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Architectural design is very diverse.

Various designs have been created by the architects, but to not all architecture must use materials derived from natural resources because someday it will run out. Many architects are found alternative materials to be used to build architecture such as recycled material. The goal of this project is in order to maintain the availability of natural resources. Next recycled house design is really unique by using recycled tire as main house construction. The recycled house design called earthship is a green project and designed by biotecture in Taos, New Mexico, United States. Materials that used in this construction are used car tires, empty plastic bottles and other recycled material. Useless car tires were used as a substitute for bricks and became the foundation, the walls of the house. This recycled house design is also equipped with solar panels are will supply electricity so this house is environmentally friendly buildings.

House of Straw - Straw Bale Construction Comes of Age

Americans want comfortable, attractive, functional, and durable housing. Yet, many increasingly find high quality housing beyond their means. Conventional building methods rely on plentiful resources. With some of these resources dwindling, housing costs are sky rocketing. The cost of a home includes materials, construction, financing, taxes, energy consumption, and insurance. This booklet explores recent attempts to reduce those costs. Construction techniques discussed in this booklet focus on building resource-efficient and energy-conserving homes, without sacrificing affordability or quality. In a cooperative demonstration project between the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and the Navajo Nation, current home designs on the Navajo reservation were evaluated and recommendations were made to improve quality and lower the costs. The resulting design utilized straw-

bale wall construction.

Straw-bale building is a practical and perhaps under utilized construction method. Initiated in the United States at the turn of the century, straw-bale building is showing new merit in today's marketplace. Walls of straw, easily constructed and structurally sound, promise to take some of the pressure off of limited forest resources. Straw is a viable building alternative, plentiful and inexpensive. Straw-bale buildings boast superinsulated walls (R-50), simple construction, low costs, and the conversion of an agricultural byproduct into a valued building material. Properly constructed and maintained, the straw-bale walls, stucco exterior and plaster interior remain water proof, fire resistant, and pest free. Because only limited skill is required, a community houseraising effort can build most of a straw-bale house in a single day. This effort yields a lowcost, elegant, and energy-efficient living space for the owners, a graceful addition to the community, and a desirable boost to local farm income. This booklet offers an in-depth look at one such community house-raising, in addition to a general overview of straw-bale construction.

Straw-Bale Construction
History of Straw Bale Construction People have built homes using straw, grass, or reed throughout history. These materials were used because they were reliable and easy to obtain. European houses built of straw or reed are now over two hundred years old. In the United States, too, people turned to straw houses, particularly after the hay/straw baler entered common usage in the 1890s. Homesteaders in the northwestern Nebraska "Sandhills" area, for example, turned to baled-hay construction, in response to a shortage of trees for lumber. Bale construction was used for homes, farm buildings, churches, schools, offices, and grocery stores. Nebraska historian Roger L. Welsch writes: "It was inevitable that some settler, desperate for a cheap, available building material, would eventually see the big, solid, hay blocks as a possibility. Soon, baled hay was indeed a significant construction material. The bales, about three to four feet long and one and onehalf to two feet square, were stacked like bricks, one bale deep, with the joints staggered. About half used mortar between the bales; the others simply rested one bale directly on the other. Four to five wooden rods (in a few cases iron rods) were driven down through the bales to hold them firmly together. The roof plate and roof were also fastened to the top bales of the wall with rods or stakes. The most common roof configuration was some sort of hipped roof. . . .Window and door frames were set as the walls rose around them. . . .Walls were left to settle a few months before they were plastered and the windows installed." Matts Myhrman and Judy Knox, straw-bale construction consultants, have visited many of these "Nebraska-type" bale structures, built between 1900 and 1940. Myhrman rediscovered the area's oldest existing bale building, the Burke homestead, constructed in 1903 outside Alliance, Nebraska. Although abandoned in 1956, the Burke homestead continues to successfully withstand Nebraska's wide temperature swings and blizzard force winds. Long-time Nebraskan Lucille Cross recalls the hay-bale house of her childhood was so quiet that her family, not hearing a tornado outside, just sat there playing cards, while the tornado wrought havoc all around them. In Wyoming, straw-bale structures have consistently withstood severe weather and earthquakes. "The earthquake was in the 1970s and it was either 5.3 or 5.8," Chuck Bruner, a resident of one of the houses told The Mother Earth News. "There wasn't a single crack in the house. You can live in this house comfortably during the summer. It stays nice and cool. We have never needed any air conditioning, and in summer we get days up in the 90s. Also, last winter, I only turned our small bedroom heater on twice. If I had to guess how our utility bills compare to those of our neighbors, I'd have to say our bill is about half.

Straw: A Renewable Resource Straw, the stalks remaining after the harvest of grain, is a renewable resource, grown annually. Each year, 200 million tons of straw are under utilized or just wasted in this country alone. Wheat, oats, barley, rice, rye, and flax are all desirable straws for bale walls. Even though the early bale homes used hay for the bales, hay is not recommended because it is leafy and easily eaten by creatures great and small. Straw, tough and fibrous, lasts far longer. Straw-bale expert Matts Myhrman estimates that straw from the harvest of the United States' major grains could be used to construct five million, 2,000 square-foot houses every year! More conservative figures from the U.S. Department of Agriculture indicate that America's farmers annually harvest enough straw to build about four million, 2,000 square-foot homes each year, nearly four times the houses currently constructed.

Building a straw-bale house is relatively simple. A basic 2,000 square-foot house requires about 300 standard three-wire bales of straw (costing approximately $1,000). Placed on a foundation, the bales are skewered on rebar pins like giant shiskabobs. After wiring and plumbing, the walls are sealed and finished. Because grains are grown in almost every region of the country, straw bales are readily available, with minimal transportation costs. Lumber from trees, in addition to becoming more scarce and expensive, must be transported over longer distances. TYPES OF STRAW BALES Straw bales come in all shapes and sizes, from small two-string bales to larger three-string bales and massive cubical or round bales. The medium sized rectangular three-string bales are preferred for building construction. Three-string bales are better structurally, have higher R-value, and are often more compact. A typical medium-sized, three-wire bale may be 23" X 16" X 42" and may weigh from 75 to 85 pounds. The smaller two-wire bales, which are easier to handle, are roughly 18" X14" X 36" and weigh 50 to 60 pounds. If the current trend continues, it may not be long before "construction-grade" bales begin to appear.

The Navajo Project

The Navajo Nation (located in parts of Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah) is the largest American Indian reservation in the United States. With a population of close to 200,000 people spread over 17 million rural acres, the Navajo community has a continuous need for adequate housing. This need for housing is complicated by the lack of affordable electricity to remote homesites, dwindling supplies of firewood, and increasing cost of building materials and labor. Navajo community leaders wanted housing that boosted the local economy, used local materials and labor, and maintained the integrity of their culture. In 1991, the Navajo Nation asked the DOE for assistance in creating more energy-efficient, affordable housing. Under the proposal, DOE and HUD provides funds for technical assistance to review home designs and suggest alternatives, while the Navajo Nation provide funds for construction of a demonstration house. A team was assembled in December 1992 to discuss local housing construction, evaluate design options, identify the needs of home occupants, and inventory community sentiment. In architectural circles, this process is known as a "design charrette." Charrette participants were selected for expertise in energy, finance, indigenous materials, passive solar design, and knowledge of the Navajo community and traditions. The design charrette was conducted in Gallup, New Mexico and focused on the following design criteria for the prototype home:
y y y y y y y

Energy efficiency; Affordability; Resource-efficient building technology; Use of local materials; Community involvement and use of local labor; Cultural compatibility; and Design simplicity, adaptability, and comfort.

The final design that was agreed upon was a unique combination of "Nebraska-style" straw-bale walls and adobe walls with passive solar orientation. This combination has several benefits. Straw-bale and adobe are inexpensive, locally available materials that can be used for building by local unskilled labor after only minimal training. Straw-bale walls are superinsulated (about R-50), and adobe and passive solar orientation have been used for centuries by Native Americans in the southwest. Because of the two-foot thick bale walls, the resulting structure has approximately 1,000 square feet of living space.

Construction of the demonstration home began in July 1993 near Ganado, Arizona and was completed in December 1994. The home successfully met the design criteria in the following ways. Energy Efficiency. The high elevation desert climate of the Navajo Nation, characterized by wide daily temperature fluctuations, low humidity, plentiful sunshine, and cold winters, dictated the design parameters for the prototype home. Well-insulated walls, good airleakage control, and taking advantage of the solar radiation were key to reducing the use and cost of space heating. Unlike a wood frame wall that has many pieces assembled at the site, bales provide an nearly monolithic layer of straw that is covered inside with plaster and outside with stucco. Coupled with a simple geometric design, the monolithic wall coverings result in very little air leakage. Straw is a form of cellulose that has reasonably good insulating properties; and because a bale can be up to two feet thick, a straw-bale wall has extremely high thermal resistance. Recent tests following ASTM procedures resulted in bale R-values between R-2.4 and R-3.0 per inch, depending on the direction of the straw, and showed that thermal resistance is affected by moisture and density of the pack (Joseph McCabe, January 1993). Matts Myhrman, another straw-bale expert, suggests that R-2.4 per inch is representative of straw-bale thermal resistance in the field. Therefore, straw-bale homes should have lower heating and cooling costs than conventional homes. METHODS OF BUILDING WITH STRAW Straw has been used for centuries by builders who recognized its structural integrity. A piece of straw is simply a tube made of cellulose. Tubes are recognized as one of the strongest structural shapes. Straw was first used to reinforce mud against cracking. A lattice of straw criss-crossing a layer of mud produced a surface that remained crack free for decades, or in many cases, centuries. With the late 19th century invention of the baler, builders were given a convenient new building block, the rectangular bundle of straw. Straw-bale building in the United States has been mostly structural (Nebraska-style) and non-structural. Pliny Fisk III of the Center for Maximum Building Potential in Austin, Texas, describes the following five methods of building with straw. 1. In-fill or non-structural bale - This building system, useful for construction of large structures, depends on a pole or post-and-beam building design. Post-and-beam construction employs a skeleton of vertical posts and horizontal beams to support the roof. The straw-bale walls have only themselves to support. The bales are attached to each other by piercing the bales with rebar or bamboo and attaching the bales to the pole or column. Fisk's Center has completed three buildings totaling 4,500 square-feet of space using this method. 2. Structural bale - Automatic straw balers create tight building blocks that are stacked up to one and one-half stories. The "Nebraska-style" buildings originated on the Great Plains where structural wood was not available. Bales are stuccoed on the exterior and plastered on the interior to protect them and provide an attractive finish. The stucco and plaster add to the structural integrity of the wall system. 3. Straw-clay building - A pancake like batter of clay and water stirred into the loose straw produces a straw-reinforced clay mud. In the past, this mixture was packed into a doublesided wood form between the posts and beams of a timber-frame building. Today, a light weight wooden ladder like frame replaces the old heavy timber frame. European heavy timber structures using this method are still standing after more than 200 years. This method has passed the most stringent European fire codes. 4. Mortar bale - Structural mortar, made of portland cement and sand, is applied between the straw bales. When dry, its lattice structure remains intact if the straw bales should ever

fail. This method, developed in Canada, passes Canadian building codes. Bales are stuccoed on the exterior and plastered on the interior to protect them and provide an attractive finish. The mortered joints, stucco, and plaster also add to the structural integrity of the wall system. 5. Pressed straw panels - Straw is compacted under certain temperatures. The resulting panels are 100 percent straw that can be used to build pre-fabricated structures, not only walls, but also roofs and floors. The Department of Energy, interested in the magnitude of potential energy savings of the wall design options, asked building scientist Jim Hanford of Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory (LBL) to analyze the thermal characteristics of the various wall materials and project energy savings for the prototype home. The energy efficiency of various building design options was analyzed during the design charrette at Navajo and continued to be evaluated during the construction and testing phases of this project. Hanford's analysis, which follows, assumes R-2.4 per inch for a straw bale, with sensitivities conducted at R-1.8 and R-3.0 per inch. Table one compares thermal characteristics of the straw-bale wall with the other wall constructions considered at the Navajo design charrette.

