Making aircrete to meet code...
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.
@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.
@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.
Leonidas last edited by
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.
turbinedriver last edited by
@ignacio-dhome I've gone around with the building inspectors and the building code. Get a structural engineer to sign off they say then we will see, they say. Seems that aircrete is up against the lumber and financial industry because there is not much profit to be made when building with this method not to mention the government.
Building codes need to be torn down completely. That is the issue. They have outlived their usefulness. Too many homeless, too few trees! A small simple dome shelter should not me made to stand the same structural test as a 3,000 square foot stick built two story tract home. At least the building codes have opened up a bit to 'tiny homes' here in San Diego County. The State of CA has also eliminated the "Single Family Residence" zoning. So now all "single family" homes can add "ADU's" accessory dwelling units in their backyards. Timing is prime now for a strong push to allow small domes into this arena. I have actually seen people adding sheds as their ADU, and running electric and water to them challenging the building departments since our governor is up to his ears in homeless and with few solutions.
@leonidas how about using a basalt mesh instead of rebar to structurally reinforce the dome to meet code?
Mbosser61 0 last edited by Zander
@traveler004 My understanding in emails with my building department clerk is that each dome plan sent, even if identical, would need its own engineer's stamp.
In my town there is a provision for contractors who can have approved 'stock plans' which allows for 25% discount on planning fees.
I advertised on Bark for an architect and got 0 bites on an Aircrete dome. All this talk about housing affordability would be enough to make a career for a smart operator.
It makes me wonder what insurance premiums that Architect might face, being the first to do this.
@traveler004 Nope I'm set on using the fabric mesh and stucco finish with masonary paint. My engineering guy has worked on domes in HI and is assuring me the build can still be manageable as long as I don't start making concept or scope changes mid-build.
I was balking a couple of weeks ago because it seemed there might be no end to engineering costs but I feel better about taking it on now.
KnowItAllTeen Major Contributor last edited by
Bevsre has some points. There needs to be some protection for people who want to build their own houses. I believe there needs to be a set of codes for dome homes, but it should only apply to safety and environment. Things of that nature.