Late July Update

With a month to go before the scheduled finish date for the Cloud Hall portion of the project ( the new library will likely be done in late September, and the new program building is scheduled to be done in mid-December), things are looking good.

The exterior was covered in Densglas sheathing (fiberglass mat gypsum sheathing), and the seams taped.  The view here is from the southeast corner of the new program building, looking north toward Cloud Hall (bottom windows are to the Cloud Hall bathrooms).

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 Most of the windows are installed in Cloud Hall and the basement offices, and the building is mostly covered in a “weather-resistive” paper called Super Jumbo Tex (“The product delivers over six times the water protection of standard Grade “D” paper, while providing optimal breathability, to prevent the potential for moisture condensation within exterior walls.”)  This is, as I understand it, to allow the reclaimed redwood siding, which will go on next, to dry out more evenly and thereby last longer.

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The view above includes the bridge to the new program building (lower left).

The bridge from a slightly earlier date, as seen from the other end:

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The bridge as seen from the basement windows (of what will be the new student lounge):

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(It will look different when it’s poured and the decking is on instead of plywood – and hopefully the fuchsias will grow back.)

Meanwhile, at the other end of the building, by the bathhouse, the stairs are being replaced:

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And in the basement, many of the water pipes have been replaced with iron or copper pipes – hooray!  We have had our share of water leaks during this project, and are very happy to have such nice new plumbing!

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(The pipes will be concealed in the ceiling of the new student lounge in a few weeks.)

Up in Cloud Hall, the painting is almost finished:

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And the under floor insulation (on the second floor) and cork flooring have started going in:

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The framing of the new program building is complete except for the roof. This photo is looking from the lawn, up at the program building’s second floor (each student room on the second floor will have one large window and one small window.  There will be two bathrooms on the north end of the building – to the left of the frame):

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 And from upstairs, looking south down the corridor:

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Looking into one of the rooms:

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 The stairs connecting the upstairs rooms to the interior of Cloud Hall (through what used to be the closet in the Tanto’s practice discussion room):

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(The roof will be popped up to accommodate an actual person…)

The view from the Tea House today, as seen by the Tea Teacher:


Native Nursery

The start date for the first phase of the Green Gulch Creek restoration is fast approaching!

There has been a lot of prep, including the creation of a native nursery down in the “kids garden” area of the farm (next to the glass house and greenhouses).

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There are currently a few different kinds of plants, including a large number of Alders, in five gallon pots, that were dug up by Green Gulch and Parks Conservancy volunteers in the Spring.

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The National Park Service native nursery is also growing many thousands of grass plugs and divisions for us to plant in the fall.

Stay posted – construction starts mid-August!

And if you haven’t already watched, click here to watch a short video about this project.

Guest House Roof: A Job Well Done

 The Guest House roof was completed and scaffolding removed last week.  The craftsmanship is amazing and the finished roof beautiful!  We hope that you all will visit Green Gulch some time and perhaps stay in the Lindisfarne Guest House!
Along with the shingles, all the flashing around the windows and chimney was replaced:
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The shingles were sealed with a clear paint.  If re-painted every five years, this will significantly extend the life of the roof.
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The last thing was to remove the cleats that held the scaffolds onto the roof, and paint underneath.
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I got this as part of an email from Ezra Wynn, the craftsman who did the work, upon completion of the project:
“What I observed in finishing this project was that my heart was full.  My cup was to capacity.  I saw that if a committed group of people live simply and purposefully, and consciously calm their minds, what remains is love, naturally.  I saw the whole place enshrouded in the thickness of it, as tangible as the fog.”
There will be an interview with Ezra in an upcoming issue of Sangha News.

Two Weeks Worth

The foundation pour for the new building was done over two weeks ago.  It was poured on time and done beautifully:

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The Monday following the pour, the framing began and has made rapid progress over the last two weeks:

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Above, you can see in the lower right and left: the ADA accessible room (left) and private bathroom (right).  Just behind that is the service kitchen for the program space (left) and the public bathroom which also serves the program space (right).  The area behind those spaces is the program space itself.

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The framing, looking from the lawn near the Zendo (you can see the Tea House in the upper right of the photograph).

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The program building from the other side, where the main entrance will be.  (Cloud Hall is out of frame to the lower right.)

A week later:

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View from the lawn: left hand door is the public restroom, right hand door is into the program space, which has high windows (as well as some low ones) to leave plenty of wall space for yoga poses like head stands.  The bit sticking off the far right of the building will be one of the stairways up to the second story dorm (the other staircase will wrap around the left hand side of the building) – underneath is the storage closet for the program space.