Table One. Wall Section Thermal Characteristics R-value (hr-sqft-F/Btu) Wall Type Wood Frame 2x4 studs w/R11 batts 2x6 studs w/R19 batts Compressed Straw Panel uninsulated 4.8" panel insulated 4.8" panel Fibrous Concrete Panel insulated 3" panel insulated 4" panel Straw Bale 23" bale @ R-1.8/inch (-25%) 23" bale @ R-2.4/inch 23" bale @ R-3.0/inch (+25%) Foam Blocks 6" form w/ concrete/adobe fill 8" form w/ concrete/adobe fill Adobe uninsulated 10" insulated 10" uninsulated 24" exterior insulated 24" Notes:
y y

U-value (Btu/hr-sqft-F)

weight (lb/sqft)

heat capacity (Btu/sqft-F)

10.2 15.4 10.1 18.4 16.7 19.1 42.7 56.5 70.3 26.3 28.0 3.5 11.9 6.8 15.1

0.098 0.065 0.099 0.054 0.060 0.052 0.023 0.018 0.014 0.038 0.036 0.284 0.084 0.147 0.066

9.2 10.5 13.4 13.7 16.9 20.1

2.2 2.6 4.9 4.9 4.7 5.7



40.8 54.2 95.0 95.3 183.4 183.6

7.5 9.8 17.9 18.0 34.2 34.3

All walls have stucco exterior and drywall interior, except adobe and straw walls have plaster. Wood frame walls have 25 percent (R-11) and 20 percent (R-19) stud areas. The R-19 batt compresses to R-18.

y y y y y y y y y

Compressed straw panel, insulated case, has 2 inches polystyrene on exterior. Fibrous Concrete panel have 1 inch polystyrene inside and out. Straw bale wall R-value is calculated for 3 unit R-values for straw to cover potential variability. Average material thickness across foam block wall sections are as follows: 6 inch foam has 2.9 inches polystryene each side and 3.4 inches of fill. 8 inch foam has 3.1 inches polystryene each side and 4.8 inches of fill. Wall properties are based on 75 percent adobe and 23 percent concrete fill. Adobe walls , insulated case, have 2 inches of polystyrene on exterior. 24 inch wall is two 10 inch layers with 4 inch air gap.

The thermal performance for buildings using these wall constructions is compared in figures one and two. The data shown are simulation predictions of building heating and cooling loads per unit of floor area, using the DOE-2 building energy simulation program. The building size, shape, and other component characteristics are based on the Navajo straw-bale demonstration house. In the final case, straw-bale construction is combined with passive solar design. Weather data used in this analysis is from Cedar City, Utah representing the colder, mountainous areas of the reservation, and Albuquerque, New Mexico, representing the warmer climates.

Notes for Figures 1 and 2:

y y

y y y

Prototype building is 1,050 square feet (42 ft. X 25 ft.) with 120 square feet of windows. Base house has R-30 roof, R-19 wood frame walls, slab floor with 1 inch perimeter insulation, double glazed windows with aluminum frames, and medium infiltration levels (ELF=0.0005; ACH=0.52). Prototype has equal window area in four cardinal orientations (30 square feet each). Prototype has concrete slab floor and wood-frame interior walls. Albuquerque, New Mexico represents Navajo Reservation climates (4186 heating degree days (HDD) @ 65 degrees F base); Cedar City, Utah represents colder climates (5918 HDD).

The straw-bale wall has the best energy performance because it has the highest R-value by a wide margin, regardless of the assumed unit R-value for straw. For the entire building, changes in just the wall construction change the heating load by plus or minus twenty percent from the R-19 wood frame base case. The results assume that the building infiltration rate is the same for all wall systems. All building components, including the roof, floors, windows, doors, and air infiltration need to be considered in the analysis of an energy-efficient dwelling. The design team chose plastered straw-bale walls for their high R-value (approximately R50) and adobe walls to absorb and radiate solar gain. The straw-bale walls face the northwest and join the adobe walls on the north and east sides of the building, exposing the adobe to the maximum solar radiation, yet shielding it from the prevailing winter wind. Both the adobe and straw bale walls are coated with three layers of stucco inside and out for protection. The attic, windows, and doors of the demonstration home are also wellinsulated and sealed to minimize drafts. The resulting building is superinsulated, remaining cool on hot summer days and requiring minimal heating in winter.

Further computer simulations and other research summarized in Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory's forty-page final report show that the program currently undertaken by the Navajo Nation has the potential to improve the energy efficiency and thermal comfort of new residences when compared to those currently being built on the reservation. LBL analyses show that (1) there are alternative construction technologies that provide equal or better energy performance than current practice, (2) the demonstration building, with a few modifications, could be substantially more energy efficient and comfortable than current practice, while meeting other program goals of architectural interest and long term environmental sustainability; and (3) straw-bale construction, along with appropriate building conservation technologies and simple passive solar design, could provide up to a 60 percent reduction in building heating loads over current practice. SUMMARY OF LBL'S FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

Straw-bale building technology offers the best energy performance of any of the new construction typologies currently being considered, with 15 percent improvements in overall building energy-efficiency in heating for the climates on the Navajo reservation. The wall panel technologies that were part of this analysis, either straw or fibrous concrete, when insulated with an additional two inches of polystyrene insulation, perform about the same as an R-19 wood frame wall. Similarly, adobe should be insulated for better thermal performance. Small changes in the straw-bale/adobe prototype dwelling, specifically slab insulation, higher insulation in the vaulted ceiling, and either insulating or replacing the adobe walls with straw bales, would vastly improve the performance of this building. Energy-related testing of straw-bale buildings in the field is warranted. Infiltration characteristics and the effects of moisture on energy performance need further evaluation. Future design and building programs on the Navajo reservation should consider using better technologies for all building components, including increased roof insulation, advanced window features, and infiltration reduction details.

Affordability. The Navajo project has demonstrated that straw-bale construction can be inexpensive compared to other materials. Table two details the costs of the project. The cost of the finished 988 square-foot home equates to $58 per square foot, not including the cost of utility hookups (water, power, and sewage). A similar sized wood-frame house constructed in the same area would probably have cost about the same as the demonstration prototype. However, future straw-bale homes should cost considerably less than the prototype because of required changes and modifications during building of the prototype. In addition, the labor-intensive double adobe walls of the "hearth" area added more than $3,000 to the project. Had the exterior walls been entirely straw-bale, the overall costs would have been lower. Straw bales were supplied at a cost of $2.50 a bale, including transportation. Normally, the cost of a bale wall is about one-fourth the cost of a comparable, superinsulated wall built with conventional materials. Construction crews and volunteers with no straw-bale building experience erected the walls in a single day. Approximately 2,500 labor hours, a portion of which was donated, went into construction of the prototype house.

Table Two. Construction and Labor Costs for the Straw-bale Demonstration Project at Ganado Footing Labor $ 576 Material $1,022 Labor & Material $1,598

Foundation 2,500 2,938 5,438 Slab 20 3,435 4155 Strawbale 540 1,032 1,572 Adobe 1,920 1,575 3,495 Bond Beam 576 1,022 1,598 Cripple Wall (Framing) 720 3,990 4,710 Insulation 576 664 1,240 Roof Structure 4,032 5,233 9,265 Stuccoing 1,440 3,430 4,870 Interior Walls 864 1,998 2,862 Interior Finishes 1,152 1,615 2,767 Ceiling Finishes 1,440 1,009 2,449 Rough Plumbing 576 621 1,197 Rough Wiring 576 490 1,066 Plumbing Trimming 384 1,041 1,425 Electrical Trimming 384 1,252 1,636 Cabinets 384 1,195 1,579 Floor Finishes 440 1,188 1,628 Fixed Equipment/Wood Stove 1,200 1,296 2,496 ______________________________________________________________________________ ______ Totals $21,000 $36,046 $57,046

Resource-Efficient Building Technology. Resource efficiency was one of the important elements considered during the four-day Navajo design charrette. For a house to be truly efficient, the energy expended in the extraction, refinement, and transportation of building materials to the site, and the total resources used during construction, should also be included in the calculation of the structure's efficiency. The integration of resourceefficiency concepts into design, materials, and building practices can reduce the environmental impacts associated with home construction. In the same way that the occupant's habits and conservation consciousness affect the home's operating efficiency, the selection of building materials and techniques also reflects the resource-efficiency consciousness of the architect, builder, and homeowner. These considerations led to the selection of straw bale and adobe as building materials for the demonstration house at Ganado. Straw bales were available not far from the building site and adobe blocks were manufactured from soil taken from the site. Plastered strawbale building was just one component the resource-efficient strategy employed in the Navajo demonstration project. Passive solar design and the use of adobe as the thermal mass were also used to save energy and lower heating and cooling costs. Solar Energy. In the Navajo area, the daytime average solar radiation is 1200 Btus per hour during the six winter months and 1800 during the six summer months. This ample sunshine makes solar energy a good strategy for winter space heating. Solar heat, however, needs to be controlled during the summer months to prevent overheating. At the Navajo demonstration project, the home's design oriented the windows to use passive solar heating and passive cooling. Due to the width of straw bales, the windows are naturally shaded from the high, hot summer sun, while the lower, winter sun is allowed to enter. Most of the passive solar heat is provided by the wood-frame and glass sunspace on the south side. The concrete floor and adobe walls within the sunspace provide heat storage

of daytime heat for nighttime use. During winter, solar heat collected in the sunspace is vented into the home. For back-up heating, the Navajo demonstration home utilizes a wood pellet stove and two electric baseboard heaters. During summer, the sunspace is shaded and vented to prevent overheating. Adobe Walls and Thermal Mass. Adobe and rammed earth construction are two of the oldest and most commonly used building materials. Adobe has been used to shelter the Navajo people for centuries and, consequently, was integrated into the demonstration project. Exterior adobe walls are appropriate in a desert climate with wide day-to-night temperature swings. Adobe walls stabilize the home's interior by moderating the indoor effects of high and low outdoor temperatures. Adobe walls absorb solar heat during the day, and at night radiate their heat back into the cool night sky leaving the home at a comfortable temperature. Exterior and interior adobe walls provide excellent thermal mass. In the Navajo demonstration project, adobe serves as thermal mass in the common wall between the solar sunspace and main house, and also in interior house walls. BUILDING MATERIALS FROM THE EARTH Rocks and soil are the source of some of natures strongest, most weatherproof, and most economical building materials. Buildings made of stucco, plaster, and mortar have survived centuries. Stucco, plaster, and mortar are very similar. Stucco is a rougher-surfaced exterior wall siding. Plaster, stucco's in-door cousin, is a smooth mixture of mostly lime. They are both mixtures of crushed rock and sand. The mixture's most adhesive component is portland cement, a blend of pulverized rock. Lime, which is limestone crushed to a powder, adds pliability or spreadability to the mix. And sand, called the aggregate, gives the mix substance. The best aggregates combine different sizes of clean, sharp-edged sand. Mortar, also a mixture of cement, lime, and sand, is used in masonry or plastering. Adobe is compressed earth. The best adobes are high in clay, which is very fine soil with good cohesion. The adobe is rammed into forms or pressed into blocks while damp, then sun-dried to form a durable building material.

Use of local materials. The Navajo demonstration project utilized straw bales from the Navajo Agricultural Products Industry, a neighboring agricultural enterprise. Portland cement and gravel for the foundation were obtained from a cement batch plant in nearby Chinle. A hydraulic adobe press formed adobe blocks directly from the building site's soil. This compressed adobe was used immediately, without curing time. Blocks were drystacked, without mortar, by wetting the top of the previous course of adobe, before setting the next layer. The walls were then stuccoed. Community involvement and use of local labor. Part of what makes straw-bale construction so affordable is its ability to effectively utilize homeowner participation and unskilled labor. Material costs of straw-bale walls represent less than one-fifth of the cost of a wall system; four-fifths of the cost of building a wall goes for labor. Owner-builders can achieve great savings by providing their own labor. For the Navajo demonstration project, the homeowner contributed ten hours a day assisting with construction. Many additional hours were donated by friends, family, and other visitors to the site. Experienced labor was necessary for foundation work, roof framing, and electrical wiring. The construction manager was the only one at the site who had had straw-bale building experience; none of the paid or volunteer labor crew had previous experience with strawbale construction.

