The new pavilion at pointReturn

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.

6 thoughts on “The new pavilion at pointReturn

  1. Hi Satya,
    While Jatropha is great, it helps to mix a few more varieties (may be Nochi and Adathoda) to the mix to minimise damage from pests to the fence. Also it helps to have a multi layer fence if protection from wind is an important factor.
    Jatropha will take approx. 18 months to reach a heaight of 5 feet.
    If your friend doesn’t mind a long read, our experience with hedge plants is written up here.

  2. satya…
    try jatropha curcas, the same one they are promoting as a biodiesel plant. i am not enthusiastic about such a role for it but it grows easy, fast and dense enough to make a good fencing material

  3. Hi DV,

    Congrats on completing the pavilion. I wen through your bill of materials.I found the granite stakes are much cheaper in and around hyderabad(Probably due to rocky area).

    BTW Would you know good hedge plants for the boundary. One my friends recently started a project similar to your’s .He wants to plant hedge plants around the boundary to protect plantation like papaya from wind. Particularly he is looking for goat proof hedge plants which can be grown quickly to a height of at least 6 feet.

    Satya Sunkara

  4. Dear Mr. Sreedharan,
    Hearty congrats on this green castle. We’d built a 1000 sq ft community center using similar material and hand made bricks. That was difficult enough but your project is much more challenging. Thank you very much for sharing these hard-to-find-outside-Auroville details.
    BTW, there seems to be a WordPress attack going on and users are advised to upgrade immediately to version 2.8.4.

  5. Hello Mr. DV,

    Thanks a lot for posting this latest article. It gave lot of info. Congratulations for completing such a big structure! what are future plans? I mean, I read the permeaculture details and June status but good if you can share some major milestones you are visualizing.

    Best wishes!
    – Kedar

  6. Dear DV,
    Great to hear that the Pavilion is ready and it is eco friendly. It is amazing that you have so much zing to do these wishes for the pavilion. sarath

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