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Special Interest => Gulching/Self-Sufficiency => Topic started by: J13 on September 06, 2006, 09:34:14 pm

Title: Construction types/techniques
Post by: J13 on September 06, 2006, 09:34:14 pm
hello all, somewhat new here
something that i've noticed is that when there have been discussions about building a home there has been a move to have a secure room or some analog of it within the plans - what if the entire home was the secure environment? im not trying to build a multi-gazillion dollar place, but a modest two bedroom home with an average-for-the-area toolshed/workshop/garage that's about 40 feet by 40 feet by at least 13 and one half feet high attached to the house via a ramp or hallway - the best thing i can think of is a pair of linked earth-covered domes of approximately the same size with either wind or steam power generation - maybe both...there would also be a porch on either side of the house (front and back) the windows and doors would have working and rather thick shutters, was thinking that i would want at least 10 feet of fill over the roof and at least that much over the garage (except for the entrance doorway - kinda difficult to drive thru dirt)

what should this type of house be built out of? concrete is what im thinking of, but i may not have knowledge of something better/cheaper/easier,
do ya'll think the thin-shell domes are all that the various vendors' sites claim they are?
this would be kin to an earthship, but with a focus on security and low or no maintainance
any suggestions?
thanks
j
Title: Re: Construction types/techniques
Post by: Ian on September 06, 2006, 10:30:45 pm
Well, if the goal is a secure home, I would start by throwing out all plans that call for significant amounts of flammable materials. No log cabins, no straw bales, and no stick-frame houses. That would leave you with rock, concrete (and its many cousins; papercrete, insulated forms, etc), earth (rammed, adobe, etc).

I don't have any experience with modern dome buildings.

I do really like the idea of an earth bermed and/or roofed building, though. It makes for good insulation and low maintenance, and it can help a building really blend into its surroundings. Ten feet of earth on a roof is probably way too much, though. The stuff is heavier than you might expect, and supporting 10 feet of it would require a huge amount of structure, with lots of loadbearing walls and/or pillars. the sources I've seen don't generally recommend any more than three feet on the roof (with the minimum for getting some effective insulation benefit being about one foot).

Another thing to consider for earth bermed buildings is that the earth will press horizontally against all the buried walls, in addition to the roof pressing down on them. So your walls need to have a significant amount of strength in that direction (and the forces get much higher when there's any groundwater involved). So, concrete tends to be the material of choice.

Is there a reason you suggest wind and steam power, but not solar?

Title: Re: Construction types/techniques
Post by: J13 on September 06, 2006, 11:10:03 pm
hello Ian, thanks for replying

im with you in removing any flamable materials

i've never heard of papercrete - you just gave me something to google, thanks

im shying away from the icfs because of the flamability issue and b/c im after a large amount of thermal mass within the conditioned envelope of the home and garage - to the point of thinking wild and extreme (expensive) methods of getting there - think of a multi-layer wall system with feet of gravel or a sand and gravel mix between layers.....

do you have any idea of how well rammed earth or adobe would hold up in the northeast? i think i saw on tv once that they put some sort of plasticized coating over the rammed earth to make it weatherproof - am i correct in thinking that this is common practice? or am i daydreaming and it was a heavy paint suited to the desert environ the house was in...

i was thinking wind and steam because both can be readily hidden in farm country - the windmil can retract into a silo - usualy there's a good bit of room up there even with the unloader all the way up and the hexapod sitting there supporting it...
the steam exhaust should be able to be hidden just like a regular woodstove exhaust, just with a little more volume, and the waste heat can be used to heat the home, heat the water and in the winter maybe clear the driveway, but i need to look into the requirements for the boiler, ect
was also thinking that steam would be a little more viable because in my part of the world, there are plenty of trees and a wood-fired boiler would be a great backup, as well as a diverse and useful tool

solar would work fairly well in the summer, but not so well the rest of the year.....

i know there's a contradiction - hiding a windmil in a silo, but for the site ive got in mind a silo would not stand out at all, in fact it would be missed if one of them were gone...

thanks
J
Title: Re: Construction types/techniques
Post by: Aviator on September 06, 2006, 11:28:37 pm
I wouldn't rule out ICF construction.  The foam used does NOT support combustion, and if it's sheathed in a non-flammable material, it is no problem.  I'm planning to build ICF homes in Kentucky and I've been learning quite a bit about them.  I think my second choice would be steel.  ICF walls can perform to R-50 and have enormous thermal mass.  If you do the re bar correctly, they are nearly indestructible.  I checked out a development in Tehachapi where they were doing moderately priced 1800 sq ft homes and they said they were price competitive with wood.
Title: Re: Construction types/techniques
Post by: Ian on September 06, 2006, 11:34:13 pm
Well, I'm certainly no expert on adobe construction. But from what I recall, it can work fine in wet climates as long as it's not in ground contact (doing something like topping the foundation with a 1 foot tall stem wall of rock or concrete would probably work very well) and not being hit by rain all the time (make some fairly long overhands on the eaves).

