Window Installation

Windows can be installed onto a wood frame that is attached to strip anchors, directly onto the strip anchors, or shimmed and set with plaster alone. It is a matter of personal preference and how accurate the rough openings turn out.

Earthbag walls are an ideal medium for sculpted windowsills. We like to seat the window up tight against the underside of the opening, leaving us more space below to slope a stabilized earthen, mortared stone, wood, or poured concrete windowsill. Be sure to consider what design features are planned for the windows so that the box forms can be built to accommodate a thick, sloping sill (Fig. 8.4).

8.4: The beauty of an arched window is that the shape is both attractive and structural. We choose the Roman arch (semi-circle) for most of our habitats because it is the easiest shape to fit operating windows into.

We are aware of the environmental impacts of using both wood and vinyl windows. More and more factory wood windows are using composite wood products processed with a multitude of synthetic chemicals. The production of vinyl poses numerous environmental health hazards. However, as wood becomes more scarce and more expensive, even manufacturers of wood windows are including vinyl components. The purist may have to build his or her own or rebuild salvaged wood windows to insure a natural product.

Many bizarre yet practical solutions are being created and implemented to counter our toxic habits. Teruo Higa's book, An Earth Saving Revolution II, describes the benefits of using "effective micro-organisms" (EMs) to create a new breed of safe biodegradable vinyl that will decompose readily when buried. We are in an accelerated state of transition that we find both scary and exciting. Magic is afoot! Doing what we enjoy makes the world a better place, rather than having to make the world a better place in order to enjoy. Conclusion: use what is available. Ask the universe for solutions. Follow the path with heart. Breathe.

1/4-round wood stop

2X4 sill stooped to exterior

1/4-round wood stop

2X4 sill stooped to exterior

stone or wood sill with drip edge exterior' plaster soaker hose gasket over fixed 1/2-round glass

1/4-round wood stop

2 X 4 sill notched to fit over flange of vinyl window interior sculpted earthen plaster

8.6: (Above) Side view detail of vinyl window installation. 8.7: (Right) Split a length of five-eights-inch (1.56 cm) soaker hose as a gasket over a one-quarter-inch thick plate or ther-moplane glass that has been pre-cut in a half-round shape.

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8.5: Manufactured vinyl window with homemade wood sill and a half-round glass protected with a hose gasket. Both windows are secured with shims until sealed with plaster.

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