Making aircrete to meet code...

  • Workshop Instructor

    All right Domies, I hear allot of people asking if the aircrete domes meet codes to get a permit. Currently, they do not for various reasons. My thoughts are, what if we follow Monolithic Domes lead on this since they are having success. The two primary materials that I see them using is rebar and shotcrete for structural integrity. They create a steel cage then shoot cement onto a bubble to make a form. Pretty clever. The problems though is cost. They are PRICEY! They still need allot more to finish and end up being the price of the standard "square match box" home. They are prettier, but resource and labor intensive.
    Anyways, so why not make an aircrete structure then apply a rebar cage with wire mesh around it and shoot cement? The rebar stubs out of the foundation and ties to the cage. The building department loves rebar and cement...They think it's gods gift! UGH! YUK! But oh well... we gotta get these approved somehow so we can take the next step.

    My question to you ALL is, anyone know of an engineer who could calculate and sign off on this? We need a Maverick structural engineer on our Platoon...anyone?


  • Do you mean like ferrocement? isn't that kinda what you are doing but with fabric instead of wire mesh? I wouldn't put rebar inside aircrete because i think it will just lossen around the aircrete as things move around slowly and will actually decrease the structural integrity. (of course i have no clue as it's not been tested) If you mean ferrocement that might work or micro rebar with real cement but then you have the issue of cement cracking away from aircrete because of the different plastisities. (why milk is used and not regular mortor) I think the easiest way to get an enginner to sign off is to bend steal studs and then fill them with aircrete meaning that the aircrete is just insulation. I'm recently very interested in the PH of aircrete and how it might effect the quick degradation of any steal it touches e.i rebar. I hope someone who has gotten an enginner to sign off will share their experience. I think most of us here are just too annoyed with bureaucracy to go through the hoops required to get a permit.

  • Workshop Instructor

    @Traveler004 no.I mean to build a basalt or rebar cage outside indenpendent of the #aircrete structure then shoot it with concrete- ferrocement.

  • @Ignacio-DHOME Oh ok. So you aren't trying to get the aircrete to pass but the ferrocement. I think that will pass because ferrocement monolithic domes pass (i think). But if you do that, why build the aircrete stucture at all and do what i'm doing with aircrete blocks inside a structure? The ferrocement already creates a air and vapore barrier (assuming it's coated) Or like some other people are doing and put up plywood and pour in the walls.

  • Workshop Instructor

    @Traveler004 To pass code...Isn't this what we are talking about? I am all for a basalt mesh on the outside of an aircrete dome if you can get it to pass testing, "lie-yers", building department, engineer approval...ect.... to get these to pass we have to look at what has precedence already without having to go through all of the above and Monolithic domes do this.

  • @Ignacio-DHOME That's the game isn't it. Sad but true. I'm really hoping a group will get together and get an enginer to draw up and stamp a set of plans we can then buy and give to our building departments. Like they did for earthships.

  • Right now we are experimenting with laying out the rebar cage concept, and developing the block mould/form to be on the rebar cage. Since the blocks are made from a liquid, it can be poured into the rig, and then the thing unlatched and moved to the next station. Problem probably keeping the crete trapped in the form as it goes more horizontal.

    I am uncertain of how fresh poured aircrete will bond to existing dried aircrete. The other variable, is what exactly a municipal dept. requires of an engineered aircrete dome system like the monolithic. Once the code is cracked and one engineer stamps a plan and it is approved by some muniicipal fiefdom somewhere, it can be replicated. Open source sharing of knowledge and skills & kith/kindred is the key to liberating the serf from the oligarchs. Eventually the concept will bear fruit, and an Engineer will tackle it. I know of one, but it has to be done and proved first. One of these structures will need to be run through some software like ANSYS and destructive tested.

    Basalt rods are the desired structural reinf material, but steel rebar is easy to score in any metroplex or lumber store. So far ive tinkered with holes in blocks and threading the blocks on the bars. Misery. not worth the effort. Works on a flat plane, but that radial dome curve is "special". The genius of the dome and aircrete is that it doesnt need all the engineering and reinf. bars as the laminated crete between fabric is the key.

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