Here's a site you might find useful: http://www.greenhomebuilding.com/index.htm

Lot's of info on a bunch of alternative building methods/materials there (don't miss the links in the right column of each material's page).

For general underground housing info, I'd check your local library. There are a surprising number of books out there that can give you a good starting point on all the various engineering and aesthetic issues.
Title: Re: Construction types/techniques
Post by: J13 on September 06, 2006, 11:58:49 pm
thanks for the replys
i'll check out that sight Ian, as well as seeing what i can dig up about adobe, there may be some applications for it inside the house - maybe use it as interior walls, but i dont think it would last too long in the northeast

in your studies Aviator, have you seen ICFs used in a bermed/semi-buried house? are you planning to use the ones that have the wall as a solid concrete wall or more as a thick-lined grid? if you have links to a specific one that you think is best, i'de love to take another look at 'em - so as long as i covered the foam with some sort of plaster it would be fine - ive got to re-evaluate

thanks again
J
Title: Re: Construction types/techniques
Post by: JOROWA on September 07, 2006, 09:18:08 am
Check out monolithic domes at www.monolithic.com (http://www.monolithic.com) .  They are extremely strong buildings providing most of the advantages of underground, without a lot of the underground problems, such as water leakage, condensation, and expensive heavy load bearing walls.  The deeper you go, the more it costs.  That said, you can bury monolithic domes.  Costs are competitive with stick built homes, provided you don't get carried away with the design.  Concrete and steel requirements go up if you want to bury them, but only about 10-15 percent.  They have large thermal mass as an inherent property of the structure.  ICF's generally only use half of the concrete as internal thermal mass, as half of the concrete is on the outside of the foam insulation.  Monolithics use all of the concrete as thermal mass as it is all inside the foam insulation.
Title: Re: Construction types/techniques
Post by: Aviator on September 07, 2006, 11:06:36 pm
J13,

The system I plan to use is Nudura, www.nudura.com .  I had a chance to see houses built with this system in Tehachapi a few weeks ago, I was very impressed.  There are steel clips available that are cast in place and make it easy to install floor joists and roof trusses.  I'm investigating steel for these applications.  My cousin in Canada is an architect and she says they commonly use ICF for basements and foundation structure, but they don't use it for the upper structure commonly because wood is still cheap there.  Check out www.architecturaldesigns.com , they have a group of ICF designs.  This is one I like very much: http://www.architecturaldesigns.com/house-plan-35052gh.asp .  It should be very energy efficient.
Title: Re: Construction types/techniques
Post by: Rarick on September 08, 2006, 01:48:03 am
Do a search, there are at least 3 threads where we have talked about this.  My vote goes to the monolithic domes if you are burying the house.  The domes require the least reeingineering a modification, and all ready have a decent amount of protection on exposed walls. There are free standing monolithics domes (see the website) that have taken direct hits from tornadoes, fire, and hurricanes with minimal-no damage.

use the search feature, there are a couple of threads groaning with links and info.
Title: Re: Construction types/techniques
Post by: J13 on September 08, 2006, 08:02:56 am
 :doh: :doh: :doh:
you're right Rarick - shoulda done a search - there's WAY more than 3 threads on this topic

ive looked at monolithic domes, they looked good, but not as geared to the DIY'er as www.formworks.com i spent almost an hour on the phone with him yesterday and have decided to go with them - the houses they have built are able to withstand almost anything

he told me that a dome they built withstood a simulated 50kt detonation at a 1500 foot stand off distance

the shell is 4.5 inches thick....
Title: Re: Construction types/techniques
Post by: Misfit on September 08, 2006, 11:45:34 am
Mr. Misfit and I are in the engineering phase of such a type of building/home.
He works for an engineering firm and will be doing the calculations on loads and such.
We're planning to do concrete block retaining walls as the exterior walls and berming in the structure on all sides except the south, for passive solar heating.
We're doing a concrete slab and are thinking of doing dry stack block walls with surface bonding and rebar in the walls. This may wind up being a traditional block wall if the engineer decides that would be better.