Cultural compatibility. The home incorporated aspects of the traditional Navajo hogan a six-sided structure with a central hearth built of timbers and adobe, the main entrance facing east, living or gathering areas to the south, cooking area on the north, and sleeping area to the west. In the demonstration home, the main living area or hearth, signifying the traditional hogan, was surrounded by adobe walls. The straw-bale walls comprised the bedrooms, kitchen, and bathroom, extending the "hogan" into a more conventional home design. The simplicity of design and the natural materials blended well into the high southwestern desert landscape. Navajo visitors to the construction site commented on how much they liked the concept of using indigenous materials. Although somewhat leary of the new material (straw), they were amazed at how quickly the walls were raised. Many visitors felt the need to "pitch-in" and were soon up to their elbows in cement, adobe, and/or straw. Design simplicity, adaptability, and comfort. The simplicity of the design of straw-bale and adobe homes has comfort, energy, maintenance, and adaptability advantages over conventional American homes. A rectangular design with smooth seamless walls and ceilings minimizes air leakage, which could be both an energy and comfort problem. The simplicity of design also allows for a superinsulated shell with few thermal flaws leading to exceptionally stable indoor temperatures and effective noise exclusion from the outdoors. The design of simple straw-bale and adobe homes can easily be expanded to include additional rooms.

Other Contemporary Straw-Bale Homes

Although the straw-bale method has a long history, official recognition of straw-bale construction is just beginning. In the last decade, modern straw-bale construction pioneers have braved reluctant contractors and hesitant local building officials. The result has been a slow, but continuous, growth in construction of straw-bale houses. Straw-bale dwellings range from small owner-built units to large, contractor-built luxury homes. Costs vary from $5 to more than $100 a square-foot depending on a number of variables, as discussed in the next section. Photos on the opposite page depict the variety of styles of contemporary straw-bale buildings. The 1,400 square-foot home of Virginia Carabelli near Santa Fe, New Mexico was designed by local architect, Ken Figuerado. The Carabelli house cost $60 a square-foot, which included radiant floor heating, three fireplaces, and other custom features. The home of Catherine Wells in Santa Fe, New Mexico, measuring 1,224 square-feet (exterior measurement), was built by Ted Varney at $56 a square-foot. The width of the straw-bale walls (ranging from 14 inches to to 24 inches) reduces the interior square footage dimensions when compared with the exterior measurements. The cost includes interior features such as radiant floor heating supplied by solar panels located on the roof and flooring laid with tile pavers. The main interior wall was also constructed of straw bales to increase sound insulation. The pottery studio of Kate Brown (720 square-feet), in Mimbres, New Mexico, could be used as a small home. It was owner-built for $12 a square-foot. In Corrales, New Mexico, the private chapel of Dykeman Vermian, 215 square-feet, was built by Cadmun Whitty for $18 a square-foot. The chapel is an example of straw bales used in a pueblo-style building. The straw-bale home of Mark Hawes is located in the Sangre De Cristo mountains of northern New Mexico. The house is post-and-beam construction with straw bales used as fill for the walls. Because it is in a remote location and off-the-grid, a photovoltaic system provides the electricity. The 1,400 square-foot structure was engineered by DeLapp Engineering of Santa Fe and built to code in 1992 by Hawes, a building contractor. The

interior of the house contains custom southwestern features that added to the cost, which was approximately $46 a square-foot. The first legal building in California constructed primarily of straw bales was completed in 1992. The Noland project, a 2,500 square-foot ranch headquarters and residence, is located in the Owens Valley in eastern California. Designed by architects Ken Haggard and Polly Cooper with Pliny Fisk and built by contractor Greg McMillan, the passive solar structure used straw bales for the walls on the north and east sides of the building. In Arizona, straw-bale construction is steadily increasing. Pima County and the City of Tucson are expected to adopt straw-bale construction into their building codes in the near future. The straw-bale demonstration home of Mary Diamond, approximately 1,200 square-feet (exterior measurement), is in southeast Arizona. The house is off-the-grid, using photovoltaic power. It has a wind cooling tower, a composting toilet, and a greywater system. Built for approximately $50 per square-foot, the demonstration house is open to the public for overnight visits.

How Affordable is a Straw-Bale House? A straw-bale house may cost the same as a conventional wood frame house. However, there are many factors that can make a strawbale house less expensive; and, there are additional benefits to building with straw. According to a 1982 Housing magazine cost guide, exterior and interior wall systems comprise approximately 30 percent of the cost of construction for a typical wood frame, slab on grade house in Albuquerque, New Mexico. With the recent increases in the costs of materials, particularly lumber, this cost is presently estimated to be considerably higher. For example, lumber prices rose 70 percent during the last six months of 1993. This hefty increase added approximately $4,000 to the cost of a typical 2,000 square-foot house. A 2,000 square-foot straw-bale house requires about 300 standard, three-wire bales at a cost of approximately $1,000. The cost of a "Nebraska-style" (structural) bale wall is about one-fourth that of a comparable superinsulated wall. Of course, there are many other variables that go into building a house such as the cost of labor, choice of finishes such as siding, roofing, flooring, and other amenities. Unique to straw-bale construction is the broad range of costs associated with different levels of quality available to builders. Table three compares the range of straw-bale construction costs based on a number of variables. Table 3. Outline Range of Straw Bale Construction Costs Per Square Foot (sf)* Very Low: 120-1000 sf @ $5-$20 a-scavenging, salvaging materials b-material costs only, owner-builder labor throughout c-initial start-up costs, ongoing improvements, pay as-you-go d-Nebraska-style, timber frame, and post and beam Low: 1000-1500 sf @ $30-$50 a-contractor-built, owner-build wall, finishes b-subcontract foundations, plumbing, mechanical, roof c-experienced job-site supervisor d-materials at market cost e-typically post-and-beam or Nebraska-style Moderate: 1500-2500 sf @$50-$80 a-standard, contractor-built

b-production housing c-speculative development d-typically post-and-beam High: 2500-4000 sf @ $80-$120 a-luxury homes b-custom design c-site specific d-marginally less than conventional construction e-typically post-and-beam with custom features *The Last Straw, Spring 1994. Prices do not include land costs, site development or utility interface. Compiled with data from Hofmeister, Kemble, Macdonald, Perry, and Myhrman. The cost of a straw-bale house depends on the size of the building, the cost of materials including bales, the design of the house, and the amount of "sweat-equity" donated by the owner and friends. Straw-bale costs range from fifty cents each when purchased from the fields of Montana to $3.50 to $5.00 for three-wire bales delivered to a site in Arizona. Homes have been built for as little as $5,000 to well above $200,000. Construction costs range from $5 to $120 per square-foot. ($53 per square-foot is the national average for conventional construction.) Straw-bale houses come in a variety of shapes and sizes from A-frames to tipis to two-story custom homes. Simple, owner-built structures tend to be less expensive. Long-lasting, low maintenance building materials and protection from the elements are key for a long-term, maintenance-free house. Providing proper site drainage is the most important factor for the home's longevity. If the ground around the house remains dry and the house is sufficiently maintained, the life-span could be hundreds of years. The roof is another crucial component. Leaky roofs damage many homes each year. Steeper roofs constructed of more permanent roofing materials are preferred. Properly built and maintained, straw-bale walls can last hundreds of years. Table four compares the life-cycle costs of a conventional house with a straw-bale house. The Plastered Straw Bale Working Group (September, 1993) estimated that the straw-bale homes use half as much energy as conventional houses do for heating and cooling. This could translate to a savings of several hundred dollars a year over the life of a home.

Table 4. Life cycle cost estimate for conventional vs straw-bale houses Construction Finance Energy Total Conventional $82,500 396,000 120,000 532,500 Straw bale $78,375 376,000 60,000 451,675 Straw Bale* $40,000 192,000 60,000 260,000 *owner-built walls, finishing, roofing Notes:
y y

Savings -----83,875 272,500

y y

Life cycle = 100 years. Finance cost = construction cost minus down payment of twenty percent at an annual interest rate of six percent over the one hundred year life cycle (does not include closing costs when the house is sold). Energy = the average cost for heating and cooling a conventional home for this analysis to be $100 per month. Total = Amount of down payment plus energy and finance.

Source: Working Group Reports, Plastered Straw Bale Conference, "Roots and Revival," Arthur

Nebraska, September, 1993. HOW TO BUY A BALE Straw-bale construction consultant Judy Knox from Out on Bale (un)Ltd. raises the following considerations about selecting bales. 1. Purchase bales following the harvest when they are usually inexpensive and abundant. Make sure the bales are stored high and dry. 2. Obtain the bales from feed stores and other retail outlets, wholesale brokers, or directly from the farmer. Retail outlets are the easiest and most expensive sources. Wholesale brokers offer direct access to the bale supplier and often offer commercial transportation. Dealing directly with farmers may give you more say about bale quality and consistency, but you will likely have to address bale transportation. 3. Don't rely on hearsay concerning the size and condition of any bales you might buy. Check out the bales yourself. 4. Bales must be tightly tied with durable material preferably polypropylene string or baling wire. Avoid bales tied with traditional natural fiber baling twine. When you lift the bale, it should not twist or sag. 5. Make sure the bales are uniformly well-compacted. 6. Look for thick, long-stemmed straw that is mostly free of seed heads. Wheat, oats, rye, barley, rice, or flax are all good. 7. Test most bales to make sure they have always been dry. Bale moisture content should be 14 percent or less. 8. An ideal bale size proportion is twice as long as it is wide. This simplifies maintaining a running bond in courses. 9. Try to get bales of equal size and length. If they do vary in length (as many will), lay ten bales end-to-end. Measure this entire length. Then, divide by ten. This is the average bale length to use for planning.

Frequently Asked Questions About Straw-Bale

This section answers some of the most commonly asked questions about straw-bale construction. Will the bales rot? Without adequate safeguards, rot can occur. The most important safeguard is to buy dry bales. Fungi and mites can live in wet straw, so it's best to buy the straw when it's dry and keep it dry until it is safely sealed into the walls. Paint for interior and exterior wall surfaces should be permeable to water vapor so that moisture doesn't get trapped inside the wall. Construction design must prevent water from gathering where the first course of bales meets the foundation. Even if straw bales are plastered, the foundation upon which the bales rest should be elevated above outside ground level by at least six inches or more. This protects bales from rain water splashing off the roof. Will pests destroy the walls? Straw bales provide fewer havens for pests such as insects and vermin than conventional wood framing. Once plastered, any chance of access is eliminated.

Are straw-bale buildings a fire hazard? The National Research Council of Canada tested plastered straw bales for fire safety and found them to perform better than conventional building materials. In fact, the plaster surface withstood temperatures of about 1,850 F for two hours before any cracks developed. According to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, "The straw-bales/mortar structure wall has proven to be exceptionally resistant to fire. The straw bales hold enough air to provide good insulation value, but because they are compacted firmly, they don't hold enough air to permit combustion." Are straw-bale buildings acceptable to my local building code? Most cities and counties have adopted one of three or four model building codes. City, county, and state building codes may be different. Straw bale is acceptable to some codes, and not acceptable to other codes. HINTS ON OBTAINING A PERMIT TO BUILD A STRAW-BALE HOUSE If your community has adopted a building code, you will need a building permit before beginning construction. The local government's building official is the community's designated expert and enforcer. He or she has the responsibility of interpreting the codes, inspecting homes under construction, and making exceptions to the code, if requested. As a first step, identify local building officials and code requirements. Out on Bale (un)Ltd. recommends the following steps to help you obtain a straw-bale house building permit. 1. Obtain and read a copy of the current building codes for your area. 2. Gather as much information as you can about straw bale construction. See page 14 for a list of selected resources. 3. Talk with straw-bale experts and others interested in straw bale building. 4. Before drawing up specific house plans, meet with local building code officials. If they are not familiar with straw-bale construction, you may want to take along a knowledgeable architect or builder. Give the building officials copies of supportive information; allow them to digest the information, then meet with them again. Develop a rapport with them during the planning and building process. 5. Become familiar enough with the code and straw bale to be able to discuss and defend your design decisions as they relate to the code. If necessary, you might suggest a small straw-bale demonstration structure, perhaps a small storage shed. This will allow building officials to become familiar with the materials and construction methods.


