We are ready to go! This week we started the construction phase of the HDU. Kaufmann Zimmerei and Tischlerei in Reuthe, Austria is attending us on this journey. Two of us students arrived and were allowed to help with the very first steps in the large construction hall.
In preparation, the individual wooden beams and joists were sawn to size with their respective wooden connections and were labelled afterwards according to the different components. Therefore, we could start building directly on Monday morning. First, the three floor modules of the HDU were assembled and boarded up on one side. Then we were able to start laying and compacting the seaweed insulation into the floor. Of course, it is important that the insulation is evenly distributed everywhere so that no thermal bridges are created, and a good thermal insulation capacity can be guaranteed. Due to the fibrous structure of seaweed, this worked very well, but also created a lot of dust. So, we were glad to get a little change afterwards during the shuttering of the individual modules of the floor. We continued with the walls, which also had to be insulated and then boarded up. The formwork boards were screwed diagonally onto the construction and then cut with the circular saw accurate. Using the crane, the walls were placed in the right position and then fitted precisely. For two walls, we were also allowed to use the crane and discovered that it is not at all easy to adjust such a heavy wall.
Wednesday afternoon all the walls were actually in place and we were amazed by the fast progress because we could see for the first time how big the HDU would be in reality.
It was exciting to watch the craftsmen of the sanitary company laying the pipes in the area of the core. Here we couldn‘t help much because the work required a certain precision and knowledge due to the slope.
Thursday, we ventured to the roof. The first step was to assemble the roof trusses that lay on the walls, to insulate them and to board them up. In the meantime, we had already learned a lot and were allowed to saw the formwork to size with the circular saw all by ourselves, always paying attention to the overhang.
By noon on Friday, the storage window façade in the north facing the terrace was in place. The workers put it together with a lot of precision. This meant that the vapour barrier could be laid on the walls and floor and fixed in place. Shortly before the end of the working day, pipes for the pendulum ventilators were installed in the walls and our show wall was prepared for the wall construction.
After a week, we are thrilled how much of our HDU is already standing and slowly taking shape. We are looking forward to next week and are excited to report the next steps!
Best, Jonas and Friederike