I looked into adobe and other similar materials and there seems to be an issue with strength uniformity. They're not consistent and so you may have an issue with stability. If you're in the northeast it would be really easy to build in the manner of the way they build basements there. You're just building a basement with no house on top. You'll need to paint the outside with a water resistant coating and have some french drains. Basements are not all that common in other parts of the country and would probably be harder to build elsewhere. I used to live in the northeast and we were surprised when we got to the southwest that they just don't usually do them out here.
Title: Re: Construction types/techniques
Post by: Rarick on September 08, 2006, 12:53:36 pm
Southwest does not have the freeze/ thaw cycle that requires the deep footings.  Probably another reason for the southwest housing boom.  In someplaces about 2 feet down is a layer of Caliche- the stuff has to be jack hammered or blasted, and it is "resonant" so the vibration carries.  There are houses with basements, but you add anither 30+k to the price last I looked. If you are already in a development, foget about the jack basement and drop routine.  Almost all of the newer places have the C,C&R gestapo stuff. 

  Then again everyone on here is looking for low population..........

Bermed concrete block is a good one, especially if you are going DIY.  It will get you in shape too, if you aren't already.
Title: Re: Construction types/techniques
Post by: J13 on September 08, 2006, 12:58:46 pm
 :BangHead:
i feel slightly retarded - www.formworks.com should be www.formworksbuilding.com ......

the only problems that i can forsee if i'm doing all of the work myself is that im really good overbuilding stuff out of metal (made a flask out of 6061 T6 aluminium in high school - no section was under 1/4" thick, with the top and bottom at least 3/8" thick - could've used it to chock the tractor trailer i now drive with it without damaging the flask) but not so hot when it comes to building out of anything else

im a LOT more comfortable with letting someone else who has a clue design and plan things to my spec, especialy for the $$$ and safety factors involved

im thinking that adobe or its analogs may be good to construct some of the outbuildings im going to need when i change my lifestyle, just so long as those materials don't require an excess of maintainance or stand out excessively.....



what im attempting to do is build a somewhat stealth retreat that i can live in full time
Title: Re: Construction types/techniques
Post by: JOROWA on September 08, 2006, 01:35:23 pm
Misfit,

You didn't mention where you will be putting your insulation, but let me suggest that you look into putting extruded polystyrene foam panels on the outside of your concrete walls, and under your floor slab.  This will put all of the concrete thermal mass inside your home, which will help with your HVAC and passive solar design.  Also consider hydronic radiant floor heat in your slab.  Very efficient heating, cost effective, and helps distribute the solar energy falling on your floor.  The required water temperatures for radiant floor heat can easily be supplied with solar hot water panels. 

On the topic of footers, frost protected shallow foundations are covered by code, and are much cheaper and more effective than conventional deep footers.  You can Google frost protected shallow foundations and get a weath of info.  My builder has used them in Alaska.

As to DIY monolithic domes, How To Workshops are held multiple times a year at the Monolithic Dome Institute in Italy Texas.  Some students have went on to build their own monolithic dome home.  One such student is being highlighted today on MDI's home page at www.monlithic.com (http://www.monlithic.com) .
Title: Re: Construction types/techniques
Post by: JOROWA on September 08, 2006, 01:39:04 pm
Sorry, that should be www.monolithic.com (http://www.monolithic.com) .  By the way, the workshops are hands on, and you actually build a monolithic dome.  The cost is $995 for a 5 day program.
Title: Re: Construction types/techniques
Post by: ripsnort on September 08, 2006, 09:17:31 pm
dry stack block. 
just stack standard concrete blocks up without any mortar. 
stack around where you want windows and doors - bullnose if you want. 
then parge both sides with block bond which is a mortar/fiber mix.
then put rerod in the vertical block holes and pump in concrete.
build box beam around the top of wall to support roof.
put on whatever roof you want.
then attach styrofoam on the outside - comes in 4'x16' sheets.
order foam straight from factory sliced any width you want.
use the performguard formulation which is insect proof.
attach to wall using the anchor bolts inserted thru drilled holes in blocks.
then parge over the styrofoam with the same blockbond but with liquid plastizer added.
low skill levels til you get to the roof.
monolithic - incredible thermal mass, almost no thermal bridging, rot, insect and pest proof.
can be made very intrusion resistant.
can build it on a slab or full foundation.

Title: Re: Construction types/techniques
Post by: J13 on September 09, 2006, 09:32:26 am
hello ripsnort
i do like the idea of using dry-stacked block, however, i wonder how much it would cost for the concrete/block/rebar combo especialy when filling the cores of the block. 5000 psi concrete in my area costs about $95 per cubic yard, and for the size home i would like i was seeing a HUGE amount of concrete (my math could've been off quite a bit) the bill for the concrete alone was into the mid to high 6 figures - if im going to spend that kind of $$ on a project like this, i'll build it out of full hard armor plate, that is if i had the money to begin with....

i've seen something called grancrete, seems very promising....

