The amount of clay is about 20% of the volume of firewood. It is the mortar base that turns a simple pile of firewood into a solid wooden wall. In order for the clay to be warmer and not crack, it is mixed with finely chopped straw, adding 10-15% of the volume of the clay and mixing thoroughly.
The construction of a wooden house foundation is simple: a simple mortar base can be made by pouring layers of liquid mortar, which penetrates well into any cavity.
The depth of the foundation should not exceed 1 m, since wooden frame walls are much lighter than brick and have high resistance to subsidence. A length of 40-50 cm is optimal, as it is enough to keep the house warm in cold winters.
The firewood laying technique is simple, but care and precision must be taken to lay the firewood on the mortar with minimal space. There is a little technological secret to keep the wall warmer. This is because the clay and straw mortar is laid in two parallel grooves rather than in one continuous layer.
This creates a layer of air in the clay, which prevents joints from freezing and thermal bridges from forming. When laying corners, the technique of gluing wooden beams together should be used in the same way as for traditional masonry in order to increase the strength of the entire structure.
The house measures 9×9 m, on one and a half floors. I built it with 40 cm clay logs. The walls were laid side by side so that each row overlaps another row of walls at each corner. The cladding consisted of one board every 50-70 cm. This was also used for levelling.
It took 3 rows of firewood to lay the wall (all at the same time). Not anymore – the clay wouldn’t have had time to dry and the upper rows would have displaced the logs of the lower rows.
It is not written anywhere that the walls should be made of boards (formwork, a technology similar to yew). Shields of three boards were made along the entire length of the wall, both inside and outside. These are mobile.
They are bolted to the finished wall from below. At the top is a 41cm spacer to maintain wall thickness and reject longer logs than necessary. The same boards are used to measure the verticality of the walls.
For windows and doors, I cut frames to the width of the wall (200×100 boards), which are cut on site to fit the masonry.
Since the wall of my house is 9m high, there is a 5th wall in the middle of the house (a 150 x 150 wooden frame). The ends of the wood are recessed into the walls.
The first floor ceiling (beams), one end of the beams is on the frame of the 5th wall, the other on the wall. Of course, the joists are in the plank under the wall on each floor (the full length of the wall). This year we had to stop at the ground floor. The frosts have started – the water freezes in the morning and we cannot climb the wall”.