FORM WORK METHOD:
Form work was made with waste plywood planks. The cob was then laid over in layer well interconnected again by merging to make a monolithic structure.
But in this technique, while removing the form work, the vibrations may cause the arches to develop cracks. These cracks may be made minimal by proper merging and drying. Form works are covered with polythene to ensure easy removal.
The technique we followed was Corbelling. This technique ensures the arches were stronger for better load transfer.
In the 1st and 2nd we guided our corbelling with manual stencil. Hence, the bricks would be exposed. One has to interconnect the previous layer properly, by merging or pinching with a wooden thimble.
After this the arches are trimmed with a trowel. However, this is a slow process, where laying more than 2 layers of cob a day would not be possible. So, in the last houses we switched to formwork.
We started with the lintels for the second house over the doors, as it seemed faster. The granite lintels were placed in two layers horizontally across a 66cm wide wall, the third house was completely made by placing the granite over lintels. The third house has a mezzanine composition of circular window openings which we made using barrels as form work.
Palmyra wooden beams were prepared. Marking the position of the beams as per drawing was done and the walls chiseled to about 30 cm accordingly at center to center distance of 2 feet.
The ends of the Palmyra beams that were to rest in over the walls were draped in bitumen sheets and then aluminum foil. The bitumen was provided as an anti-dampness courses and the aluminum was to protect the bitumen.