J
Title: Re: Construction types/techniques
Post by: Aviator on September 10, 2006, 05:27:21 pm
J13,

I just calculated the concrete required just for the walls--just an estimate--for the 2212 sq foot ICF house design I posted.  It comes to 60 yards with nine inch thick concrete and a total wall thickness around 15 inches.  That comes to $6000 at $100 per yard.  I think that's very reasonable.  You could easily double or triple that depending the foundation or basement, but you get what you pay for.
Title: Re: Construction types/techniques
Post by: Ian on September 10, 2006, 07:31:48 pm
I think drystacking would work very well for DIY type projects, as those tend to be smaller than the 4000+ sqft mansions a lot of people seem to be fixated on today. If you build something in the 500-2000 sq ft range, the cost of concrete of easier to deal with. Also, drystacking allows you to mix and pour all the concrete yourself, and just build as you have the time and money. A course of block here, two courses there, and before long you have your walls up.

I would plan to go overboard on waterproofing for a dry-stacked building, though. I don't know just how effective the surface mortar is as a waterproofing agent, but I do know that before it's applied a drystacked wall will leak like a sieve. In fact, you can see cracks of  light through many/most of the joints between blocks. :) If I were doing such a building, I'd definitely plan to use surface mortar, and then another sealant - possibly something like roofing tar. And (if it was bermed) a french drain at the foundation level and another just below the surface (to catch and direct runoff).

Edit: Just as an example, a 10x20x8 dry stacked building (without accounting for a door or windows) would require roughly 500 8x8x16 blocks, 3.5 - 4.5 yards of concrete in the foundation (assuming a 4" slab with 12"x12" footings all around), and another 4.5 yards or so to fill the cores of all the blocks. That comes to a total of about 300-325, 80lb bags of concrete. At $3.40 each, that's a bit over $1100 for concrete. Assuming the blocks are $1.25 each, you're looking at about $1800 in block and concrete.

In addition to that, you'd have to factor in cost for rebar in the footings and walls, insulation, surface mortar, water sealant, roof materials, and any interior finishing you have in mind.
Title: Re: Construction types/techniques
Post by: ripsnort on September 10, 2006, 08:40:27 pm
J13, you don't say how big "the size home i would like" would be, but two things:
    - unless you are planning something really enormous recheck your math.  I can't imagine how you are coming out in the "mid to high 6 figures".
    - keep in mind that structurally you only need to rebar and mortar a core every few feet.  Yes, mortaring every core does add thermal mass and "other qualities".
Also remember you have to hire a concrete pump truck.  You want a small one with a 2 inch hose.  There are several coatings like grancrete but they tend to get $$$ and the spray on ones require specialized equipment - more $$$.   
Ian, Yes dry stack is good for DIYers, but I wouldn't think of mixing all the concrete and lifting it up to pour it down into the blocks.  Unless you are dong a really small building just get it delivered and pumped in.  The parging of the blocks and insulation will provide all the concrete mixing you care to do.  Also, you can only put full length rerod in if you pour the whole full height core at once.
There is no water problem with this construction - you are parging both sides of the block, then putting 4'x16' sheets of styrofoam on it, then parging over that with a plasticized parge. 
Title: Re: Construction types/techniques
Post by: Ian on September 10, 2006, 08:49:24 pm
ripsnort, one of the reasons I like the drystack method is that it can be done without any hired help, if need be. Which makes it a feasible method for a gulcher planning to avoid local building codes and inspections. Hiring help (or having deliveries) always brings a risk of being reported to the local government. Yeah, it'd be a hell of a lot of work, but it would be doable - especially if it was done bit by bit over several months or more.
Title: Re: Construction types/techniques
Post by: coloradohermit on September 10, 2006, 09:21:39 pm
Just a note about that polystyrene foam. We put it on our poured concrete N and W walls. Where it was visible about the backfilling, the ducks ate it all off. So covering it with something would be a good idea.
Title: Re: Construction types/techniques
Post by: teotwawki on September 11, 2006, 01:34:31 am
Go Kaczynski!!!!  :laugh:

ripsnort, one of the reasons I like the drystack method is that it can be done without any hired help, if need be. Which makes it a feasible method for a gulcher planning to avoid local building codes and inspections. Hiring help (or having deliveries) always brings a risk of being reported to the local government. Yeah, it'd be a hell of a lot of work, but it would be doable - especially if it was done bit by bit over several months or more.
Title: Re: Construction types/techniques
Post by: J13 on September 11, 2006, 08:55:15 am
hello all

the size of home I'm trying to build is approx. 2000 ft^2 - this may be able to be reduced somewhat, I've tried putting together several rectilinear designs using a wall thickness of 8 inches and 4 inch thick floors i got a total of 1667 yd^3 needed for cast in place concrete, the garage took the same amount for a total of 3334yd^3 for a total price of 316,730 for the concrete alone. This does not include installation of this concrete into a useful form, nor does it include any rebar, delivery, finishing (of the structure itself, I'm competent enough to do the inside work, but not the physical load bearing design of the earth covered home), design, well, septic ect...
ballpark guestimate for a structural engineer to look at, approve, modify and sign off on prints that are acceptable to the zoning board (no permits for the structure= court order to demolish it, if you don't they will while you are in jail - its BS i know, but thats ny..and another thread...)

