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View Diary: Cement domes - Shelter from the storm (32 comments)

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  •  And cutting down trees to build houses (5+ / 0-)

    Reduces the amount of CO2 that can be absorbed. How much pollution is being created cleaning up the damage? Also domes use less energy which reduces emissions.

    In the long run which is better? An analysis might be in order.

    Help me to be the best Wavy Gravy I can muster

    by BOHICA on Tue May 21, 2013 at 09:31:17 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  Good question. But trees are re-planted. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BOHICA, Words In Action

      I built a log cabin, I figure I've sequestered several tons of carbon within my walls. Yea, it cut down pine trees from somewhere nearby, but given that those trees are immediately re-planted, the amount of forested land is pretty much constant, so the net carbon footprint is limited. As long as the wood is not burned or left to rot, it effectively becomes sequestered carbon, which is good. Cutting down old growth forests to make pasture is bad, but cutting down pine forests to make more pine forests is not nearly as troubling.

      Energy savings is another issue, perhaps an initially high carbon footprint can be made up with long-term savings. Except that my log cabin is well insulated and has great thermal mass, so a dome is probably not that much more efficient. The balance is going to be hard to measure without specific numbers, but there's nothing preventing you from making efficient homes using square walls.

      But there's work in progress on making 'greener' concrete, processes that take less energy and don't emit as much CO2. Given how important concrete is to modern building and infrastructure, this is a very important research path. Combine this with a nice dome shape, and I think we have something with potential for the next century.

      •  Another interesting idea in dome construction (4+ / 0-)

        Is basalt rebar

        Basalt Rebar is an alternative to steel and fiberglass for reinforcing concrete.

        Made from volcanic rock it is tough, stronger than steel and has a higher tensile strength.

        Much lighter than steel, 89% percent in fact! One man can easily lift a 500 foot coil of 10 mm rebar.

        Rebar is naturally resistant to alkali, rust and acids. Moisture penetration from concrete does not spall. Needs no special coating like fiberglass rods.

        The same thermal coefficient expansion as concrete!

        Allowing thinner, lighter panels and decks, basalt rebar reduces the thickness and spacing between the rods and the concrete and surface. Much more flexible design! Smaller rods allow for more critical spacing and designs.

        Rebar is easily cut to length with regular tools.

        Basalt rebar does not conduct electricity or induce fields when exposed to RF energy, great for MRI or data buildings.

        Rebar is perfect for Marine enviroments and Chemical plants where corrosion is a continuous concern.

        Just an FYI, don't know its footprint.

        Help me to be the best Wavy Gravy I can muster

        by BOHICA on Tue May 21, 2013 at 09:56:31 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  how about Hempcrete? (1+ / 0-)
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      Hempcrete is a mixture of hemp hurds (shives) and lime (possibly including natural hydraulic lime,[1] sand, pozzolans or cement) used as a material for construction and insulation.[2] It is marketed names like Hemcrete, Canobiote, Canosmose, and Isochanvre.[3] Hempcrete is easier to work with than traditional lime mixes and acts as an insulator and moisture regulator. It lacks the brittleness of concrete and consequently does not need expansion joints.[3]
      However, the typical compressive strength is around 1 MPa,[4] around 1/20 that of residential grade concrete. Hempcrete walls must be used together with a frame of another material that supports the vertical load in building construction. Hempcrete's density is 15% of traditional concrete, as well as carbon negative.[5] Like other plant products, the hemp crop absorbs CO2 gas as it grows, retaining the carbon and releasing the oxygen. 165 kg of carbon can be theoretically absorbed and locked up by 1 m3 of hempcrete wall over many decades.[6]
      Flavell and David Madera, his partner at HT, which is based in Asheville, North Carolina, see hemp as the way of the future. "It is by far the greenest building material on the market right now," says Flavell. Not convinced? Hempcrete, which consists of hemp, lime, and water, is carbon-negative (the mixture requires carbon from the air to dry and seal it), chemical-free, completely biodegradable, fire- and pest-resistant, and vapor-permeable. Another key benefit is hemp's insulation value, which is greater than virtually any other cellulose plant used in construction.

      without the ants the rainforest dies

      by aliasalias on Tue May 21, 2013 at 02:36:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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