My personal time at The Hive has been a valuable and satisfying experience thus far. Super Adobe was a new concept to me, and I was interested to hear of how to implement a new and more sustainable building technique into the modern world. This form of building proves that neighboring and easily accessible material may be used in place of large amounts of cement. This is a great discovery knowing that cement manufacturing is among the most energy consuming industrial operations.
There is also a sense of satisfaction knowing that the wall we are building has a large amount of material coming from the exact location we are working on. The project began with a great amount of planning and visions which may be utilized for comfort, privacy and aesthetically pleasing tastes. Through, what sometimes feels like endless construction of this wall, I have been able to learn a practice of efficiently building and working as a team. However, I have also surprisingly seen and now seek a new sense of community through harvesting new ideas and spreading knowledge.
An important aspect in this project, for me, has been the “flow” of work. As Mitch had explained to me, the most efficient way we may work together is in understanding this flow, at first by observation. He mentioned to first take note of what your coworkers are doing, and plan for the next step, whatever it may be. This has held very true in the building of the wall from sifting dirt to allow for the next mix to be made, measuring earth bags, and filling buckets of earth to be passed on to the “layer of the bag.”
I also found this to be legitimate when we were working on soldering out solar panels. We may have started slow as we were learning, but we then learned to work with multiple hands to keep a steady and flowing technique of careful soldering. Through this we were able to knock out 36 solar cells within a few hours. This displayed great teamwork and left me a feeling a sense of accomplishment for a Saturday.
Furthermore, I was also surprised the great amount of community present at The Hive, and it seems to continually grow larger. Many of the tenants have helped and watched the development of the project, all while conversing to the background of charming music. However the sense of community did not simply come from the site of The Hive. There are many people walking the area who aren’t shy to observe and ask about the project they see before them.
In one case, a man and his father drove by and stopped and proceeded to introduce themselves. He had stated that he had driven by the project a few times and it had sparked his curiosity. Jesse and Mitch were generous in allowing the two to browse the site and walk into the dome. After the father had been taken to the airport, our friend came back and helped us build an arch form until we had successfully finished laying it.
In another instance we had two ladies walk up. They had previously read some articles regarding super adobe and were interested in building their own structure without having to hire anyone for construction. It was a friendly conversation on the perks and tactics of building with super adobe. They further noted their interest in attending a workshop for some hands on learning. I have been truly amazed by the great sense of company and friendship from strangers that is sparked by a large project.
My favorite part of this project is experiencing and understanding what may be made by the work of a few hands. I have felt a great sense of satisfaction seeing what we have accomplished and knowing how a more environmentally sustainable practice may serve the neighboring community for generations to come. This has reminded me of the great outcomes which may come from recycled materials, such as our bottled LED lights, and earth from The Hive site. I am also proud to know that we may harvest the sun for our LED lights through the solar panels we put together ourselves.
Any person willing to ‘Do It Yourself’ is capable of doing such grand projects. I have enjoyed being able to work on this project and look forward to spreading this knowledge in order to live a more sustainable life. Through education, unity and organization we may be able to change the direction our planet is taking, and find a more balanced and happy way of living.