About a foot from top of each post, a sturdy multi-strand rope girdle is tied with just a little slack. Round poles are placed on top the granite posts and tied down by another multi-strand rope forming a stirrup, looped through the girdle. That’s all it takes to hold poles fast on posts for twenty years or more. No nail or screws are necessary. As long as the cord stays dry, it lasts for decades.
All round poles used in construction are first debarked. This eliminates pests that breed under the drying, peeling bark. Debarking is best done as soon as poles are felled. They are still green and the bark peels off with ease. In a couple of days the poles have almost dried and peeling becomes hard. The best possible way to get a big lot of debarking done -as I found out after much misery!- is to dunk the poles in water and drag them out one by one to peel at leisure.
An A-frame is formed on the horizontal grid of poles lashed to the top of pillars. A characteristic of a capsule is the steep pitch of the roof, approaching 60deg. This enables a roof to shed water quickly and dry up. The A-Frame armature, is made of skinned slender poles fastened together by coir rope. If A-Frame slopes are formed by poles crisscrossing in a diamond pattern, the structure is stronger than if the poles were lashed parallel. [See pic above]. In the pavilion at pointReturn there are 3 windows on each of the slopes and two by the gables. These are provided with loose fitting shutters with drawbridge-style rope-on-pulley arrangements.
The structure is then covered with woven coconut leaf mats. For the 40′ long A-Frame at pointReturn, 6 men sat in a row and started laying the mats and tying them down with thongs stripped off coconut spathes. Six more men stood on the ground as support team, steadily feeding mats, hoisted at the end of poles. Matting begins at the eaves and proceeds steadily but quite rapidly towards the ridge. About 800 sqFt are covered in 5 hours.