STRAW BALE CONSTRUCTION Black Range Films. A Straw Bale Workshop and A Straw Bale Home Tour, two videos by Catherine Wanek. Star Route 2, Box 119, Kingston, NM 88042. The Canelo Project. Basic information on straw-bale building. Plastered Straw Bale Construction, 1992, by David A. Bainbridge with Athena and Bill Steen and The Straw Bale

House, January 1995 by David Bainbridge, Athena and Bill Steen, and David Eisenberg. HCR Box 324, Canelo, AZ 85611, (520) 455-5548. Development Center for Appropriate Technology. Consulting, education, testing and research, networking. Straw Bale Construction and Building Codes, A Working Paper and Draft Prescriptive Standard for Structural and Non-Structural Straw Bale Construction for Pima County and the City of Tucson, Arizona. P.O. Box 41144, Tucson, AZ 85717, (520) 3261418. Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory. Energy-Efficient Building Technologies for the Navajo Reservation and Analysis of A StrawBale/ Adobe Dwelling Prototype, November 1994, by Jim Hanford and Joe Huang. (LBL36320, UC 1600). Energy Analysis Program, Berkeley, CA 94720, (510) 486-7438. Out on Bale (un)Ltd. A general resource, education, and information center with written material and videos available on straw-bale construction. The Last Straw newsletter published quarterly. Build It With Bales, January 1995, a construction guide by S.O. Mac Donald and Matts Myhrman. Summary of Results of a Structural Straw-Bale Testing Program, based on a Masters thesis by Ghailene Bou-Ali. June, 1993. 1037 East Linden Street, Tucson, AZ 85719, (520) 624-1673. Resourceful Nest. Come Home to Straw Bale Construction, 1993, by Jim Peterson. A construction manual. P.O. Box 641, Livingston, MT 59047, (406) 222-0557. Straw Bale Construction Association. Association of architects, designers, engineers, general contractors, and subcontractors interested in straw-bale, testing, and methods inclusion into code. Forum for sharing technical information. 31 Old Arroyo Chamiso, Santa Fe, NM 87505. Sustainable Systems Support. Consultation, design, workshops and informational materials. Videos: How To Build Your Elegant Home with Straw Bales and Straw Bale Construction: The Elegant Solution, produced by Carol Escott & Steve Kemble. P.O. Box 318, Bisbee, AZ 85603. ENVIRONMENTALLY SUSTAINABLE CONSTRUCTION Center for Maximum Potential Building Systems. Alternative building and design center, normally works on large projects. Rewriting the alternative building codes for Texas. 8604 FM 969, Austin, TX 78724, (512) 928-4786. Center for Renewable Energy and Sustainable Technology (CREST), 777 N. Capitol St., NW, Ste. 805, Washington, D.C. 20002 (202) 289-5365; email: info@crest.org www: http://solstice.crest.org/ Center for Resourceful Building Technology. Information about resource-efficient building materials. GREBE: Guide to Resource Efficient Building Elements and ReCraft 90: The Construction of a Resource-Efficient House both by Steve Loken, P.O. Box 3866, Missoula, MT 59805, (406) 549-7678. Environmental Building News. A bimonthly newletter on environmentally sustainable design and construction. RR 1 Box 161, Brattleboro, VT 05301, (802) 257-7300. Home Energy. Bimonthly magazine of residential energy conservation. 2124 Kittridge Street, No. 95, Berkeley, CA 94704, (510) 524-5405. Rocky Mountain Institute. International outreach and technical exchange programs focusing on seven areas including energy, water, and green development. Numerous

publications including: The Efficient House Sourcebook, Homemade Money: How to Save Energy and Dollars in Your Home, A Primer on Sustainable Building, and the RMI Newsletter. 1739 Old Snowmass Road, Snowmass, CO 81654- 9199, (303) 927-3851. U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. OUR HOME: Buildings of the Land, March 1994, HUD-1410-CPD. Energy-efficiency design guide for Indian housing. HUD Office of Native American Programs, 451 - 7th Street, SW, Room B133, Washington, DC 20410- 7000, (202) 755-0032. GENERAL CONSTRUCTION AND BUILDING CODES Building Officials Conference of America. Basic Building Code.1313 East 60th Street, Chicago, IL 60637. Contractor's Guide to the Building Code, by Jack Hageman. Craftsman Book Co., 1991, (800) 829-8123. Council of American Building Code Officials (CABO). One and Two Family Dwelling Code. Only national residential building code, comprised of other three code organizations. 5203 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041. International Conference of Building Code Officials. Uniform Building Code. 5360 South Workman Mill Road, Whittier, CA 90601. Southern Building Code Congress International. Standard Building Code. 3617 - 8th Avenue, South, Birmingham, AL 35222. Journal of Light Construction. Construction management, building techniques, and energy issues. R2, Box 146, Richmond, VT 05477, (802) 434-4747. U.S. Department of Energy Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy DOE/G010094-01 April 1995 Acknowledgements This project was funded under the auspices of the DOE-HUD initiative on Energy Efficiency for Housing. The initiative was created in 1990 as a collaborative between the U.S. Department of Energy's National Energy Strategy and the Department of Housing and Urban Development's mission to make housing more affordable. Funding for this project was provided by the DOE Office of Building Technologies. The project was administered by the DOE San Francisco

Calcium silicate products with crushed building and demolition waste

H. M. L. Schuur The suitability of crushed building and demolition waste as a raw material for the production of calcium silicate products has been determined. Therefore calcium silicate bricks have been produced by replacing natural sand with crushed building and demolition waste of different sources. The mechanical properties of the bricks made with these wastes are comparable or in some cases even better than those of bricks with natural sand. In particular the green shear strength of the bricks is higher. The amount of quartz and reactive SiO2 (Silicon dioxide) in the waste materials is high enough for the formation of tobermorite and hydrogarnet as cementitious materials between the grains. A negative aspect is the appearance of brown stains on the surface of the bricks when the waste materials are slightly contaminated with organic substances. This risk can be reduced by including a washing process, in addition to crushing of the waste. Predicting strength properties of fine cementless fly ash furnace bottom ash concrete N. V. Vegerova Methods for predicting strength properties of cementless ash slag concrete for the long term have been developed at the Siberian State University of Industry. Data from a 10 year study of an ordinary heavy concrete as compared with a cement concrete containing ash from thermal power plants were taken for analogies. The methods were as follows: 1. predicting based on the dynamics of the analog of the object for prediction using the method of similarity, 2. predicting based on the dynamics of the object indices in the "accelerated" time scale. The first method included monitoring the dynamics of indices of the analogs of the object for prediction, monitoring the dynamics at the initial (limited) time period of the object functioning, determining coefficients of similarity, and predicting the object indices by affinal transformations and recalculations according to the similarity criteria. The second method consisted in obtaining the dynamics of the indices of the object analog functioning in the "accelerated" time scale, that is exposed to contrast loadings much more frequently than during the normal object functioning. Development of utilization technologies for Mt Pinatubo ejecta as prime material for concrete: Part 1 Concrete material structure-property characterization G. Shimizu, P.A. Jorillo Jr., H. Adachi, B.A. Lejano, R.O. Baarde, M. Nakanishi A total of 11 billion cubic meters of volcanic materials was ejected by the Mt. Pinatubo after its 13 major blasts from 1991 to 1994. This is considered as one of the most devastating disaster of the decade. The deposits are predominantly pumiceous of andesite scoria, with phenocryst-rich and phenocryst-poor dacite pumice fragments. Due to the large volume of volcanic debris, government and private institutions are looking for ways to utilize and maximize the economic potential of these materials. A medium term R&D Program was developed in order to come-up with utilization technologies of Pinatubo ejecta for the construction sector, and that will tackle basic questions of raw material sourcing, material optimization, design and tests of product for specific applications, validation, and transfer of technology to adoptee. The Technological University of the Philippines in cooperation with Nihon University, Japans Ministry of Education, and Philippines Department of Science and Technology launched an R&D program on utilization of Mt. Pinatubo ejecta for construction. The objective of this research program is to provide a comprehensive experimental and analytical characterization of Pinatubo ejecta material for various applications in the construction. This paper describes the significant results of extensive studies conducted by the authors in 1991- up to present in the following areas: 1. Structure-Property characterization of ejecta material

2. Application as prime material replacement for cement for durability improvement 3. Application for lightweight concrete and mix designs proportions Development of utilization technologies for Mt Pinatubo ejecta as prime material for concrete: Part 2 Testing the Structural Performance of Modular Panels P.A. Jorillo Jr., B.A. Lejano, H. Adachi, G. Shimizu, R.O. Baarde, M. Nakanishi, H. Tsuboyama The Technological University of the Philippines in cooperation with Nihon University, and Japans Ministry of Education, launched an R&D project on utilization of Mt. Pinatubo ejecta for modular housing construction. One of the major concerns of the Philippine government is how to provide decent and affordable housing units to the Filipino masses. A possible answer to this is to come up with pre-cast and modular structural components that will facilitate speedy and lowcost construction of residential buildings. Another aspect of this study is the utilization of volcanic aggregates from the 1991 Mt. Pinatubo eruption. The utilization of this abundant material will address both the ecological problem and the challenge to create cheaper but quality construction materials. New technology approach to age-old waste material (natural fibers) for composites P.A. Jorillo Jr., G. Shimizu, T. Suzuki Natural fibers like sisal, hemp, and coir fibers are abundant in many developing countries. Fiber composite cladding panels, prefabricated elements, special tiles and panels are few of the many possible applications of natural fiber cement composites. Socio-economic opportunities involved in the utilization of natural fibers include (1) elimination of solid waste, (2) environment friendly method of disposal, and (3) provision of a viable source of raw material. An R&D project was developed in collaboration with Nihon University, Shimizu Corporation-Institute of Technology, and the Technological University of the Philippines on centrifuged method of casting approach on natural fibers composites for pre-fabricated construction. The study tackled material optimization, and design and test of pre-cast elements using this technique. The paper describes the significant results of the project in the following areas 1. 2. 3. 4. Applications of natural fiber reinforcement in gypsum-based lightweight panel Applications in centrifuged method of casting for pipes and thin walled box sections Application of centrifuged methods for production of gypsum based panels Durability characterization of the natural fiber composites

A total of 11 billion cubic meters of volcanic materials was ejected by the Mt. Pinatubo after its 13 major blasts from 1991 to 1994. This is considered as one of the most devastating disaster of the decade. The deposits are predominantly pumiceous of andesite scoria, with phenocryst-rich and phenocryst-poor dacite pumice fragments. Due to the large volume of volcanic debris, government and private institutions are looking for ways to utilize and maximize the economic potential of these materials. A medium term R&D Program was developed in order to come-up with utilization technologies of Pinatubo ejecta for the construction sector, and that will tackle basic questions of raw material sourcing, material optimization, design and tests of product for specific applications, validation, and transfer of technology to adoptee. The Technological University of the Philippines in cooperation with Nihon University, Japans Ministry of Education, and Philippines Department of Science and Technology launched an R&D program on utilization of Mt. Pinatubo ejecta for construction. The objective of this research program is to provide a comprehensive experimental and analytical characterization of Pinatubo ejecta material for various applications in the construction. This paper describes the significant results of extensive studies conducted by the authors in 1991- up to present in the following areas: 1. Structure-Property characterization of ejecta material 2. Application as prime material replacement for cement for durability improvement

