The great plains have seen a milder winter thus far, which has been beneficial for many reasons. For our project, this means that we have been able to move forward on the interior of the Shield's home. In January, we were able to run all waterline and electrical line throughout the home. Clearing this hurtle has allowed us to bring heat and water into the home. We are now seeing the house become livable. Now that we do have electricity, we are able to heat the home, allowing us to plaster the interior block walls and completely seal up the home.
The earth block home design provides a unique heat sink where the walls hold heat long after the heating source has stopped running. But heating a home with gas or electricity is not ideal on the reservation, as electric and propane costs can skyrocket in the winter. This is why we are very much hoping to fund a grid tied Photovoltaic solar panel system to offset some of the homes electric cost. Please see our microproject to contribute to this solar PV system!
Over the past month we have started hanging drywall on the interior walls and ceiling. Soon we can begin insulating the attic with “Rez Paper,” as our partner Henry Red Cloud of Lakota Solar Enterprises likes to call it. This particular cellulose insulation is partially made from recycled newspaper from the reservation along with cleaned, cellulose plant material.
As the home progresses this spring we look forward to showing the people of Pine Ridge and beyond that Compressed Earth Block construction is not only functional but livable. We are putting the finishing touches on the Shield's house but we need your help to truly give it that finished feel. The Shields family is anxiously waiting to move in so please consider contributing to this project so that we can get them moved in as soon as possible!
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