Sunday 19 July 2015

Back Filling and Earth Sheltering

Backfilling with earth around all the external walls and carefully covering the roof with around a metre of soil are essential components of the earth sheltered design of the house.
With the diggers back on site and the hot late spring sun rapidly drying the soil a start was made on backfilling around the house. After the ravages of the wind over the winter a lot of the "eggshell" protection for the waterproofing membrane had to be replaced before backfilling against the walls.

The general approach to backfilling against the walls was to use a shale type mix of earth and small rocks before introducing larger rocks. This is to encourage the rapid drainage of any water build up against the walls. Similarly for the roof to encouage rapid drainage.

Gregoris, the excavation and backfilling boss, found an excellent source of dry shale in the back wall of the original excavation and used this extensively against the walls and across the roof.

With the large diggers banned from the roof the little bobcat came into its own distributing and compressing the spoil loaded onto the roof by the large digger.

Starting to backfill at west end of house.

First portion of wall backfilling complete.

Replacing the "eggshell" protection for the waterproofing membrane before back filling.

East wing backfilling complete.

The digger starts to move earth onto the roof.

Digger and bobcat working in tandem to earth shelter the roof.

Looking westwards across the earth sheltering.

Backfilling and roof covering completed to provive full earth sheltering.