3. Application for lightweight concrete and mix designs proportions Production of low-cost by-product fillers C.F. Bonney, V.P. Fenton, R.J. Clark, W.L. Barrett, A.P. Ziogas, D. Harrison, M. Grossou-Valta This paper will present information on an industrial research project which aims to develop low cost by-product fillers as a replacement for high cost primary fillers. The source of the byproduct fillers will be fine waste residues from crushed rock aggregate quarries, which will be upgraded by particle size-reduction and by the application of suitable low cost beneficiation techniques. The products under investigation are industrial paints, membranes, low-grade paper, asphalt and lightweight concrete blocks. The paper will give details of the properties of two types of waste under investigation (siliceous and calcareous) as well as some details on the beneficiation studies. Steel Fibers Made from Steel Cans in Concrete Engineering A. Keyvani, N. Saeki Recycling steel cans instead of making new products uses so much less energy, pollution, water and water pollution. In Japan in 1994 about 472,000 tons of steel cans could not be recycled. It meant a huge amount of steel plates could be reused as steel fibers to reinforce plain concrete by considering many advantages of fibrous concrete. Reusing of waste steel cans as a construction material in plain concrete can improve concrete properties and also protect corrosion of reinforced concrete. In this matter behaviour of steel fibers made from steel cans in a transparent gel and concrete specimens were studied. Results of experiments showed that such fibers with average thickness of 0.25 mm increase flexural strength of plain concrete about 150%. Durability of these fibers under an accelerated and artificial aggressive environment showed that more than 75% of fibers in the concrete matrix were sound. However, such fibers in contact with steel bars could cathodically protect corrosion of steel bars. Carbonation and leaching of Portland cement with various blending materials S. Mileti?, M. Ili?, . Copkov, R. Munitlak Degradation of Portland cement concrete, as well as the related protection and ensuring of Portland cement concrete structures against aggressive impacts by chemical agents, regardless whether this concerns liquid, gas or even solid phase under certain conditions, represents a complex problem of utmost importance for the economy in general, and especially for building construction and the construction industry. CaO leaching from Portland cement concrete in soft waters is one of the usual ways of Portland cement concrete degradation. Durability of steel in reinforced concrete is dependent mainly on the concrete protection layer. Usually, this layer has to be at least 4 cm. Also, pH value of this layer has to be higher than 7.5 to ensure alkaline media. But, CO2 and moisture (acid rains recently) from the air makes this layer permeable to chlorine ions, such enabling steel corrosion. This effect is called concrete carbonation and is dependent of various factors, but mainly on the cement composition, w/c ratio and the concrete density. This paper presents results of CaO leaching content from Portland cements with various blending materials such as natural pozzolana and quartz river sand together with other characteristics of mentioned materials. Presented paper study also the changes produced by the carbonation when Portland cement, Portland fly ash cement and Portland blast furnace slag cement with various w/c ratios are exposed to the action of the atmosphere. The resistance to carbonation is significantly reduced when replacement of Portland cement by fly ash is higher than 15% and with higher w/c ratios.

Solidification of lead ions in Portland cement matrix M. Ili?, S. Mileti?, D. Mili?, I. Br?eski Solidification/stabilization is world-wide accepted treatment for immobilization of wastes such as heavy metals and represents mixing of materials with binders and reagents in order to reduce the leaching of contaminants. The most commonly used medium in solidification/stabilization process is Portland cement, pozzolana such as fly ash from coal and solvent silicates. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the use of pure Portland cement and Portland cement with addition of 30% fly ash as binders for immobilization Pb2+ ions. Samples (1x1x6 cm) were prepared by mixing cement with water containing 10 000 mg/dm3 Pb2+ and 30 000 mg/dm3 Pb2+. These samples were immersed in an aggressive acid solution (pH=4) and deionized water as reference. The temperature of acid solution and deionized water was 20r C and 50r C. Flexural strength of samples was measured. After 1, 3, 7, 14, 28, 35, 42, 49 and 56 days the concentration of toxic metal ions and Ca2+ ions in leachate solutions was determined by atomic absorption spectrometry. The end product of treatment, usually after sufficient curing, is solid monolithic material which, depending on characteristics of leaching, can be usefully applied or disposed of in a safe way. Recycling and up-grading utility arisings and quarry wastes for highway construction and maintenance N. Ghazireh, H.L. Robinson The principles of sustainable development require the minimisation of the production of waste, the efficient use of materials and the recycling of wastes. The UK government is committed to pursuing opportunities for the promotion of reuse and recycling of waste materials where they can substitute for primary minerals. The Minerals Planning Guidance Note ( MPG6 ) published in 1994 proposed that an increasing contribution to aggregate needs should come from alternative sources, which include secondary materials, industrial by-products and wastes. To address this theme, a consortium of Industrial partners, utility companies, private consultants, BRE , Manchester University and The DETR have combined their resources to develop novel technologies to enable cohesive, clay like materials to be recycled into useable aggregates for a range of applications. The technology gained as a result of this research will enable the potential utilisation of millions of tonnes of utility trench arisings and quarry wastes generated each year. Key to the research is the use of industrial by-products as secondary slow cementing hydraulic binders, which will enable marginal materials and wastes to be treated and up-graded for uses where currently primary aggregates are used.

CALCIUM SILICATE BOARDS 1. Temperature range (C): 1000 2. Dimensions: 1000 X 500 X 50 mm 3. Properties: Easy to work, fix and decorate Non-combustible Non-wetting performance Asbestos free Low thermal conductivity Resistant to thermal shock Light weight and high strength

4.Typical applications Internal and external lining of furnaces Screens against radiating heat and fire Resistance to thermal shock High-temperature partitions Infra-red heater supports

Another Low-Cost Building Technology for the Poor Explored

In the aim to provide decent and affordable housing for the poor, Homeless Peoples Federation Philippines Inc. (HPFPI) and the Philippine Action for Community-led Shelter Initiatives Inc. (PACSII) together with the Technical Assistance Movement for People and Environment, Inc. (TAMPEI) are continuously looking for and applying alternative building technologies like the Interlocking Compressed Earth Blocks (ICEB) to various CLIFF housing project initiatives of the federation nationwide. Last February 8, 2011 (Tuesday), community leaders and technical assistants of the Federation from NCR, Iloilo and Cebu had a site visit in First Home Subdivision in

Navais, Mandurriao, Iloilo City to explore and learn from another low-cost building technology. The activity was facilitated by Engr. Joseph Asturias of Salvacion Infrastructure and Development Corporation (SIDC) with office-based in Negros Occidental in collaboration with Jockin Arputham, President of Slum Dwellers International (SDI), together with an Indian community engineer.

This alternative building material is called Plaswall, was introduced as one of the recent building technologies developed by Sterling Construction and Development Corporation (SCDC). Plaswall is made of two cement board and spacers (a hollow permanent concrete formwork) which should be filled with concrete (mixture of sand, water and cement). It is completely a load bearing wall with complete rendered finish which can be modified according to the shape of your choice or depending on your structural design. It is designed to carry loads such as beams and slabs and can also be a substitute for columns. It has faster speed of installation and requires significantly lower skilled labor to build high quality concrete homes and buildings at a shorter construction period.

During a short discussion about the building technology, some local architects working with the Federation found the material quiet expensive for low-cost housing in Philippine context. They reasoned out that the most expensive part of housing construction using plaswall is the filling-in of concrete mixture on its hollow part. On the contrary, Jockin Arputham, SDI president showed great interest to adopt this kind of technology in Kenya where CLIFF housing is present and quiet expensive. He encouraged HPFPI-PACSII and TAMPEI to study the building technology and find means on how to make useful for the poor. Dont look at the monetary value of the building technology but focus on how to make the material more affordable for the poor, Arputham stressed out.

Earthbag Homes: Alternative Building Method for an Eco-Friendly Green House by Derek Markham

Many of us want to build green homes, but get stuck or give up on the idea either because of the skills necessary for the technical side of building, or the cost of materials. But it doesnt have to be that way. Imagine building your own environmentally friendly home out of dirt, barbed wire, and bags, using nothing but a shovel and some sweat. Intrigued? The name for that alternative building method is earthbag building. While not nearly as popular these days as straw bale building, the earthbag home movement has been steadily building steam as a means to build a low-impact, low-cost, eco-friendly house that requires minimal external energy whether its winter or summer.

Building homes with earthbags (also called sandbags) is a relatively new technique, but its roots are old. People have been using sandbags for a long time to create formidable protective barriers for both flood control and protection (think military or civil emergencies). The resulting sandbag walls are resistant to severe weather and natural disasters such as floods, hurricanes, and earthquakes, and can be built with materials at hand. Transferring those qualities to a house is a desirable thing, so about 30 years ago the Research Laboratory for Experimental Building at Kassel Polytechnic College in Germany began examining the feasibility of using this method of natural building with earthen materials for homes, without resorting to concrete or other binders mixed with the sand. The researchers found that woven bags packed with earthen materials created a stable and desirable building method. Their original structures were built using pumice, a light material with great insulating qualities. An early prototype of an earthbag house was then built in Guatemala in 1978, using cotton bags filled with earth, stabilized with bamboo poles, with wire to tie them together. The bags were soaked in a lime-wash beforehand to protect the cotton from decay and insects. Since then, earthbag building pioneers have refined the method to be sustainable, long lasting, and low-cost. Because cotton and other natural fibers like burlap break down with moisture and simply arent as strong as some other materials, innovators in earthbag building began using woven polypropylene bags as the forms for holding the materials. The polypropylene bags can also break down from exposure to sunlight, so the structures are covered with a plaster or cob-like surface to preserve the bags integrity s and to make them more aesthetically pleasing.

The advantages of building with earthbags are many: The bags can be filled with local materials, lowering the amount of embodied energy from manufacturing and transporting conventional building materials. In many areas, the best fill-dirt is literally right under the builders feet. The materials used to pack the bags (dirt, pumice, vermiculite, and other such materials) do not decompose, dont attract rodents or insects, and are not flammable. Because earthbags are filled with non-toxic materials, they will not off-gas any toxic fumes or chemicals, a common problem with conventional housing. Building with earthbags isnt a highly skilled task, although there are best practices for constructing dwellings. When compared to conventional building techniques, the skill level needed is much lower but the labor, or sweat level, is much higher. This means people with more time and energy than money can build an earthbag home and not have to hire a builder or contractor. Earthbags dont have to be stacked in square or rectangle patterns and earthbag homes can be built in a large variety of shapes, such as domes and arches. Because of this, earthbag homes can be built without the need for a separate roof, as the walls can be corbelled inward to form the roof. No wooden or steel materials are necessary in the roof structure, saving both trees and the energy needed for manufacturing the steel or lumber. Earthbag homes can be built to provide either insulation or thermal mass, depending on the fill material. If the bags are filled with lighter materials, the walls are highly insulating. When filled with heavier materials, such as earth, the walls become thermal mass to store and dissipate heat for the house. The foundation of the building can also be built with earthbags filled with gravel, providing a non-wicking base for the structure in wet areas. Earthbag homes can be dirt cheap to build. The polypropylene bags are often available to purchase at a low price as misprints from the manufacturer, and even when purchased new they are quite a bit cheaper than other common building materials. Barbed wire and other necessary materials are readily available and low-cost. The basics of earthbag building are quite simple. The polypropylene bags or tubes are filled with pre-moistened earth and laid up in a running bond (similar to bricklaying). The bags can be filled in place on the wall to eliminate most of the heavy lifting, and once the whole row has been laid, the bags are compacted with heavy tampers. Strands of 4-

point barbed wire are then laid in between each course of earthbags, which holds the bags in place, in a kind of Velcro effect. The barbed wire adds strength to the walls, and allows the bags to be corbelled (stepped in) to form a dome. The doorways and window openings can be built around removable forms, enabling arches to be used for a strong structure.