the attached garage which would be of the same construction and measure at least 30 by 40 by at least 14' high this too is planned to be earth bermed

berming is for camo, insulation efficiency and protection and includes the roof

thanks
J
Title: Re: Construction types/techniques
Post by: Ted Nielsen on September 11, 2006, 10:42:09 am
OK lets say you have a 50X40X10 home. The floor will be 50'X40'X4" which works out to 667 cubic feet or about 25 cubic yards. the walls are 180'X10'X8" which works out to 900 cubic feet or about 33 cubic yards. This doesn't include openings for windows or the footings for the foundation.
Title: Re: Construction types/techniques
Post by: ripsnort on September 11, 2006, 06:00:29 pm
Ian, "avoid local building codes and inspections"?  None here, what are they?  Avoid the attention of the local government?  Not many places in the U.S. that remote and most towns look at the new aerial photo maps when they come out every ten years.  I know many buidings that have been found that way.

coloradohermit, I said in both my posts that the foam is covered or parged with "block bond which is a mortar/fiber mix".  You should have at least put some Grace rain water shield on yours.

J13, check Ted's figures on the 40x50x10' house, then recheck your calculations.  You are probably making a basic conversion mistake.  Think of this: a solid block of concrete 40x50x10' would contain less than 750 cubic yards of concrete.  Yes? someone recheck that for me.
Title: Re: Construction types/techniques
Post by: Aviator on September 11, 2006, 08:57:13 pm
A mixer truck carries TEN yards of concrete--what house would take 300 truckloads of concrete?  Measure the surface area of the walls--the perimeter of the building times the average height in feet, then multiply by the average thickness of the material in the wall, I would think 0.4 feet would be close for filling cement block.  This will give you the volume in cubic feet for the walls.  Divide this number by 27, this will give cubic yards.

Another thing about ICF, the ties between the foam pieces--those are supports for horizontal re bar.  A properly done ICF house has both vertical and horizontal re bar.  This is why they are so strong and easily meet building codes.  Also, I would VERY strongly advise you to have building permits and make sure everything meets or exceeds code.  You may want to sell your house some day, and no matter how you build it, it will be a big investment.  Another thing, you want the place to be one that you want to live in.  There is no reason why a very strong, secure house can't be an attractive, desirable place to live.
Title: Re: Construction types/techniques
Post by: Rarick on September 12, 2006, 01:55:50 am
okay just a quick calculation for the walls: 

Traditional Box with 6" thick walls. would need 22 Yds3.  A half foot for the basement floor and cieling would be another 74Yds3 Total of 96Yds3   That is just concrete, no roof, cinderblock, or second floor framing.

A dome with the same internal volume would be 50' in diameter, 18' high. Use a total of 56Yds3 of cement for the dome and 72yds3 for the basement and its roof. For a total of 128Yds3  That includes your second floor and roof. 

I did not count windows, doors, oe ant thing else into the calculations, just concrete.  The dome is complte as far as the outside and weatherproofing goes.  The Box still needs a floor framed in and a roof.

Calculators for the domes:  www.monolithic.com/plan_design/calcs/   I used the "spherical dome" column.
Title: Re: Construction types/techniques
Post by: JOROWA on September 19, 2006, 02:22:15 pm
My monolithic house has 5000 square feet of floorspace including the integral garage, and we used 165 yards of concrete for the shell, floor, and footers.

The biggest problem with all of these alternate construction methods is that banks hate them, as there are no comparables for basing valuations on.  Therefore, they don't want to lend you money for them.  They are worried about what they could get for the house if they had to foreclose, or even worse, have to complete an unfinished construction. 
Title: Re: Construction types/techniques
Post by: Rarick on September 20, 2006, 01:35:25 am
sources to consider when evaluating balistics for the walls:

clairewolfe.com/wolfesblog/00001296.html
globalsecurity.org/military/library/policy/army/fm/3-06-11/ch7.htm

Also check out SurvivalBlog for other tricks and tips.

