Sauna Gets Roof, Walls

A group of volunteers yesterday revived last year's sauna project at Better Farm, adding a roof and starting work on exterior walls.

Begun last summer, Better Farm's sauna is an exercise in upcycling. All components are reused from something else: a pallet floor, exterior walls reclaimed from a demolition project this winter, and even a tree stump left after a windstorm knocked down a giant tree back in 2011. What couldn't be reclaimed was purchased from the sawmill next door.

Here are Bob Laisdell, workshop instructor (left) and one of last year's sustainability students Jacob Firman, getting things started:
 After Day 1:

Here's the sauna taking shape, with some of the pallet flooring complete:

The crew yesterday trimmed up and finished the roof, which is now ready for metal sheeting (also reclaimed from the winter's demolition project), completed the pallet floors (pallets plucked from the dump), insulated the floor (reused hard foam insulation), and added one of the exterior walls (reclaimed tongue and groove). Once the exterior walls are done, it will be time to add a window or two, put in the front door, and get started on the inside benches, wood stove, vent, and changing room. Here are some photos from the day:
Measuring the roofline.

The tree stump will become a bench in the sauna's changing room. Cutting pallets to fit around said stump? Not a fun project.

To learn more about the projects and upcoming events at Better Farm, click here.
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Nicole Caldwell

Nicole Caldwell is a self-taught environmentalist, green-living savant and sustainability educator with more than a decade of professional writing experience. She is also the co-founder of Better Farm and president of betterArts. Nicole’s work has been featured in Mother Earth News, Reader’s Digest, Time Out New York, and many other publications. Her first book, Better: The Everyday Art of Sustainable Living, is due out this July through New Society Publishers.