Local Building Codes

  • I'm a general contractor in Los Angeles. I'm trying to find out the legality/possibility of building these in Los Angeles. Building codes make no mention of them and when I called Dept of Building and Safety for answers, the clerks knew nothing and had no idea what I was talking about. Any tips on how to find this info? Thanks.

  • Major Contributor

    You can find the information on celular concrete in the internet, but since this is a block that you would be manufacturing, your best bet would be to make some of them and send them to an engineering firm to be tested for compresive and tensile strengh and them use that paperwork to back up your building. Otherwise is just another concrete block that is simply lighter. The information on celular concrete available would be for each individual company formula, which will vary since some of them add certain types of sands, fibers, etc. Get your county building code, and then check what it says about concrete building regulations, and then just make sure that your tested block strengh will fall between the tolerances of your regular concrete building code. I suggest some type of mineral rebar like basalt rebar to add tensile strengh and make it more acceptable to your building code. Just my .2 cents.

  • We create a composite material by reinforcing the surface of the aircrete structure with reinforcing fabric. Unconventional structures usually require an engineers stamp of approval.

  • To build a home in most parts of the US, you will need to meet the building codes for that location. If you ever want to sell your home/building to anyone who will need to get a loan, you will need to have built it to codes and have regular inspections during the build process.

    You will definitely need to have the plans approved (stamped) by a registered professional engineer (should be a structural engineer).

    One issue that looks to be very important in building with this material is quality control. The water : cement ratio is very important to the quality of the concrete. Too much water and the strength is very low - causing the structure to crumble. The building inspector may require test to be done to verify that there is adequate quality control. If you are building a home for someone to live in in the USA, you'll want that quality control to insure you're not constructing a problem home that could ruin your reputation.

  • Nothing but crickets in this subject. Hmmm. I've been asking around but no one seems to be sharing anything

  • Little Dragon Tamer

    @Virgil's-vortex My observation is that those who tend to be interested in alternative building techniques and materials, in particular aircrete domes, by nature also tend to choose places to build where the bureaucracy of modern society is minimal. We hear lots of folks asking the same questions about building codes, but not one aircrete dome builder that I know of has ever made any attempt to actually get an engineer's or architect's stamp of approval. Another reason I believe this is the case is that those who are drawn to aircrete domes are often those for whom cash is limited, and the idea of getting their building pushed through that type of bureaucracy sounds quite expensive - so I think it ends up getting avoided, worked around, or otherwise disregarded. This is my personal theory.

  • Well, I love my land, I can afford some red tape if need be, but I would like to have my electricity from the pole and not by generator. That requires approval from society. I obtained the copy of the plans for Steve's Dome from domegia, and the needed details are just not there. It looks like I will pretty much have to have the entire dwelling drawn up and engineered and you are probably right, throwing the cost right out of the ballpark. I would love to build this myself but I am getting old and if it takes 10 years I'll be lucky to lift an aircrete block by then. Thanks for the reply, and I agree with the theory.

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