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View Diary: Affordable, Sustainable Housing II: Materials & Methods (55 comments)

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  •  I love the idea of concrete homes. (4+ / 0-)

    Fireproof, insect proof, soundproof, hurricane resistant, and mold-resistant (no hollow walls and ceilings, and no paper backing on drywall as a cellulose food source).  And above all else, durable. Were I ever to build my own home it would be concrete.

    And the options are many.
      - Pre-cast panels with interior insulating layer
      - Insulated forms that you pour concrete into once assembled
      - Pre-cast Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (AAC).

    I find the AAC most intriguing.  The process of autoclaving (i.e. baking) the concrete panels results in a low-weight concrete panel filled with small closed-cell bubbles, so the material itself is self-insulating all the way through, and can be worked and milled with standard tools.  Cool stuff.

    Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room!

    by bigtimecynic on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 05:35:33 AM PDT

    •  Some of the green homes (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bigtimecynic, Klusterpuck, Ice Blue

      here in Salt Lake feature concrete. Condos. I've toured them and the crete actually makes for a nice clean look.

      One of the major differences between Democrats and Republicans is that the former have the moral imagination to see the moral dimension of financial affairs, while the latter do not. Some pragmatists are exceptions.

      by Words In Action on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 06:02:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Insulated Concrete Forms (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Words In Action

      I built with insulated concrete forms.  In the basement, they give a warm, dry space in the winter and spring (when most Maine basements are anything but that), and cool dry space in the summer and fall.  I have no problems with mold or condensate.  The forms are relatively expensive, but the do-it-yourself savings meant the basement cost less than the concrete guys' quotes for a conventionally formed foundation (and the end product was SO much better).  

      It took my niece and me two days to form 220 linear feet.  I used a pump to pour the special pea stone mix (with wetting agent to make a high slump) - it took a morning.  We spent a couple of days reinforcing the forms to prevent blow outs.  That paid off.  The pump operator said ours was the first such project he had seen with no failures in the forms.  

      I used ICF's for the walls in the wings, where the bedrooms are.  My goal was to reduce noise, and it worked as advertised.  The windows' sound transmission were less than I feared, but it helps that we have lots of ventilation elsewhere, with fans for bringing in cool night air during the heat of summer.  The R22 of the walls is less than that of the foam and studs in the timber frame part of the house, but the ICF makes up for that by having no drafts at all.  We run the bedrooms cooler than the living quarters, and both are heated with radiant floors, so I think there are no real thermal penalties.

      The ICF bedroom walls also form a buttress for the timber frame.  Two of the bents are hammer beam trusses, where I was warned of a potential for spreading.  It is reassuring to know that will never happen here.

      I would use them again, especially if I were building an earth sheltered home or a home in a relatively noisy place.  

      •  Great information. Thanks. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        salmo

        Maybe should be doing some diaries, too.

        One of the major differences between Democrats and Republicans is that the former have the moral imagination to see the moral dimension of financial affairs, while the latter do not. Some pragmatists are exceptions.

        by Words In Action on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 12:37:11 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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