My neighbor to the east, is not building yet, and so is just letting his part of the field grow wild (this doesn't really contrast with what I have been doing but...). The trees put on quite a show before they lost their leaves, and we have some fall flowers showing a lot of vigor.
Quite a lovely display for the Fall. Other than where Adam and I have driven my truck and his Bobcat through, my leach field is covered in grasses and flowers. We haven't been having much rain, but the wild growing plants don't seem to be having that much trouble with it.
With the well and communications conduits installed in the trench, it was time to get more backfilling done. Dad took last Friday off, and Adam was also off. So mom and dad went up Friday morning, and Adam brought over the Bobcat, and worked on getting more grading done now that some of the ground was softer, and also worked to do some backfilling.
He worked on the area in front of the house, grading it down so it sloped away from the house better, and moved some of that up onto the area behind the retaining walls.
Adam worked on getting the grading on the east side smoothed out, and got most of the rest of the east wall buried.
He started the backfilling on the north side now that we had the first sheet of drainage material in place, and the well trench could be filled.
He filled in the well trench out to just short of the well.
I am standing where there had been a trench with dirt piled on either side.
I went out in the afternoon, and dad and I worked on getting the rest of the pipes coming out of the wall connected up. We had a pipe that will eventually carry hot water heated by solar panels. That will be added after the house is lived in for a while, so I can get a good estimate of how much solar I need to install. So for now, the pipe just has caps on the end, so it will extend up to where the backfill will be, and can be connected into at a later date. It splits into two pipes. One will have an insulated pipe that will carry water to the collectors, and the other will carry hot water back from the collectors in a second insulated pipe. Other than where they come through the wall, they will be kept separate.
The well conduit is covered by dirt. The two pipes at the top, are for the future solar thermal system. The pipe with the sharp bend, is the communications conduit. The set of 5 pipes coming out, is for the ventilation. The gray pipe at the bottom is for the electrical power lines.
Sunset Friday evening.
Saturday, mom and dad could only spend half the day. So, we got up early and headed out. First we concentrated on finishing up the power conduit.
Power conduit extended down to where vent house will be, and where generator trench starts.
Then we worked on installing the organ. This house will have very little air that will leak through cracks. The walls are concrete, the roof is sealed and covered in dirt, and will be sealed to the walls with spray foam. The windows and doors will have some leakage and there will be some air flow through the fan exhausts. But most all the air flowing into the house, will come through a set of pipes laid underground. They will function as the wind pipe for the house. Allowing air to flow in to replace stale air. As dad and I worked on them though, we found they also acted like a giant set of organ pipes. If you tapped on them, you could hear a pitch, and multiple echos. When we had to trim the pipes that were already glued on, the noise of the hand saw played through them in an odd fashion as though they were 50 foot organ pipes. I think only an elephant would be able to actually appreciate those acoustics.
As pieces were added, we had to bend the pipes over, since the trench isn't perpendicular to the back wall.
After mom and dad left, I worked on shifting gravel, and putting pieces of pipe in the trench. It was too unwieldy to glue it by myself, but I could get the pieces all laid out so that we would be ready to glue them on Sunday.
All the pieces in position, cut to aproximate length, and ready to be glued.
Sunday afternoon, we got back to work. We took the pieces apart, and glued them each where they needed to be. We also took some of the foam board that was left from other work, and made pieces to hold the ends of the pipe in place. The foam blocks that were place in the trench to hold the pipes in place as they are backfilled, are packing that was from my garage door. Why waste it?
All the pieces assembled and glued, and bags over the ends to keep dirt out.
I was ready to have the inspector come out and check on the electrical conduit. That is the only pipe in the trenches that had to be inspected. I called the inspector this morning, and this evening I got out there and had a inspection approval waiting for me. Time to get the trench backfilled!
I worked on pushing some dirt from the side down in around the electrical conduit and the one vent pipe. It looks like Adam is going to come over tomorrow with the Bobcat, and work on backfilling more of the north wall, and the generator trench.
Adam is also going to push some dirt in the bottom of the ventilation trench, so I can get the pipes covered, and put in foam and plastic sheeting. I am going to put in a lot of the foam that I have left over from other work, to help with the thermal performance of the ventilation pipes. The added insulation should make them behave like they are buried deeper. This will help cool incoming air in the summer, and warm the air coming into the house in the winter. This way, I can also make good use of a bunch of the scrap foam that is left, instead of having it hauled off to a landfill.