New build in Africa

  • Hi

    Firstly, Whoop! finally able to post here. Been trying to get a confirmation email to work for months now. I've been leaving messages on Aircrete videos on youTube asking if someone could tell the moderators that this feature no longer works.

    So finally getting access is a relief as I'm off to Africa next month and want to try and build some things with Aircrete. So I could really use a forum like this to answer some questions I have around the gaps I have in the knowledge I've acquired through mainly watching videos online.

    Question 1 - I see that conventional dome builds using blocks involves wrapping the dome in some sort of roofing fabric. Does anyone know of a supplier in the UK for that kind of fabric? I can find roofing suppliers of course, but I don't know what to ask for using UK brand names.

    I'm thinking of deviating from the basic block method I see everywhere and instead pouring walls about 6" thick and 8' tall in situ.

    My idea is to use a skeleton of vertical 6" strips of ply with lozenge shaped slots cut through them for my services. Then fixing expanded metal to each side and spraying it with Aircrete on both faces to form a natural cavity I can pour Aircrete into from above.

    After I have my initial circular walls 8' high, I will then form a domed roof. Either using the same technique but with a core of rebar. Or using the dome forming technique using blocks like I see online.

    So Question 2 - Does anyone know of anyone using this or a similar technique? Do any of you foresee problems with the approach?

    Thanks in advance for any help you can offer.


  • @steadyonabix ICFs (insulated concrete forms) are similar. I'm questioning Aircrete's ability to bond well with metal.

    YouTube has HoneyDo Carpenter building a shed, pouring Aircrete into a metal stud panels reinforced with hardware cloth. Worked for him.

    My experience is the galvanized wire separated from the Aircrete. I'm trying to bond a durable surface on an Aircrete brick or as a paver.
    Any ideas?

  • What kind of durable surface did you have in mind?

  • @steadyonabix
    Could the stucco and fabric be added to the form prior to pouring the Aircrete?
    Quikrete suggested a product called re-cap resurfacer

  • Hi @rhinoscout

    Interesting looking product. Not sure I could buy it in Africa though.

    I'm not sure if I'll need the fabric as I'm hoping the expanded metal lathe will provide the strength to the surface instead, but thought I would get some in the UK while I'm here if I can identify it just in case that doesn't work out.

    Once I get the foaming agent over there, I can make some test panels and try out my intended technique to see if it works as well as I hope. No doubt I could video the exercise and post it on youTube.

    If anyone has some of that fabric we're talking about, I'd appreciate a close up photo of it. At least I could take that to a roofing merchant and see if I can get some.

    Thanks for the reply :)

  • @steadyonabix the fabric is a close knit polyester, similar to landscape fabric or fiberglass insect screen. Discussion has been considered using EIFS or stucco mesh, a much more economical product. I advocate trying burlap also.

  • @rhinoscout

    Yes I was thinking something like burlap would do if it ends up plastered over with the aircrete bonding coat it should be protected from the elements anyway.


  • I’m wondering what type of climate you’re intending to build in?

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