social and environmental surroundings of tomorrow. And the next day, too. Will MomÕs skin hold up long enough to protect her human children? Will acid rain dissolve this home before it fully pays the tenth generation to live in it? Twentieth? Thirtieth? How many people does this little house have to pay to live here before it gains rights of its own? Does Econ ½3 have the answer?