@zander - I decided to order one pound of powdered Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) from Amazon which cost $15.75 including shipping. (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00HX47342/ref=od_aui_detailpages00?ie=UTF8&psc=1). I will report back with how well it works compared to ordinary dish soap (Axion).
@fire Earthbag construction is so labor intensive but not as labor intensive as packing tires. I personally am going with the Monolithic Dome airforms. You could make your own airforms I have not done so myself, but i visited a home in CO where the home owners made the airforms. On there website they sell a book on how to make airforms.
Here is a video I made of the home i visited and I have a link in the description to the website with the book.
Hi Jakinta, I attended the Mazunte Mexico workshop in December 2017 and it has taken me a year to get plans through council. I had to have the plans prepared by a structural engineer on the coast who looked at my plans in terms of the likely effects of floods and cyclones, (floods we get in w qld, and high winds but not cyclones). As a result the footings are standard concrete, super reinforced because the domes will be on highly reactive clay soils. I'm further away than 600kms but would be happy to share anything I know with you. I would recommend a workshop however. There's one in Bali very soon.
I attended the Domegaia workshop in Mazunte Mexico in late 2017 and have only just received council permission for my dome home in Longreach Queensland, Australia.
I have just retired as editor of the local newspaper and want a home 1) I can afford and 2) I am physically capable of constructing. Aircrete domes fit the bill.
It will be a bit of a concrete/aircrete combo. The soil is highly reactive clay, so council insisted on solid footings which will be professionally installed. The approval is for two "pods" of three domes each: a living room, bedroom and bathroom in each.
One innovation is the forms to make the blocks. I find I don't have the strength to work the metal slicer to cut the already formed block. So I have had metal strips made that fit together like an old fashioned ice block maker, so the blocks are formed individually.
@Martin10 if my calculations are accurate then you should need about 2800 blocks. This is assuming a consistent block size as your estimate for a 16 foot diameter dome. I simply took the square footage of a sphere of that diameter and divided that to get a per block ratio (.867 blocks per sq ft of sphere surface area calculated at some diameter) and scaled it. Assuming that you have The same fraction of the dome above the ground as in a 16 foot diameter dome that should be a rather accurate prediction. I could model it on CAD very quickly if you want to get a more accurate number. The fact that it is nearly 4 times the quantity also gives me confidence because the surface area quadruples as the diameter doubles...
I have been thinking of this topic allot being that it seems to be the primary method of forming domes. The compass arm, and how one one chooses to use it, is a direct influence on the shape one ends up getting. Are there any more ideas by you Domies on how one could get interesting and structurally sounds dome shapes?
I hear you at 54, 62 here. But the air crete is way better than Adobe blocks or cinder blocks. I have some old, repurposed stainless steel solar battery trays I line with plastic drop cloth to pour into. Cut chicken wire to fit the form as reinforcement. Form is thick as a fist, as wide as elbow to knuckle, as tall as most women (don't remember metric to US)
Cochise county AZ...has an alternative builders program...you can opt out of all inspections and build whatever you want.
This is remarkable. Here is the link to the building code referred to.
Annesely, it does say that this "does not exempt owner-builders from statewide codes such as the plumbing and fire codes and regulations regarding smoke detectors, nor does it exempt owner-builders from fire codes adopted by fire districts or the County."
How did you deal with these state codes?