Is construction with aircrete permitted at all in California?

  • Little Dragon Tamer

    I would go with visualizing what you want, and then turning that
    image over to your higher power/ which includes your creative mind
    in your self, that is connected to all the creative minds around you.

    I hope that does not sound too corny.
    I just believe: After you know what you want; Letting Go of what you want
    allows more ideas to come up about how to get to where you want to go.

    I Am also a believer in: "When there is Will, there is a Way!" !!!
    ...and if you hear your fixed mind set voice saying "I CAN'T" ...
    speak back with your creative mind,... and add the word; "YET"

    I believe some folks are building aircrete dome homes with proper engineer
    support and not paying attention to this domegaia forum. I have no specific info.
    about this belief (YET!),... but do have the lead of a conversation about an
    Aircretre Dome Building going up in Willits, California on Commercial St. (in Mendocino County).

    I am scheduled to go back to Mendocino County mid October and will find out more about that.
    I am currently in Delicias Montezuma area of Costa Rica in my Casa built around and on top
    of a 20 foot shipping container.

  • Little Dragon Tamer

    Class K Permit:
    I do not know if or how this might apply to aircrete dome home pursuits,
    but I wish to share what I know about the Class K Permit in Mendocino County
    for outside the city limits on at least one acre parcels (as I remember):
    I have built two houses in Mendocino County with their relaxed (hard fought for)
    Class-K Building Permit option (years ago). The Class-K Permit is for conventional
    wood framed type buildings and is relaxed in requiring at least one
    inspection at end of the building process, which also allows for inspection & legalization
    of a residential building built without a permit including after the fact,
    like after possibly getting red tagged.  Fines apply after the fact or when red tagged.
    In my memory, my Class K Permits also had the advantage of being valid for a longer time period
    (I remember 3 years, and that could be extended twice for 6 months via a formal written request
    or by getting an inspection).  I once had to demand my Class K Permit when I went to pay for it
    because I was first given papers for a regular permit w the counter guy saying the regular
    UBC Codes Permit was just as good. I later learned the Class K option to get relaxed
    inspections kind of blew some building inspectors minds who were new to the dept
    and previously only known about the standard UBC codes inspection standards.
    My view of the Class K Permit is that most scrutiny is given to where the
    fire hazards are; like electrical, propane or natural gas lines, and wood stove
    heater requirements.  I do not know if anyone got something like a dome home
    (which is outside regular 2 x 4 and 2 x 6  standardized wall construction technique),
    yet do think some did. Not sure where line was for telling someone they needed
    to get an engineer involved (like for some huge oversized beam type buildings).
    The Class K option that was born in Mendocino County back in the late 70s
    resulted in a State Level Building Code change that provided each county  a
    way adopt there own version of  a Class K Permit option as they saw fit.
    While many counties did not give this Class K option the time of day,
    Mendocino County with it's clout of activists and voters who rallied
     for the Class K option (including at the State Level) surely did!
    That was such an interesting time in the late 70s. The whole political
    spectrum of the Mendocino County's Board of Supervisors and their
    District Attorney was changed at the voting booth with the help of
    the small Mendocino Grapevine newspaper that swelled in readership,
    all around the then local building codes issues.
    The Class K Permit has helped so many folks live in and legalize their homes
    while also giving rural Mendocino County's government a way to legalize
    a huge number of rural situated homes built back then without permits back
    because some of the specific requirements were really ridiculous!
    The Head of the Mendocino County Building Dept recently rallying for
    retiring the Class K Codes. I am happy to hear our low stock of low
    income housing plus need for economical building options including from
    impact from the Oct 2017 Fire Storm that took down 300 plus home to ashes,
    our Mendocino County Board of Supervisors voted to keep our Class K Building Code
    I understand some modification where made including to limit the maximum size
    building Class K could be used for (have not studied the specifics).
    I have doubts an Aircrete Dome Building could pass through
    the Class K slot, yet wonder about that. I did hear about
    an Aircrete Dome building going up in Willits, California on
    Commercial Street and will be asking the owners about how
    they managed their building permit hoop when I get a chance.
    Ideas I might consider if I was younger in my building dreams:
    I would consider building something small, economical and easy
     (like a one bedroom), connected to an oversized septic system
    (like rated for 4 bedrooms) then after getting that legal,  ... the build
     an agricultural (aircrete dome) building, or storage building, or maybe
    a car port aircrete dome.  What would be the lesser requirements for that?
    The option one might then consider is to later quietly convert your ag
    storage or carport building to your home.  You have to be getting along with
    your neighbors to pull that idea off. I have seen some folks pull that off.
    The other options that would help you go to the bank and get a loan
    or for those who will give priority to protect their investment potential to resell,
    is to then go find the right Engineer support.
    Food for Thoughts,  Bill

  • Nevada County, California Building Permit Application Handbook sez:

    "EXEMPTED WORK: Sec. L-V 2.4, Land Use and Development Code, Work Exempt from a Permit
    A Building Permit shall not be required for the following:
    "One-story detached accessory building without electrical, mechanical or plumbing not intended
    for habitation provided the projected roof area does not exceed 200 square feet. Meet setbacks,
    one structure per parcel."

    So that's just a dome with just under an 8' radius/16' diameter. Do the standard Domegaia window and door extensions count as roof area?

  • Little Dragon Tamer


    Do the standard Domegaia window and door extensions count as roof area?

    I seriously doubt a that even a county inspector would quibble over that. Unless you made the door extension 6' long or more - which might be fun.

  • Little Dragon Tamer

    @uinerd said

    Meet setbacks, one structure per parcel."

    Does that mean you are only allowed one such accessory building per parcel?

  • @Zander yes, though in ag zoned areas the rules are more relaxed

  • Have you checked out Autoclaved Aerated Concrete? It's a fireproof material that would be great in California. The link below describes the material.

  • Major Contributor

    California adopted the 2006 IBC without the companion housing code that would have included acceptance of AAC in seismic areas. So yes and no. AAC cost about 4 times that of AirCrete after delivery.

  • @uinerd
    Hi, I’m in Nevada County, Grass Valley. I’m building a house this summer out of ICCF blocks. I’m looking into an aircrete product to use in subfloor, roof & interior walls. I would love any information you can share.
    Also, a neighbor built a dome house on the side of a hill & managed to get approval with the building department. He used this company.

  • @uinerd hi there I live in Nevada county can we chat 6194325732

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