His obsession coincides with Quiet Creek’s latest construction project – a yurt. This Mongolian tent structure will be used as a classroom and bunk space for our valued students and interns. Typically, the nomads move a yurt from place to place so the floor is built on a plywood platform elevated by poles. After much research, Rusty and the crew decided Quiet Creek’s yurt floor should be much earthier, literally.
First they leveled the ground, dug a rubble trench, encircled it with gravel bags, capped it with mortar and slate, and then placed the lattice yurt walls on top. The thirty foot diameter donut was then filled with shale and packed down with Jimmy’s tamper leveling to six inches from the top of the ring. Next the earthen floor crew placed a thin layer of sand, ready for beer bottles. The bottles (filled with air and not beer) will offer four inches of insulation to the floor. This thermal break will keep the cold temperature from migrating into the learning space of the yurt.
The work crew was excited about this thermodynamic discovery, but where would the beer bottles come from to complete the project? A few volunteers pledged to help with this dilemma. Thankfully, once we realized we needed 5000 beer bottles, we met John from William’s Sanitation Company. He offered his stockpile of bottles from his Punxsutawney recycling pick-up. When we tapped that resource dry, we discovered the Hourglass Bar. The owners, Tracey and Bud Miller, willingly saved their “empties” for us.
The “green” generosity of these two businesses resulted in a glistening glass sphere too pretty to cover up. Sadly, we found treading on glass falls just short of walking on eggshells, so we have begun the process of packing in the bottles with sand.
This spring we’ll finish the earthen floor with clay and sand once it is warm enough to mix it up with our bare feet and apply it by hand trowels. Then a layer of linseed oil and beeswax will make it as tough as linoleum. We’ll leave a small window in the floor to remind us of Rusty’s addiction and the friends that helped make this unique recycling project come to life.