Title: Re: Construction types/techniques
Post by: Ted Nielsen on September 20, 2006, 07:56:31 am
My monolithic house has 5000 square feet of floorspace including the integral garage, and we used 165 yards of concrete for the shell, floor, and footers.

The biggest problem with all of these alternate construction methods is that banks hate them, as there are no comparables for basing valuations on.  Therefore, they don't want to lend you money for them.  They are worried about what they could get for the house if they had to foreclose, or even worse, have to complete an unfinished construction. 

Are you happy with your monolithic? My plans include building one... someday.
Title: Re: Construction types/techniques
Post by: J13 on September 20, 2006, 01:22:13 pm
thank you all for the generous replies and quality information

i've pretty much made up my mind about the type of construction im going to go with - an earth bermed thin shell concrete dome. mostly because of how it can be constructed - i can get the foundation and footers poured by a pro, then i can do the vast majority of the shotcrete and interior myself as funds become available, thereby saving myself the chore and struggle of finding financing, as well as the payments that go with it all...

thanks for those sites rarick, am looking at them now

am thinking of some stout (concrete and steel?) shutters for the doors and windows to provide security while im away as well as for a SHTF scenario and an interior filtration and overpressure system - any more ideas in this vein? would love to hear if im missing anything... a secure room seems a little redundant if i proceed with the shutters, am i incorrect for thinking thusly?

again, thank you all
J
Title: Re: Construction types/techniques
Post by: ripsnort on September 20, 2006, 08:34:37 pm
J13, Building a substantial good size building by your self or even with one or two other people is a major undertaking - time and $$$.  Things tend to take more time and $$$ than planned and you lose time to the weather.  Difficult to do part time.  And if its not finished enough to live in, you are still paying taxes on it.  Did you recheck your figures for
"a total of 3334yd^3 for a total price of 316,730. for the concrete alone"?
Title: Re: Construction types/techniques
Post by: J13 on September 20, 2006, 10:19:38 pm
i certainly did redo my math - four times and got a different result each time then waited a few days and called nestegg and spoke with them they told me that for a 40' dome im looking at 40-45 yd3 of concrete

i understand about doing it part-time - seems like that way is in some respects the most difficult way to do anything, yet the most rewarding...

what i would do is to either do the shotcrete as money allows or save up and do it all at once - the architect i was speaking to told me that a decent company would do it all in a day on a 40' dome, he went on to say that the domes go up remarkably fast and that the majority of the time spent on them is inside doing all of the finishing work - i can handle finishing it off myself....

im of 2 minds regarding the how and the where, but not the what or why

J
Title: Re: Construction types/techniques
Post by: Rarick on September 20, 2006, 10:56:15 pm
Plan on doing the dome all in one day yourself, at least for the concrete.  I know concrete needs to go in in a single pour so that it is solid. If the concrete goes in too slow it will "fault" and you lose the strength of the solid foundation.  Shotcrete may be the same. The rest would probably be stageable.  One day would probably save you on rental for the mixer/sprayer or other stuff you might need.

Let us know how it goes, it would be an interesting thing to learn from a source other than the company site.
Title: Re: Construction types/techniques
Post by: J13 on September 21, 2006, 05:38:04 am
ya'll can count on me sharing the process - tho it may take a while to get started, will be doing this after im debt free, ive still got about 6.5k$ to go just yet....

between now and then im planning to get the design set or nearly so, finishes/overlays for what little will be exposed decided upon, and perhaps procurement of things like tankless h2o heater, stovetop, fuel storage tanks ect...

also need to do more research about security systems, defensive perimeters, high security but aesthetically pleasing fencing, ect - in that vein ive ordered the book Patriots (and others) and have spent many hours surfing...i'de love to hear ideas about this type of stuff

what ide love to be able to do is just send a .dwg file and pictures of the lot to nestegg and say "this is what i want and where i want it - how much?" but everyone has their own processes for things

the gentleman i spoke to at nestegg had said that he was on a shotcrete industry board and told me that shotcrete was immune to the "fault" problem that you mentioned Rarick, but with anything im going to have to research  that statement - for the $$$ vs. the time to call a few concrete experts and ask them its a no-brainer
Title: Re: Construction types/techniques
Post by: JOROWA on September 21, 2006, 10:43:05 am
Shotcrete must be applied in successive layers on larger domes.  If it is sprayed on all at once it falls down.  Because it is sprayed inside the airform, the high humidity keeps the concrete green enough to merge well with successive layers.  That said, it should be sprayed on successive days.

These buildings are airtight and require forced ventilation.  These guys http://www.ultimateair.com/ build an energy recovery ventilator that has HEPA filter options and positive pressure control options. We also have a CO2 sensor tied into the control system. 

