Design Build Live

Rubble Trench Foundation Workshop

A One-Day Design~Build~Live Workshop

Saturday, May 22, 2010, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm (rescheduled from March 27)

Instructors: Kirby Fry, Southern Exposure and Gayle Borst, Stewardship, Inc.

Location: North Central Austin, Texas

Fee: $75 ($67.50 for DBL Partners) – Register HERE; Limited spaces

Experience Level: Beginner to Intermediate

For those seeking a more sustainable solution for foundations, high-embodied energy concrete can be minimized or even eliminated through use of a rubble trench foundation. This low-impact technique, used extensively by Frank Lloyd Wright, uses rock (rubble) to support the building above.

During this hands-on workshop we will construct the foundation for a small cob cottage and will cover all the steps required to complete a rubble trench foundation, including:

  • Importance of dealing with water flows around a foundation
  • How to lay out and set the batter boards for the building
  • Materials selection and sources
  • Construction of the rubble trench
  • Forming up the bond beam on top of the rubble trench

The project is the first step in the construction of a small cob cottage behind the Rosedale home of owners Mina Loomis and Robert Norris.

The instructor, Kirby Fry, has over 15 years of experience as a building contractor, including several natural building projects.  Kirby studied Natural Resource Conservation at Texas A & M University, served in the U.S. Peace Corps in Guatemala, and is a Permaculture designer, teacher and builder.

Assisting Kirby will be Austin architect and DBL Director, Gayle Borst, who constructed a rubble trench foundation for a studio behind her own home several years ago.

Fee for the workshop is $75 for non-members and $67.50 for DBL Partners. (If you are not already a Partner, join now and receive the discounted workshop price.) Included are a healthy vegetarian lunch and all necessary workshop materials and tools. Water, tea and snacks will also be provided. Enrollment is limited to twenty people. For questions contact Gayle at 512-478-9033.

Registration closes at 8:00 pm on Friday, May 21. Please call Gayle if registering on 5/21/10.

Registration required. To register, click HERE. If you don’t already have a DBL account, you will be asked to create an account. Once you have created an account and are logged in, select “Current Events” from the “What would you like to do?” pull down menu. An acknowledgment will be emailed to you automatically upon registration, along with the project address.