Earthbag Building Innovators: An architect named Nader Khalili has been integral in popularizing the concept of building permanent structures with bags, mixing the idea of adobe domes found in his country, Iran, with the earthbag building method. He refined the earthbag concept further by using strands of barbed wire between the layers of bags, which ties them together for stability. At first, Khalili filled his bags with desert sand, but then conceived the idea of the superadobe: bags or tubes of polypropylene filled with a moistened adobe-type earth that dries into a form of adobe bricks. Khalilis institute in California, Cal-Earth, The California Institute of Earth Art and Architecture, is a non-profit foundation now leading the world in earth architecture technology.

Earthbag construction on: March 08, 2008, 11:27:44 AM Heres is what might be another way to build cheap housing in the Philippines. Definitely worth exploring..Construction using earth,sand,gravel or palay and rice sacks. Palay for example has very high insulation properties.. When the bags are in position they are rendered with cement..

Paulina Wojciechowska was a Khalili apprentice, and authored Building with Earth: A Guide to Flexible-Form Earthbag Construction, as well as establishing a non-profit called Earth Hands and Houses. The foundation supports building projects empowering indigenous peoples to build their own shelters using locally available natural materials, and it teaches workshops on natural building techniques. Other innovators in the earthbag movement are Kaki Hunter and Donald Kiffmeyer, who together wrote the exhaustiveEarthbag Building book. This is a valuable resource for earthbag builders, full of tips and tricks for learning the skills needed to create a structure using the earthbag technique. Kelly and Rosana Hart, ofGreen Home Building have also taken the technique and refined it with their own techniques, such as using crushed volcanic rock for the fill, and applying a papercrete finish to the exterior. One major barrier to earthbag building is the strict regulations inherent in local building codes. Not enough earthbag buildings have been built to clear the way for other owners/builders, even though Khalilis earthbag structures have been proven safer than many other building types. His buildings have passed tests for Californias high seismic building codes so they are resistant to earthquakes as well as fire, flood, and other natural disasters. If youre interested in building your own green home, I highly recommend investigating the earthbag building method. This technique results in a low-cost, long lasting, environmentally friendly home that can be built without highly skilled labor. Earthbag homes are extraordinary structures, which showcase the use of appropriate technology and intelligent design: good for the Earth, good for your wallet, and good for you.

LGU & Public-Private Partnership and Knowledge Exchange on Earth-Based Technology

ILOILO CITY-Inspired by the aesthetic and economical gains of Interlocking Compressed Earth Blocks (ICEB), an alternative building technology used in Community-Managed Housing initiatives of HPFP-PACSII, Iloilo City government visited San Carlos City, Negros Occidental last October 28-29, 2010 for a knowledge exchange on ICEBs design and construction application. This learning exchange was facilitated by JF Ledesma Foundation, Inc. in collaboration with the local government of San Carlos City.

Among the LGU participants were Honorable City Councilor and acting Chairman of the Iloilo City Urban Poor Affairs Office (ICUPAO), Edward Yee; Mr. Wilfredo Jurilla, CoChairman of ICUPAO; Mr. Alfred Villanueva, Head Officer, City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO); Engr. Llane Opinion and Engr. Liza Castillo of City Engineering Office; and Engr. Joefry Camarista, ICUPAOs detailed CLIFF Project Site Engineer. Along with them were Mr. Benfred Tacuyan from the Iloilo City Urban Poor Network (ICUPN); Regie Ruego and Sonia Cadornigara of HPFPI-PACSII Iloilo. Full of optimism to start a fruitful engagement with Iloilo City, Honorable City Vice Mayor Edgardo Quisumbing warmly welcomed the Iloilo participants in a luncheon meeting hosted by the City government of San Carlos. Senior Officers of JF Ledesma Foundation, Inc. (JFLFI) and Asian Rural-Urban Development and Peace Institute (ARDEP) also facilitated a short programme to share with Iloilo City the current operational framework of JFLFIs partnership with the local government of San Carlos City in citywide mainstreaming of earth-based technology particularly the ICEB. Here, mainstreaming connotes the application of ICEB in almost all public infrastructures, not only in San Carlos, but to other cities as well. Dr. Nestor Abdon, ARDEP Managing Director stressed that in order to move to such technology replication, there is a need for an inter-LGU alliance or collaboration, and the best way to promote this technology to other cities is through knowledge exchange. The application of ICEB in socialized housing programme was already shared by JFLFI to HPFPI and PACSII with the implementation of the Community-led Infrastructure Finance Facility (CLIFF). This time, upscaling ICEB to the local government level, will not only benefit San Carlos City by making it as a national capital or pilot institute of earth-based technology but will also help other cities in terms of creating social enterprises or livelihood targeting the poorest sector. Employment could be generated from production, construction to design processes in the utilization of ICEB. Aside from this, other cities which are investing on low-cost housing projects for the poor could benefit because this technology is very cost-effective. In fact, the Iloilo City government and HPFPI-PACSII are now looking into the feasibility of applying ICEB on the proposed medium-rise housing project.

Engr. Misael Hibionada, JFLFI, Deputy Executive Director for Social Housing and Building also gave a very brief presentation on the evolution of earth-based technology, its advantages and disadvantages, how their partnership with the LGU of San Carlos help them in upscaling technology replication, and the basic construction and design guidelines for ICEB. More enriching discussions between JFLFI and Iloilo LGU representatives regarding the application of ICEB technology came-out during the project field visits. Among the sites visited were St. Charles Homeowners Association, St. John Homeowners Association, St. Luke Homeowners Association, Gawad Kalinga Housing Project, JF Ledesma ICEB production site with the Philippine ICEB Resource and Reference Center and the Agricultural Productivity Training Center (APTC).

I hope that after this knowledge exchange, there will be a more tangible way of expressing our collaboration with the Iloilo City government, perhaps through a memorandum of agreement, trainings and further knowledge exchange, says Dr. Abdon.

Leaving San Carlos City with this challenge, Iloilo City LGU representatives expressed their willingness to work hand-in-hand with ICUPN, HPFPI and PACSII in undertaking concrete steps that could help them materialize their common purpose which is to make Iloilo City an investment-friendly and environmentally sustainable city through the promotion of earth-based technology.

Building the 'modern bahay-kubo'

The ultimate goal is to replace makeshift houses of illegal settlers with this low-cost design The traditional Filipino bahay-kubo is getting an eco-friendly upgrade. Harnessing conventional and modern building knowledge, a group of college students has designed a modern bahay-kubo that is not only pro-environment but is cost-effective at the same time. This modern undertaking, which the group called Fusion: Adaptive Cube, capitalizes on the use of bamboo (instead of the conventional pawid, a type of tree leaf) and high polyethane concrete blocks or HDPE (more of this below). Our design is best suited for low-cost, one-storey housing in a Third World country setting, said Marco Cabrera, one of the eleven members of the team. The group is part of the graduating batch of architecture students in Mapua this semester.*

In their design, the bamboo component makes up some 65 percent of the raw materials. It is used in the flooring, roof, windows, doors, roofing system, and as rebar (instead of steel). The HDPE, on the other hand, replaces the traditional hollow blocks. Instead of using gravel as aggregate, the HDPE uses recycled plastics mixed with concrete. The result is a lighter, much cheaper, and more eco-friendly alternative, said Rio Cielo Velasco. It puts to good use plastic that would have been just waste products.

Bamboo is the perfect material for this type of design as it is indigenous to the Philippines, the group said. The material is so strong it could last for more than 20 years when used in this housing design.

To make the house more solid, though, the group opted to keep the use concrete in the designs structural foundation. While this design is ideal for a one-storey building, the plan allows for an option to expand and build a second floor. The one-storey house design is 6 meters in height with an elevation of 0.8 meters from the ground, which would serve as the houses silong. The elevation also makes this modern bahakubo more resistant to flooding. The design also features a roofing system that catches rain which goes to a container, Velasco said. Residents can later use this collected water for flushing. Its not only rainwater that is maximizedthe design allows air to freely circulate around the house while letting sunlight in, saving on electricity.

The roofing system catches rainwater for later use The groups architectural design was so well-put together that it won in the International Competition in Sustainable Design last September 28 to 29 in Shanghai, China. The team represented the Philippines, which competed with nine other entries from Japan, Sweden, and Korea. The other team members include Audrie Cristian Gatus, Alizsa Quinsay, Michelle Kho, Sheryl Trinidad, Jomar Guevara, Kristine Ada, Rhona Opulecia, Roy Conception, and Analaine Yap. The group competed under the guidance of Prof. Junar Pakingan Tablan and Dean Gloria Teodoro. We see this design perfect for government housing projects for informal settlers, Cabrera said. Its also ideal for housing projects by non-profit organizations like the Gawad Kalinga. The group said they got the inspiration to create this architectural design after visiting Baseco, where they learned that some 6,000 families live in unsafe, make-shift houses. Cabrera said: We hope our design can go beyond being a class project to actually help make low-cost housing more safe, efficient, and environment-friendly. * Note: Marco and his team has already graduated from Mapua since this article was first published in the Philippine Daily Inquirer on November 10, 2010.

Posted by agri_center | Posted in Coconut, Engineering/Infrastructure, Research and Development/Product Development | Posted on 28-11-2008 Tags: Add new tag, APPLICATION AND SERVICE TEST OF COCONUT FIBER CEMENT BOARDS (CFB) IN AN A-FRAME HOUSE, coconut fiber cement boards

A 2-storey experimental house with a total floor area of 53 square meters was constructed utilizing coconut fiber-cement boards (CFB) as construction material and component steel as structural framework. It was aimed to demonstrate the use of CFB as alternative construction material for walling, ceiling, roofing and base support in upper level flooring of houses and as component in the fabrication of furniture (tables, chairs, desks, etc.), cabinets, boxes and vases

inside the house. The project also aims to evaluate the performance of CFB in actual service condition. The main features of the house include; three (3) bedrooms and a veranda on the upper level and living, dining, cooking areas and toilet and bath on the first level. Experience in the construction of the model house showed that CFB could be effectively applied to simplify home building process in metal-framed construction system in all areas of application. It also showed that the application of CFB could speed up construction time and therefore reduced construction cost. The metal wall frame system consists of 1 thick CFB jointed to the angular steel bars ( x 1 x 1 ) vertical and horizontal studs equally spaced at center to center distance to suit the width of CFB cladding. On the other hand, roof cover consists of 8 mm thick 75 cm wide and 75 cm long CFB panels painted with waterproof paint. The boards were fastened to the metal purlins (0.60 cm x 3.8 cm x 75 cm channel bars) with the use of umbrella tie wires. For the second level flooring, the 25 mm thick CFBs were used as formwork, base support and at the same time as the ceiling of the first level flooring. Coconut fiberboards were also successfully used as built-in cabinets and boxes inside the house to serve as tables, chair or desk. INTRODUCTION Industrialists in most of the coconut producing countries hail the economic, environmental and technological benefits of utilizing coconut farm wastes. On the farmers side, agricultural residues can be a source of extra income. Traditionally, coconut farmers dispose the husks, spate, petiole and leaves by burning or allowing these farm wastes to rot in the field. However, worldwide interest in using farm residues for value-added products means that farmers can generate additional income aside from amassing environmental dividends. Studies have shown that burning of agricultural wastes causes air pollution, soil erosion and even a decrease in soil biological activity that can eventually lead to decreased soil fertility. On the other hand, allowing farm residues to rot in the field may improve the productivity of the soil but the process of decomposition is very slow leading to accumulation of piles of agricultural wastes that can cause Phytosanitary problem to the coconut plantation, since decaying debris is ideal breeding place for coconut pest like the rhinoceros beetle. Using agricultural and forest residues for industrial purposes is a much more environment-safe and friendly more than any other method of wastes disposal being commonly adopted nowadays. Research and development in the construction industry are shifting towards exploration of cellulose farm wastes and forest residues processing and production for building materials. The tremendous potential of agricultural and forest residues can be a solution to the problem of inadequate supply and high cost of conventional timbers and dependence from imported building materials. Current R & D efforts in the field of building materials should be supportive of policies of most governments that are aimed in the promotion of import substitution schemes, employment generation and self-reliance. The enormous amount of residues that shall be generated from the farm and forest plantation would then make a stable source of alternative materials for the purpose of building affordable housing units for the majority of the countrys population. Building materials from agricultural and forest wastes are ideal for socialized or low-cost housing since these are generally cheaper than conventional materials. For example, residues from coconut plantation like husks, fronds and spate can be processed and transformed into excellent stabilized cement-bonded boards or wall panels and corrugated roofing sheets at a much reduced production cost than the conventional cement blocks, galvanized iron sheets, asbestos panels or plywood sheets. Likewise, rice hull/straw, corn stalks, abaca wastes and sugar cane bagasse are locally available materials that can be readily used in manufacturing cementbonded boards. In addition, indigenous and small diameter trees like bagalunga (Melia dubia Cav.), giant ipil-ipil [Leucaena leucocephala (Lam) de Wit] and other fast-growing trees are abundant in coconut plantations particularly in Mindanao, Philippines, either as intercropped or naturally-grown, which can be economically processed into cement-bonded boards.