The monolithic buildings take weeks, not days to build.  Ours took a month to layout and pour the foundation with all of the utilities.  A week to mount the airform.  A week to foam.  It took 8 guys 3 weeks to tie up all of the rebar before shotcreting.  About a week to shotcrete.  Then weeks to deal with all of the openings.  Followed by an eternity of finish work.

Ours is still under construction, but should be done in the next month or so.  Finish work takes forever. 

The house has been blower tested and has a net leak area of only 30 square inches, which is extremely small.  The 350 tons of thermal mass in the house has maintained a range of 72 to 82 degrees between March and September with no HVAC running, when we have had temperature ranges from 40 to 100 degrees during that time period. 

A dehumidifier is required to handle all of the ongoing water vapor outgassing from all that curing concrete for quite some time.  We're still getting significant water vapor after about ten months since shotcreting. 

The house is very secure, and very energy efficient.  The round shapes also does a great job of distributing light without glare, and has exceptional air circulation within the house. 

We're very happy with the result, except, as in all custom houses, we're way over budget.
Title: Re: Construction types/techniques
Post by: Rarick on September 22, 2006, 12:04:57 am
Cool, A new wrinkle to remember.  I was wondering if the 2 different methods required different "pour" techniques.  only a cubic yard of air leakage a day!  That would make a great outer layer for the NBC shelter as well.  The house filters keep out the vast majority of stuff so the NBC shelter filters last many times longer. an extremely low chance of anything sneaking in on you too.

Dome look better and better as I learn more and more.

Would you say that the shotcrete could go in on weekends, or would it have to be and every-other-day sort of thing?
Title: Re: Construction types/techniques
Post by: Rarick on September 22, 2006, 12:09:51 am
ya'll can count on me sharing the process - tho it may take a while to get started, will be doing this after im debt free, ive still got about 6.5k$ to go just yet....

between now and then im planning to get the design set or nearly so, finishes/overlays for what little will be exposed decided upon, and perhaps procurement of things like tankless h2o heater, stovetop, fuel storage tanks ect...

also need to do more research about security systems, defensive perimeters, high security but aesthetically pleasing fencing, ect - in that vein ive ordered the book Patriots (and others) and have spent many hours surfing...i'de love to hear ideas about this type of stuff

what ide love to be able to do is just send a .dwg file and pictures of the lot to nestegg and say "this is what i want and where i want it - how much?" but everyone has their own processes for things

the gentleman i spoke to at nestegg had said that he was on a shotcrete industry board and told me that shotcrete was immune to the "fault" problem that you mentioned Rarick, but with anything im going to have to research  that statement - for the $$$ vs. the time to call a few concrete experts and ask them its a no-brainer


There are a whole bunch of threads here where defensive landscaping is discussed, use the search function.

Dream gulch, Ideal Gulch and such come to mind.  also alpharubicon.com has "edible defensive plants" in their public article area.  Survivalblog has some stuff too.
Title: Re: Construction types/techniques
Post by: JOROWA on September 22, 2006, 08:03:44 am
I only have experience with one monolithic house, so all I can say is that my shell builder sprayed the shotcrete 8 to 10 hours a day on successive days.  He also worked closely with his concrete supplier to insure no wait deliveries during that time.  I would think that the chance of shotcrete layer delamination if it was sprayed too far apart is too great a risk to take, given the expense, the cost of rework if it fails, and the safety hazard if concrete chunks fall on someone.  A good time to take a week of vacation. 

When you calculate your concrete usage, you must add about 10% to account for the rebound, or shotecrete that falls back during spraying. 

The folks who did the blower testing isolated the large part of the leaks to electrical boxes in inset and augment openings in the shell exterior, which where closed in with conventional framing or Tri-D type panels.  The rest was due to leaks around door weather stripping.   I am currently working on sealing the leaks around the exterior electrical boxes with spray can polyurethane foam.  This should reduce the 30 square inches to something smaller.  The positive pressure resulting from the ERV with HEPA filtration will keep most nasties from sneaking in.  The ERV intake and outlet ducts have electrically controlled dampers which totally close off when the ERV is off, and can thus button the house up when needed.  The blower test folks calculated the natural air changes per hour of the house at 0.03.  For more perspective on the leak, the 30 square inches is the net leak over a 8000 square foot shell plus a 5000 square foot floor.  That leak works out to be about 16 parts per million relative to the total house surface area.
Title: Re: Construction types/techniques
Post by: Rarick on August 11, 2007, 03:40:44 pm
definitely need to have venting for the kitchen and baths then. I guess the ability to intake to just those spaces for fresh air?
Title: Re: Construction types/techniques
Post by: JOROWA on August 13, 2007, 08:23:51 am
We have exhaust vents for all of the bathrooms, the kitchen, and the clothes dryer.  The ERV has a differential pressure sensor that measures the pressure difference between inside and outside.  When an exhaust fan turns on, the inside pressure goes negative, which increases the intake fan speed and decreases the exhaust fan speed on the ERV to make up the lost air and maintain the desired pressure difference.  If all of the exhaust fans are on at once, that would be more than the ERV can correct for, and the pressure difference will turn negative.
Title: Re: Construction types/techniques
Post by: RagnarDanneskjold on September 17, 2007, 03:43:11 am
Haven't read this entire thread yet. The initial post isn't quite in line with the subject title, but I figured this would be a good place to drop this post. A coworker and I were talking a few minutes ago about straw bale and earth bermed housing. I asked if he had heard of earthships. He had not, so I googled a link to send him and the first hit I got was this (http://www.bluerockstation.com/).

