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  • The University of Utah

    College of Architecture + Planning

    375 S. 1530 E., Rm. 332 Arch

    SLC, UT 84112

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    galarza@arch.utah.edu

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    Setbacks and Surprises

    Upon arriving at the site, I was surprised by the lack of tools, materials, and dirt piles that usually made the site look like a complete mess. But I guess Saturday was a turn of events, as everyone tidied up the site while I was getting food for my day of stressful cooking. I need to get my priorities straight!

    The site is nice and clean; it's a miracle!

    The site is nice and clean; it’s a miracle!

    Before entering the house, we were hoping for the best and that the finish layer of the Adobe floor would be clean and pristine. But unfortunately, luck was not on our side; the floor was filled with cracks. This meant that the few people who came to site today had to remove the top layer of floor in order for it to be replaced next day. It took all morning, but it was eventually evacuated. We hope for better things for the floor during the final stretch.

    Replacing the floor; too many cracks!

    Replacing the floor; too many cracks!

    Halfway there...

    Halfway there…

    Additionally, we received some help from Adam’s parents, John and Sarah.. Sarah helped with cleaning the house and removing the floor while John helped Adam with fixing up and finalizing the built-ins and cabinetry in the kitchen and Joely’s room. Though it has taken longer than expected to finish these pieces, Adam has put a lot of care and time into making them as perfect as possible, and all of us can’t help but respect his hard work and motivation.

    Will Adam ever get these built-ins finished? Who knows?

    Will Adam ever get these built-ins finished? Who knows?

    After lunch, we were worried that we would have to buy all new ingredients for a new finish layer of Adobe floor, but luckily, Eric informed us that we could just reuse the dirt that was removed previously. So we spent the next few hours re-sifting the dirt and re-removing rocks and chunks from the mixture so that it will be ready for tomorrow’s placement back in the house. Eric is another worker I highly admire for his motivation to make something as good as possible. He literally drove an hour back to campus to get some advice and tools, and then came back and immediately started working again. That’s some commitment there!

    Eric sifting away

    Eric re-sifting away

    Though setbacks existed that day, surprises were welcomed as well. It was Kohei’s birthday that day, and we surprised him with two, count ‘em, TWO chocolate cakes (one of which he will be keeping for himself)! But that’s not all. He also surprised us with a gift of his own. He gave us some chopsticks and colorful napkins from Japan to show us his gratitude for the project and getting to know us. Kohei is the third person in this blog I’d like to give a shout-out to. This action was wonderfully sweet and makes me understand that DesignBuildBLUFF can build strong bonds between people, not only within a community, but within a classroom and a campus. Don’t take my sappy words of inspiration too seriously, but I’m dead serious.

    Happy Birthday, Kohei!

    Happy Birthday, Kohei!

    -Drew Emeney & Shane Stephenson