A slightly different view of the same side of the building:

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This past week the crew began work on the bridge that will cross alongside the south side of Cloud Hall (where the men and women’s bathrooms are) to the main entrance of the new program space:

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Our happy Job Foreman, John:

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Work in Cloud Hall continues, as well.

As of a couple of weeks ago, all the plumbing for the new radiators, as well as the new electric were complete:

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Copper pipes for a radiator.

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New electrical outlet, in the wall instead of conduit along the baseboard.  All the rooms will have dimmable wall sconces.

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Wiring for a new light that will illuminate the Suzuki Roshi Memorial on the second floor of Cloud Hall.

Some new plumbing is also going in:

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Currently, windows hang out on the walkway, waiting for the right time to be installed.  Some of the windows that were newly installed a few years ago will be put back in, along with some larger egress windows that meet fire code:

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Meanwhile, the exterior of the building is getting excellent treatment:

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On top of a layer of plywood, Cloud Hall was wrapped in a weather resistant barrier which acts as air and moisture barriers, while allowing moisture vapor to escape from the wall cavity.

On top of that is a layer of one inch rigid insulation (there was previously NO insulation or siding on the east side of the building – just 3/4 inch plywood!):

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 The basement office walls are all wired and insulated at this point, too:

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Offices to the left, new practice discussion rooms (and then stairs up to Cloud Hall) to the right.

We are all very happy that the work is progressing so smoothly, with only a couple of late night/weekend plumbing incidents so far!


The framing of Cloud Hall and the basement is proceeding quickly.

Looking out toward the dining room, the staff offices will be to the right in this photo:

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Looking from the same spot (turned 90 degrees) through the staff offices, director’s office, storage space, utility room and to the windows on the south side of the basement (where the Goodwill used to be and the new student lounge will be):

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Framing for the two new practice discussion rooms (and waiting room):

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Special framing for the double wall that will allow moisture to drain out – this side of the building is an underground retaining wall that has been problematic in the past.

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The south side of Cloud Hall (men’s and women’s bathrooms above the old goodwill), before:

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and after:

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Grade Beams

 Here are some photos showing the evolution of the grade beams, completed a little over a week ago, which will lay underneath the foundation of the new program building.  There is a lot of burly steel in there, along with the very deep friction piers – necessary, says the engineer, due to the soil in the valley.

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Basement Pad

Last week the new pad in the basement was poured in the areas where the staff offices, student lounge, phone room, boiler room, and new practice discussion rooms will be.

This is looking south, the far wall being where the goodwill used to be:

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A closer shot of where the student phone and the student lounge will be:

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Formerly the corner basement, future home of two practice discussion rooms:

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Foundation and Piers

 Last week, a very large drill rig showed up to drill the 13 piers necessary for the new pedestrian bridge and footings for the program building.

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It was very exciting to watch it drive into position, down the ramp between the ranch house and the Wheelwright center.  (It was particularly exciting because a lot of major plumbing to the main area of Green Gulch was located inches away from the treds!)

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The first three piers drilled were for the bridge, on the West side of Cloud Hall.

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To our great relief, “competent soil” for the piers to be poured into was found at the depth we had hoped, and the pour went smoothly.

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As for the foundation, they compacted the soil a couple of weeks ago,

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then dug out trenches, in which some piers will be drilled and poured, and which then will be lined with rebar and poured with concrete for a great deal of structural support.

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The drill rig working earlier this week.

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As of today, all the piers have been poured (and came in on budget!) and the crew is laying the rebar structural supports in the trenches, to be poured in the next couple of weeks.

Dining Room Floor

All the conditions came together during work period to do another long-awaited project: resurface the dining room floor.

It took them two days to sand and five days (and five coats) to finish.  You might notice the much lighter color.  They said that the old finish had worn off long ago and that the surface had been darkened by years of ground-in Green Gulch dirt!

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While the work in the large dining room was being done, vital functions (such as coffee and tea!) were relocated to the small dining room:

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A long-time work period participant even plumbed the coffee machine into the hot water source (see white pipe running in through a crack in the doors on the bottom right):

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The floor drying after a coat of finish was applied:

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On the last day of working on the large dining room floor, we did the small dining room floor as well.

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The almost finished rooms (baseboards were added to the small dining room, and a new sliding double door will replace the two sliding doors connecting the rooms):

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