Coconut fiber cement board as construction material A coconut fiber-cement board (CFB) is a product manufactured from fibrous materials like coconut coir, fronds, spathes and shredded wood that are mixed with Portland cement at a predetermined ratio of 60-70% cement to 30-40% fiber by weight. CFB is made by forming the cement-fiber mixture into mats and pressing them to the desired thickness ranging from 8 mm to 25 mm. The board measures 244 cm long by 61 cm wide. The board density varies from 600kg/cu. m. to 750-kg/cu. m. Previous studies conducted at PCA-ZRC have shown that CFB panels have good strength properties and high dimensional stability when soaked in water (water absorption of 32% and thickness swelling of 4.2%) surpassing the minimum requirements set by PHILSA-Standard 1051975. It has low thermal conductivity (k-value 0f 0.90 W/mk), which indicates its excellent insulation properties, thus it can be used as roofing materials even without the provision of ceiling. Flame test showed that while the board can be burned, it is rather slow with minimal smoke emission. The recently concluded study on the exposure test of paint-coated CFB roof sheets has demonstrated the capability of the material to withstand the deleterious effect of weathering found in actual service condition. The same study also showed that by using Boysen and Dutch Boy brands of paints a much superior performance of roof boards could be expected. These two types of coating material have exhibited the ability to provide maximum protections from weathering that other brands of paints failed to give. OBJECTIVES This project was designed to demonstrate and evaluate the use of coconut fiber-cement board (CFB) in a simplified process of house construction wherein CFBs are used as walling, roof sheathing, ceiling and as both base support and formwork of the upper-level flooring with component steel as main structural framework. It also aimed to demonstrate the use CFB as a component in the fabrication of furniture (tables, chairs, desks, etc.), built-in cabinets, boxes and vases inside the house. MATERIALS AND METHODS Manufacturing Process of CFB Coconut fiber cement boards were produced based on the steps described below. There are three major components in the manufacture of coco fiber-wood-cement board, namely, (a) coconut residues consisting of husk, spathe, peduncle, petiole and leaf sheathe, (b) wood excelsior and (c) cement. 1. Processing of coconut fiber residues

* Cutting the spathe, peduncle, petiole and leaf sheath into 42 cm long. * Soaking of husk, spathe, peduncle, petiole and leaf sheath in tap water for 18 to 24 hours. * Decorticating separately the saturated husk, spathe, peduncle and leaf sheath to produce fiber and dust. Only fiber is used in board production while the dust may be used as soil conditioner. * Shredding the petiole to produce curled shavings. 2. Soaking the coconut fiber and shavings in separate dipping tanks (each tank with a capacity of 12 cu. m.) full of water for two days to leach out extractives. 3. Collecting the coconut fiber and shavings from the dipping tanks and allowing water to drain from the residues and excelsior for about 5 minutes. 4. Weighing separately the fiber and cement with a ratio of 30 % coconut fibers and 70% cement. 5. Mixing separately the required amount of coconut fiber and excelsior with cement in a blending machine. 6. Mat forming using wooden forming boxes and flat steel cauls lined with polyethylene sheets. Three layers of mat are formed to produce a CFB. The first layer is a mixture of shavings and cement, the second is a mixture of coconut fiber and cement, and the last layer is the same mixture as in the first layer. Viewed In cross-section, the coconut fiber layer is embedded inbetween the excelsior layers. The coconut fiber serves as reinforcement to improve the strength properties of the board. 7. Pressing the mat to the desired thickness-using guide bars, hydraulic press and clamping apparatus. Twenty-five layers of CFB can be pressed at the same time for approximately 10 minutes and then securely clamped or fastened using wooden moulds, bolts and nuts that serve as clamping apparatus. 8. The fastened/clamped CFB is removed from the hydraulic press and another set of 25 layers CFB is again prepared for pressing following steps 7 and 8. About six pressing operations can be attained per day giving a daily output of 150 boards. 9. After 18 to 20 hours under pressure, the boards are removed from the clamping apparatus and properly piled using 25 cm x 25 cm x 60 cm wooden sticks to provide air circulation (filletstacking) during the initial 24-hour air drying and conditioning. 10. Trimming the edges of the boards to the desired dimensions. 11. Fillet-stacking for further drying and conditioning for about one week. Construction of CFB Model House A 2-storey experimental house with a total floor area of 53 square meters was constructed utilizing coconut fiber-cement boards as building materials and component steel as structural framework. The main features of the house include; three (3) bedrooms and a veranda on the upper level and living, dining, cooking areas and toilet and bath on the first level. Since CFB is lightweight material and can easily be handled and transported, the need for special on-site equipment during the construction process was eliminated. CFB components as walls, partitions, roofing, flooring and ceiling were assembled on site and were fixed in metal frame systems using specially devised metal fasteners, such as butterfly connectors, rivets, tie wire or G.I. sheet bands. To minimize cutting of board materials and to reduce wastes, the wall spaces, studs and frames were set in conformity to the actual sizes of the CFBs. The two general types of CFBs used were coconut fiber-coir dust composite panels and the wood excelsior-coir fiber blend with standard mixture of 70% cement and 30% fiber and density range of 600 to 650 kg/cu. m.

Different house components utilized different densities of CFBs. Boards having density of 650kg/cu. m. were used for flooring while CFBs with 600 kg/cu. m. density were used as walls, partitions, roofing and cabinets or furniture components. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION Walling System The walling system was designed to use steel angular bars as studdings and paint-coated coconut fiberboards as wall sheathing materials. To minimize cutting of board materials on site and to reduce wastes, the wall spaces, studs and frames were set in conformity to the actual sizes of the CFBs. Thus, the vertical and horizontal studs were spaced exactly equal to the dimensions of CFB wall panels. Steel angular bars with dimensions, 0.60 cm x 3.80 cm x 3.80 cm ( x 1 x 1 ) were used as vertical and horizontal studs set equally at center to center distance of 56 cm (22 ) apart. They were welded to the 5 cm x 5 cm x 0.6 cm (2 x 2 x ) bottom plates connected to the steel columns, made of 6.25 cm x 6.25 cm joined angular bars, anchored on the solid concrete footing. At the top, the studs were connected to the top beams, which in turn served as the base plate of the second level flooring. These important elements like studs, bottom plates, columns, top plates were interconnected with each other so that the whole house will act as one integral unit strong enough to resist natural forces. a. Wall Panels Installation Two types of metal fasteners were used to hold the board and the studs together. From the interior, the walls were connected to the studs by narrow strips of Gauge 16 galvanized iron plates measuring 10 cm x 60 cm (4 x 24 ). Likewise, the boards were clipped to the vertical studs by short pieces of metal straps (#16 G.I. plate) called butterfly connectors measuring 50cm x 75 cm (2 x 3 ). The CFB wall panels that measure 2.54 cm x 60 cm x 120 cm were installed vertically along its length on the steel frames. They were mounted individually starting from the bottom to the top and progressing from one corner to the other end.

Roofing System The house has A-frame design with the roof system consisting of the traditional rafters and purlins construction. Roof cover is made of 8 mm thick, 75 cm wide, and 75 cm long CFB panels painted with waterproof paints. The rafters consist of 0.6 cm X 5 cm x 5 cm angular steel bars and the purlins made of 0.60 cm x 3.8 cm x 75 cm channel bars. The components were assembled on site by welding the members together. The two opposite rafters were joined together end to end at the ridge beam (0.60 cm x 5 cm x 5 cm angular steel bar) while the other ends were directly connected to the base plate of the second level floor extending to the eaves or overhang of about one (1) meter. The main roof structure was made to incline by about 40% greater than the normal slope of 35 degrees considering that the roof cover is made of experimental fiber-cement boards. This will ensure faster surface water run-off in case of

downpour. The roof inclination was adjusted to about 35 degrees at the ventilators in order to compare the effect of the pitch pattern on the service life of fiberboard roofs. Roof Sheathing Installation Fiberboards pre-cut to dimensions of 75 cm wide x 75 cm long with thickness of 8 mm and density of 600 kg/cu. m. were used as roof sheathing materials. They were coated with an oilbased exterior paint prior to installation to provide them the necessary protection from weathering. The paint used was a highly elastic type of roof paint which has been previously tested to CFB and was found out to be resistant to cracking and peeling and has excellent weather resistance property. The roof boards were mounted individually on top of the steel C- bars purlins set at center-tocenter distance of 40 cm. Using an electric drill, a hole was bored directly on the overlapped edges of two succeeding boards. Starting from the ridge and progressing towards the lower side of the roof gable, the boards were installed by inserting the umbrella tie wire into the hole and then tightly fastened underneath to the steel purlins. Upper-level Flooring System For the second level flooring, the 25 mm thick CFBs were used as formwork, base support and at the same time serves as the ceiling of the first level flooring. The 25 mm thick CFBs were first laid on the 0.6 cm X 5 cm x 5 cm (1/4 x 2 x 2 ) angular steel bars floor joists, which were set equally at center-to-center distance of 40 cm. Reinforcement bars (matted wires) were then set on top of the boards at 20-30 cm center-to-center distance covering the central portion of the boards. Gaps and small openings that can be spotted on the adjoined edges of the formwork were filled up with cement before laying a concrete footing. Finally, a 50 mm thick concrete was poured over the floor area. The top surface was prepared for finishing. Built-In Cabinets and Boxes To show the versatility of coconut fiber-cement boards, they were installed as built-in cabinets or utility boxes inside the house to serve the dual purpose of storage and desk, table or chair. CFB material was used in combination with wood frames and assembled with the use of wooden dowels and screws. The resulting products have attractive finishing characteristics and light in weights making them suitable for small areas where they can be easily moved and rearranged. SUMMARY AND CONCLUSION Initial findings of this study have indicated the vast potential of coconut fiber-cement boards as alternative materials for house and building construction and similar application in cabinets and furniture components. CFB is a versatile construction material and totally impervious to termites, weather and fungus resistant that makes it suitable for many types of applications, foremost of which are the roofing and walling. While the actual performance of the boards in service condition remains to be seen, the CFB may be considered as one of present- day technological development as substitute construction material to improve the traditional construction system for low cost housing, given the technology for manufacture and manual for construction. There are numerous possible variations in the use of the CFB and those presented here are only some of the uses so far identified by the authors. Modifications can be tried considering the inherent properties of the boards.

