Friday, September 16, 2011

Concrete Poured on TWARC

The TWARC finally has its base. In mid-August, the concrete foundation was poured and leveled by Bjornson Masonry out of Brainerd.

The crew had their work cut out for them. In addition to the regular plumbing fixtures that a normal house has in its foundation, the TWARC offered many more obstacles. In this design, hot water must run through the base to help with heating the house. The hoses were placed throughout the base and end attachments stuck out to allow access.

There were also twelve access points for the HUGnet sensor equipment. With six nodes on each side, the crew was forced to work around the tubes the entire project. There are two rows of sensors in six locations spread evenly throughout the floor. The first row of sensors are just above a layer of black tubing meant to distribute hot air. The second row of sensors are in the concrete.

Here you can see the hot water hoses being covered. In the foreground, you can see the sensor tubing sticking up.

Here you can see the finished product. On each side you can see the sensor tubing sticking out from each tower. In the center, you can see the many blue water tubes and their access points. In the background, you can see the large black hoses that will bring hot air from the greenhouses to underneath the concrete. This will aid in warming the house.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Happy Trails to Mr. VDL

Today is the last day of MN GreenCorps Volunteer John van der Linden. He began his stint last October and picked up the task of bringing Pine River into the final stages of becoming a GreenSteps City.
There was a large sendoff for this intrepid journeyman. Ice cream was served and speeches were given. He will be missed. Here are several photos of Mr. van der Linden and his stay here at the HUG Campus.

Taking care of the chickens was one of John's duties. While often times the work was repetitive and laborious, John always made sure their eggs were collected, they were warm in the winter and that they always had plenty of food. In this picture, John and Jim Chamberlin are wrangling up some misbehaving chickens.

Here John tries out a kite brought in by Ryan Hunt. It had the power to drag us around, but (un)fortunately, that day had a particularly weak wind.

John attended many official meetings as a representative of MN GreenCorps and Happy Dancing Turtle and even spoke at some of them. His insight into conservation and environmental studies was an asset to the conversation. He cleans up real nice, too.

John was always ready with a smile and quick to humor the oddest requests.

Good luck in Iowa, John. The HUG campus will be less without you.