Week 9: Turf Building Data Group E

This week we did turf building, or creating some walls for our tent using sections of turf. My group was in charge of making milk-pen blocks of turn, which were rectangles that were supposed to be about 6 inches wide by 12 inches long and about three inches deep. Cutting out the first block was the most difficult, as it was difficult to cut the roots out from under the block and we just had to use a shovel to pull it out using leverage. As a result, most of our blocks were not completely uniform in size. Here are the measurements of our bricks before trimming:

Brick LengthBrick HeightBrick Width
11.5 in6.5 in6 in
14 in5 in6 in
14 in7 in6 in 
13 in5.5 in2 in
14 in4 in6 in
10 in4 in6 in

These were only a few of what ended up being about 60 bricks, and they were taken from different parts of our process. We mostly used our tools to approximate the length and width of the bricks, which led to some of them being larger than our target and some of them being smaller.  Most of our early blocks were more than 6 inches deep, taking all of the roots with them without being cut. After we cut about three blocks, we were able to use a knife to cut under each of the blocks, which was helpful both in getting them out and making them more uniform.

Once the entire class started assembling our walls, we worked on getting enough blocks to have three layers of turf for one long size of the tent.  Our side of the wall was ultimately 116 inches long while being 18 inches wide and 15 inches tall from the inside/12 inches from the outside. We placed the bricks in a pattern that was a sort of crosshatch, and then offset it to cover gaps on subsequent layers. 

Overall the process was somewhat difficult, but we learned as we went. We also found that the bricks were much easier to move and assemble once they had dried in the sun for a while, with less water content and more structural integrity.

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