Complete plans/guide on building start to finish?
Ok, so my question isn't about "house plans", but rather, if you guys plan on putting together a tutorial of some sort, start to finish, on how to build one of these for those who cannot make a workshop?
Starting with the slab/footer, to making the blocks, to cementing the blocks, to waterproofing, etc.
Similar to what the folks at cal earth have, and many other companies doing alterantive types of construction.
The videos are great, but they leave a LOT of questions unanswered.
A complete "how to build from scratch" guide for the DIYer would be AWESOME, and I bet would be a big seller. Many people can't afford the time or $ to do a complete workshop, but they WiLL buy a book if it covers how to do it.
From watching your videos, lots of things aren't clear:
For example: The slab? Is it made with Aircrete, or regular cement or concrete?
Does the slab have any rebar in it?
What about the dome? Any rebar there?
What do you use to join the bricks together? More aircrete mixture? Cement? Something else?
What do you use for plaster inside, or outside?
What do you use for waterproofing?
I'd even suggest the same on how to build a "green dragon" type of unit, as well as the "mixer" unit I see in the videos that uses an office trash can as a hopper.
I think you've got a GREAT idea, and how to guides would be a HUGE seller for you... if you had them.
hajjargibran last edited by
We're working on a video training about building with AirCrete. It isn't ready yet, until then here's a few thoughts to help you get started.
AirCrete is inexpensive, easy to make and easy to work with. It requires only basic skills.
It's like baking cake. You gotta get the ingredients right. The quality and density of the foam is critical. It's best to have a postal or kitchen scale to check the weight of your foam. It should be between 80 - 100 gr/lt or about 3 oz / qt.
You can use good quality dish detergent with Little Dragon to make the foam. Look for a high foaming degreaser detergent. We tested Seventh Generation Natural Dish Liquid, Dawn Ultra and Safeway Home concentrate, they all produced adequate foam diluted 40/1 with water. (5 gals water / 2 cups foaming agent).
You can also use commercial foaming agents designed for making Cellular Concrete. For more information and a list of sources check out this link - http://www.domegaia.com/foaming-agents.html
You only need an inexpensive air-compressor rated for at least 2.5cfm@90psi, which is a relatively small compressor. Of course you can use a bigger compressor if you have one.
Mix one 94lb bag of cement with 7 gallons (US) water. Put all the water in your container and add the cement while you are mixing to avoid clumping. When the cement and water are well mixed, turn on Little Dragon and add foam to the mixture. Add enough foam to make a total of 45 gallons of AirCrete. That's about 30" high in a standard 55 gallon drum. The foam is very light weight and so it wants to float on top of the cement mixture. Our foam injection mixer works great because it injects the foam directly into the mixing paddles at the bottom of the barrel where it is mixed into the cement before it can float to the top.
You can use a strong drill with a mixing paddle like this one from Homedepot. http://www.homedepot.com/p/QEP-30-in-Pro-Spiral-Mixer-61230Q/205554593 This can work but it’s not as effective as the foam injector because the foam wants to float on top. You have to work the foam down into the mixture until it is mixed thoroughly.
AirCrete needs to be poured into a form and allowed to harden over night. It makes good foundation footings, slabs, and sub-floors. Lay plastic down to hold the water so it cures better. Spinkle it with water to keep it wet for a few days to help the curing process.
If you want to make building blocks, it's still soft enough the next day to cut with a thin blade. A simple, very affective way to make blocks is to make square wooden frames. Join the corners with door hinges that have removable pins for easy assembly and disassembly.
Put a plastic sheet under and around the frames so the AirCrete won't leak out. Apply veggie oil or other release agent to the frames.
Fill the frames with AirCrete. After the AirCrete has set over night you can slice it into blocks with knife or a long blade made of 1/16” steel. Here's a 14 second video that shows what it looks like.
Domes, arches, walls, window frames and doorways can all be made this way by mortaring the blocks together. Use our Bender to bend 3/4” EMT(electrical metal tubing) to make forms for curved foundations, round or parabolic arches, windows, doorways.
Finish the outer surface with a thin layer of stucco and reinforcing fabric. This works very well to produce a crack proof surface and very strong structure. Here's a link to one fabric that works well, https://www.apoc.com/products/roof-reinforcements-firm-polyester-reinforcing-fabric-apoc-482f
Polyester weed control fabric or other inexpensive polyester fabric works well also. You can also reinforce AirCrete by adding fiber to the mixture. PVA fiber works especially well. Hemp may be a good option also, but we haven't found a reliable source yet.
The simplest and fastest way to make an aircrete structure is to make 8’ frames the width of your reinforcing fabric. Pour flat wall sections and stand them up to make flat vertical walls. Lay the reinforcing fabric in your frames before pouring in the AirCrete. Install windows frames, doors jams or other features in the frame before pouring in AC.
Put fine sand in your stucco to make it harder. There's a lot of stuccos, sealers and coatings available that have good qualities that are worth looking into.
You can use natural plaster on the inside.
Sign up on our mailing list to get updates and ongoing information related to building with AirCrete. - http://www.domegaia.com/contact.html
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I have two dome build project I'm working on and you can see it start to finish when i'm done. I'm working on it now. This is the first the second will be just an aircrete dome.