Bring your skills to change lives after the most devastating fire in California history

  • Hello! My name is Alexandra and I live in Butte County. Last November our community was devastated by the most destructive wildfire in our state's history. While over 50,000 fled for their lives, 17,000 homes burned to the ground in a single day. We still have 1000 families looking for homes and thousands living in RVs. We are working to set up an alternative building demonstration site to highlight the beautiful, affordable and fire resistant ways people can choose to rebuild. We are in an area where many were not insured and lived at the poverty line. We are working to create a sustainable, large scale off grid eco community to care for those who are living in trauma and poverty. The first step is this building demonstration and workshop to teach locals how to use this building method.

    We are working with like minded non-profits to bring this to life. There is a beautiful big picture and an opportunity to be part of a grassroots movement to shift the way we live. State and federal agencies have reached out to see how they can support and have shared that they will be excited to see what we come up with. Our building codes have become more relaxed because of the housing crisis and we have an incredible opportunity to bring these "alternative" methods to the forefront. We will need to get the plans approved through the county and the plans available through this website look great. Please message me or email and I would love to talk with you about what we are up to. It would be great if someone was an instructor. We are open to hearing of other building methods as well if they can include plans from an architect or engineer. This community has a wonderful crew heading here in July to teach traditional cob.

    The site is at an amazing campground on a lake that lost its caretaker home and cabins in the fire. We would like to rebuild these structures to help locals have a space to live who can't immediately rebuild and to be able to teach groups how to use these methods and hopefully get some building done before winter sets in. Thank you so much for your time and we hope to hear from you!

  • This is a great idea! I just came across your post while researching permitting regulations in California. I'm new to this, but I do have some experience managing projects for permitted buildouts of licensed cannabis labs here in California. If there is one thing I have learned, it's that a mechanical engineer can usually get anything permitted if s/he writes up a thick enough pile of papers explaining the plans. I am going to start picking the brains of the contractors and engineers I know in SoCal and see what I can find out! It would be nice if we could find an engineering team to put together some kind of peer reviewed plans that can provide a "turnkey" solution for residential aircrete structure permitting. Here's to hoping...

  • I live in Humboldt near Fortuna and I was planning on playing with aircrete this summer. My first thought was to make a foam generator that will run off grid using a 12v dc motor. Of course the air compressor needs ac power. I'm really not too interested in learning the cobb method. So if you get an aircrete workshop organized, I will try to come over and help out. I think aircrete is perfect for our areas.

  • @SoStupendous awesome! There is a set of plans available on this website that I am hoping will satisfy the county!

  • @upwinger Have you built with aircrete before?? I am hoping to find someone with aircrete experience to teach!

  • Nope! My pop taught me how to scratch coat/stucco many years ago. He never knew about aircrete, but I'm sure he would have wanted to play with it if he had.
    My sister and I are considering building a dome home in Hawaii to retire if we can find the right piece of property at the right price. I have some ideas that I want to try this summer when I have more time and finish some other projects that I'm working on. I found a company in Tennessee that makes PVC pipe geodesic domes which I think will work great as a skeleton to build an aircrete dome on.
    This is their face book page ziptie domes .... Here is their main web pageZiptie domes

    Once the dome is set, you can take down the skeleton and reuse it for the next dome.
    Another idea I had was to prefab the blocks in a mold. then using the pvc ziptie dome, you can mortar all the pre-made pieces onto the dome, skin it, take down the ziptie dome from the inside, then skin the inside. That would make off grid construction a lot easier if the pieces were pre-fab'ed and shipped in a shipping container.

  • @AlexandraKriz , I'm wondering if you have had any success since the last post? I just joined the forum today and came across your post. I may be able to give you some advice as I've been a builder for 35+ years, God bless!

  • I Left California Because of Climate Change. helped me move my stuff. Many people have already begun to factor climate change into their decisions about where to live. Especially now, when everybody works remotely due to the COVID-19.

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