Now off to read the thread. Then I've got to finish updating my resume and find some places to post it. And I am at work, so I guess I should accomplish something.
Title: Re: Construction types/techniques
Post by: FDD on April 01, 2016, 08:29:47 am
hmm Something more to think about.
but a lot of good info here.

anything more to add to this?

What has work with you?
Title: Re: Construction types/techniques
Post by: da gooch on April 05, 2016, 08:36:58 pm
sources to consider when evaluating balistics for the walls:

clairewolfe.com/wolfesblog/00001296.html   (Error 404 - Not Found)
globalsecurity.org/military/library/policy/army/fm/3-06-11/ch7.htm  (works fine)

Also check out SurvivalBlog for other tricks and tips.

It has been 9 and a half years so I guess an update may be required ....
perhaps the wayback machine has a copy?
Title: Re: Construction types/techniques
Post by: Rarick on April 07, 2016, 12:21:11 pm
There is a website called the high road that has done a lot of alternative ballistic barrier research. I do not recal the exact URL but someone here might.

http://www.thehighroad.org/
Title: Re: Construction types/techniques
Post by: Rarick on April 15, 2016, 10:28:16 pm
Okay, Earthbags are a useful item, they are what a lot of the Ecotopic inclined use for the rammed earth walls on their earthships.  Mix the clay type dirt, 3/4 inch aggregate, and cement pour it in and give your wall a good soaking...  You can also double wall as well with regular mix earthbag on the outside.  Stucco over it,do the trim right, and you have a regular looking house until a visitor notices that the exterior walls are 3 feet thick.  Look at Earthship references and Rammed earth references from google and youtube.

I have discovered that you can pump concrete grout into soaker hose and the soaker hose breathes enough to let the concrete cure.  How much earthbag and garden hose with rebar can you stockpile in a 20-40 foot shipping box?  Enough material to make walls for the edge of your property?  Use wattle and daub to sandwiched foot thick layer of compacted clay and 3/4 inch aggregate.  The inner and outer walls could eaisliy be tied together with rebar precut and bent.  make a nice 10-12 foot high wall.  Use the earthbags to create a retaining wall against the inside base of the wall to create a sentry walk that can look out from the immediate gulch habitation.  You could also do the whole thing ahead of time with the sentry walk being set up for growing ornamental climbing greenery.  A little gas and a match could clear that when SHTF happens.

That same wall could be used as a form for the walls of an earth bermed house as well or a hobbit hole style one if you domed it in.  a foot thick with rebar every foot and rebar rings resting on the crossties at the right intervals....  I got about 1000 feet free from a landscaper that went out of business.  I know that there may be cheaper ways to make things, but it is an idea.  If post SHTF in and ongoing grid annihilated situation, and you 'forage' some of this stuff with concrete?

http://www.walmart.com/ip/3-8-x-250-Element-Bulk-Soker-No-Couplings/46723657
http://www.mrdrip.com/352-820-OD-58-ID-x-250-Bulk-Soaker-Hose-_p_830.html

Edit:

Woodlath or lath split from trees could substitute for the hose.  Now you only have to find rebar to salvage and weave in.
Title: Re: Construction types/techniques
Post by: slidemansailor on September 07, 2019, 06:31:04 pm
I am embracing a new enterprise...
With a couple of partners I am building a quonset hut for our personal winterizing. However, it serves a second purpose assuming TS doesn't contact The Fan in the next 12 months...

1. There are no recently constructed quonset huts anywhere around here.
2. The ARCH is perhaps the strongest architectial form ever.
3. Quonset huts are simply sturdy arches ... any width, any length that fits the situation.
4. They are incredibly cost effective ... half the per-sq-ft cost of conventional.
5. Wind loads, snow loads ... the arch shrugs them off.

I'm building a sample before winter, then intending to sell multiple examples next year.