A concrete slab, gleaming like the surface of a lake (and begging for a dance party), now permanently masks the material layers and labor that consumed our first three weeks on site. Let’s peel back the concrete for a glimpse of the ingredients:
1. A maze of metal rebar. I thought we would never find our way out!
2. A rain of gravel.
3. A layer of extruded polystyrene foam plus a vapor barrier of visqueen to insulate our slab from heat loss and protect it from moisture, in preparation for the radiant floor heating system.
4. Radiant floor heating tubes snake across our metal rebar grid, resting on a bed of sand. They hook into a console that peeks above the finished slab, which connects to a solar water heater and allows us some measure of future control. But like every layer encased in concrete, we had to get this one absolutely right:
A snake and dragon, among other wildlife.
5. And finally, on a gorgeous misty and very early morning, the concrete trucks arrived (after a requisite hour spent lost in the mountains). Our footings were massive due to the mud churned up by several unexpected storms. It took seven trucks to completely fill the foundation for the domes.