Foundation

This is easily the hardest physical work I have ever undertaken. When we started I was slightly pudgy but by the time the 62 nd one was finished, I had a six-pack and could wield a 14lb sledgehammer. It's a brilliant use of old tyres; Taus and Matt from the Brighton Earthship came up for a weekend to show us how it is done.

Normally you would expect a new building to move a bit as it settles but this building hasn't moved at all. The tyres provide a broad, stable base and the ideal width for building with bales.

The ground needed to be levelled as the garden slopes gently but we did not have to dig down at all. There is no concrete involved. The best bit? .................the tyres were free, the earth was free, and all I paid for was some road grade type1 hard core that was mixed with the earth before ramming it into the tyres. The main cost was in body fat and relaxing bath salts.

The yellow pipe running underneath the tyres is for pulling rope through once the walls are up to tie the walls down into the foundations with.

The toilet in the house runs into the mains sewage. This part of the building had to be passed by the building control. I used an approved inspector who has expertise in straw bale building.

Contact details for JHAI Ltd:

Head Office 01308 488656 www.approvedinspector.com

I have to say that I am more proud of the certificate passing my building than I am of my university degree!