The use of steel fibers has led to the improvement of the concrete's mechanical properties such as

material toughness in tension and also durability. Effect of Fibers Utilized with Concrete Fiber reinforced concrete is a composite material comprised of Portland cement, aggregate, and fibers. Normal unreinforced concrete is brittle with a low tensile strength and strain capacity. The function of the irregular fibers distributed randomly is to fill the cracks in the composite. Fibers are generally utilized in concrete to manage the plastic shrink cracking and drying shrink cracking. They also lessen the permeability of concrete and therefore reduce the flow of water. Some types of fibers create greater impact, abrasion and shatter resistance in the concrete. Usually fibers do not raise the flexural concrete strength. The quantity of fibers required for a concrete mix is normally determined as a percentage of the total volume of the composite materials. The fibers are bonded to the material, and allow the fiber reinforced concrete to withstand considerable stresses during the post-cracking stage. The actual effort of the fibers is to increase the concrete toughness. Steel Fiber Reinforced Concrete and Applications During recent years, steel fiber reinforced concrete has gradually advanced from a new, rather unproven material to one which has now attained acknowledgment in numerous engineering applications. Lately it has become more frequent to substitute steel reinforcement with steel fiber reinforced concrete. The applications of steel fiber reinforced concrete have been varied and widespread, due to which it is difficult to categorize. The most common applications are tunnel

linings, slabs, and airport pavements. Many types of steel fibers are used for concrete reinforcement. Round fibers are the most common type and their diameter ranges from 0.25 to 0.75 mm. Rectangular steel fibers are usually 0.25 mm thick, although 0.3 to 0.5 mm wires have been used in India. Deformed fibers in the form of a bundle are also used. The main advantage of deformed fibers is their ability to distribute uniformly within the matrix. Fibers are comparatively expensive and this has limited their use to some extent. Properties of Concrete Improved by Steel Fibers

Below are some properties that the use of steel fibers can significantly improve:

Flexural Strength: Flexural bending strength can be increased of up to 3 times more compared to conventional concrete. Fatigue Resistance: Almost 1 1/2 times increase in fatigue strength. Impact Resistance: Greater resistance to damage in case of a heavy impact. Permeability: The material is less porous. Abrasion Resistance: More effective composition against abrasion and spalling. Shrinkage: Shrinkage cracks can be eliminated. Corrosion: Corrosion may affect the material but it will be limited in certain areas.

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Limitations Of Steel Fiber Reinforced Concrete Though steel fiber reinforced concrete has numerous advantages, it has certain concerns that are yet to be resolved completely.

There are complications involved in attaining uniform dispersal of fibers and consistent concrete characteristics. The use of SFRC requires a more precise configuration compared to normal concrete. Another problem is that unless steel fibers are added in adequate quantity, the desired improvements cannot be obtained.

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However, as the quantity of fibers is increased, the workability of the concrete is affected. Therefore, special techniques and concrete mixtures are used for steel fibers. If proper techniques and proportions are not used, the fibers may also cause a finishing problem, with the fibers coming out of the concrete.

Interlocking Compressed Earth Blocks

Interlocking Compressed Earth Blocks (ICEB) are made from laterite soil and cement compressed using a Cinva-Ram type manual press. They are a popular building material in Southeast Asia due to their low cost, accessibility, and pleasing appearance. These blocks are used to make load-bearing walls, eliminating the necessity of pillars and steel reinforcement (unless in an earthquake zone) for support. The interlocking blocks have a male and female component, so they can be laid without mortar, kind of like Lego blocks. The blocks are strong and durable, supporting buildings of two to three stories and lasting over 400 years with a proper foundation and roof overhead. Buildings constructed with the blocks are aesthetically pleasing, and the blocks are thick enough to provide thermal and sound insulation. These blocks are a more sustainable technology than other construction materials of similar purpose. They are made of soil, an easily accessible material, and their use cuts down on the amount of concrete and steel necessary for building construction. Furthermore, theyre an alternative to wood as a building material and fired bricks, which require log burning in their creation. Due to their low cost, these blocks are especially appealing to low-income households in constructing a home.

The factory at the CVBT carries a large stock of these blocks to be purchased. More importantly, the CVBT offers training and equipment so that you can transfer this technology somewhere else for local production. Please refer to the equipment and training tabs to learn more.

Bamboo as an Alternative Building Materials

Bamboo as a local material that has been long known, is still not much public interest. And with touch technology, this material can be made as useful materials such as furniture, handicraft and building components.

In many countries now bamboo has been introduced as a sustainable alternative building materials since cultivation is quite easy and cheap and cropping age shorter than the timber. Moreover, the current price of wood is very expensive and very difficult existence has also been found. Why should the bamboo? Because amid the threat of global warming and the destruction of forests due to uncontrolled logging caused the man must be able to use the natural resources around us are more environmentally friendly. Indeed, for the time being, design and utilization of bamboo as a building material is still quite expensive considering the relative has not been mass-produced bamboo. However, the use of bamboo as a building material can be used as an investment in the future within the next 25 years when the wood is getting a little. During this period the possibility of the existence of bamboo today has been like timber which is used as the primary building material. Besides bamboo is a type of high economic value with several advantages such as its potential a lot because it is easy to grow, its cheap and easy to work. However, it must be admitted, bamboo has a weakness that is vulnerable to the damaging pest of bamboo wood. But, now it can be resolved is by pickling treatment. Distribution of bamboo in the world quite scattered in various countries. Bamboo is a type of plant growth rate fastest in the world and consists of 1500 species worldwide.

Bamboo itself consists of two types namely monopodial bamboo with long, straight stems. Bamboo is grown in areas that have 4 seasons like Japan, China, Latin America etc.. While bamboo simpodial with shorter stems and vines are growing bamboo does not irregular. This bamboo grows in tropical regions such as Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, India, South America, Africa etc. Some species also grow vines on trees around it like a cane. Utilization of bamboo for this still constrained due to the bamboo material is easily cracked due to harvest the wrong (too early harvest age), generally short-lived (5 years for the roof of the house, but can be 100 years old) and need intensive preservation and bamboo are also not easily dried up completely . Types of pests that often interfere with bamboo like fungus / fungi: causing broken bamboo. Given the nature of bamboo that are vulnerable to pests and fungus is required for preservation of bamboo material is durable and strong. Definition of preservation here is the process of entering the chemical / preservative into the bamboo for added durability or more resistant organisms attack destroyer. Preservation itself is meant to increase durability of bamboo thereby extending service life, maintenance costs of buildings can be saved, saving the use of bamboo in particular for the maintenance of the building so that in the long term reduce the negative impact on the environment. Bamboo preservation techniques themselves are quite varied including submersion in water flow, Boucherie method, soaking, diffusion, vacuum press, and Boucherie modifications. For preservative that is used generally in the form of water soluble wood preservative. In essence, bamboo has many advantages as a building material. But the shortage of bamboo is one of the organisms to attack the destroyer so that short-life.


Filed under: advancements in civil, recycled aggregates in concrete by Gaurav Gujar March 30, 2011 S. K. Singh, Scientist, Structural Engineering Division, Central Building Research Institute, Roorkee and P. C. Sharma, Head ( Retd.), Material Sciences, SERC,(G) & Editor, New Building Materials & Construction World, New Delhi, Chairman, Indian Concrete Instt. UP Gaziabad Centre. Leave a comment

One of the major challenges of our present society is the protection of environment. Some of the important elements in this respect are the reduction of the consumption of energy and natural raw materials and consumption of waste materials. These topics are getting considerable attention under sustainable development nowadays. The use of recycled aggregates from construction and demolition wastes is showing prospective application in construction as alternative to primary (natural) aggregates. It conserves natural resources and reduces the space required for the landfill disposal. This paper presents the experimental results of recycled coarse aggregate concrete and results are compared with the natural crushed aggregate concrete. The fine aggregate used in the concrete, i.e. recycled and conventional is 100 percent natural. The recycled aggregate are collected from four sources all demolished structures. For both types of concrete i.e. M-20 and M-25, w/c ratio, maximum size of aggregate and mix proportion are kept constant. The development of compressive strength of recycled aggregate concrete at the age of 1,3,7,14,28, 56, and 90 days; the development of tensile & flexural strength at the age of 1,3,7,14 and static modulus of elasticity at the age of 28 days are investigated. The results show the compressive, tensile and flexural strengths of recycled aggregate are on average 85% to 95% of the natural aggregate concrete. The durability parameters are also investigated for recycled aggregate concrete and are found to be in good agreement with BIS specifications.

Any construction activity requires several materials such as concrete, steel, brick, stone, glass, clay, mud, wood, and so on. However, the cement concrete remains the main construction material used in construction industries. For its suitability and adaptability with respect to the changing environment, the concrete must be such that it can conserve resources, protect the environment, economize and lead to proper utilization of energy. To achieve this, major

emphasis must be laid on the use of wastes and byproducts in cement and concrete used for new constructions. The utilization of recycled aggregate is particularly very promising as 75 per cent of concrete is made of aggregates. In that case, the aggregates considered are slag, power plant wastes, recycled concrete, mining and quarrying wastes, waste glass, incinerator residue, red mud, burnt clay, sawdust, combustor ash and foundry sand. The enormous quantities of demolished concrete are available at various construction sites, which are now posing a serious problem of disposal in urban areas. This can easily be recycled as aggregate and used in concrete. Research & Development activities have been taken up all over the world for proving its feasibility, economic viability and cost effectiveness.

An investigation conducted by the environmental resources ltd. (1979) for European Environmental commission (EEC) envisages that there will be enormous increase in the available quantities of construction and demolition concrete waste from 55 million tons in 1980 to 302 million tons by the year 2020 in the EEC member countries. As a whole, the safety and environment regulations are becoming stringent, demand for improvement in techniques & efficiency of the past demolition methods is getting pronounced. Special rules and regulations concerning the demolition have already been introduced in several countries like U.K., Holland and Japan. The main reasons for increase of volume of demolition concrete / masonry waste are as follows:1. Many old buildings, concrete pavements, bridges and other structures have overcome their age and limit of use due to structural deterioration beyond repairs and need to be demolished; 2. The structures, even adequate to use are under demolition because they are not serving the needs in present scenario; 3. New construction for better economic growth; 4. Structures are turned into debris resulting from natural disasters like earthquake, cyclone and floods etc. 5. Creation of building waste resulting from manmade disaster/war.

In study conducted by authors for RCC buildings, the approximate percentage of various construction materials in demolition waste is presented in Fig. 1. This may vary depending upon the type of structure. In many densely populated countries of Europe, where disposal of debris problem is becoming more and more difficult, the recycling of demolition waste has already been started. As per the survey conducted by European Demolition Association (EDA) in 1992, the several recycling plants were operational in European countries such as 60 in Belgium, 50 in France, 70 in the Netherlands, 120 in United Kingdom, 220 in Germany, 20 in Denmark and 43 in Italy. The recycling of construction & demolition waste becomes easy & economical, wherever combined project involving demolition and new construction are taken up simultaneously. The possible uses of construction and demolition wastes are given in Table 1.

Recycling and Reuse of Construction & Demolition Wastes in Concrete

The recycling and reuse of construction & demolition wastes seems feasible solution in rehabilitation and new constructions after the natural disaster or demolition of old structures. This becomes very important especially for those countries where national and local policies are stringent for disposal of construction and demolition wastes with guidance, penalties, levies etc. A typical lay out plan of recycling plant for construction waste has been shown in Figure. 2. The properties of recycled aggregate concrete obtained by various authors are given in Table2.

International Status

The extensive research on recycled concrete aggregate and recycled aggregate concrete (RAC) as started from year 1945 in various part of the world after second world war, but in a fragmented manner. First effort has been made by Nixon in 1977 who complied all the work on recycled aggregate carried out between 1945-1977 and prepared a state-of-the-art report on it for RILEM technical committee 37-DRC. Nixon concluded that a number of researchers have examined the basic properties of concrete in which the aggregate is the product of crushing another concrete, where other concentrated on old laboratory specimens. However, a comprehensive state-of-theartdocument on the recycled aggregate concrete has been presented by Hansen & others in 1992 in which detailed analysis of data has been made, leading towards preparation of guidelines for production and utilization of recycled aggregate concrete. It has been estimated that approximately 180 million tones of construction & demolition waste are produced each year in European Union. In general, in EU, 500 Kg of construction rubble and demolition waste correspond annually to each citizen. Indicatively 10% of used aggregates in UK are RCA, whereas 78,000 tons of RCA were used in Holland in 1994. The Netherland produces about 14million tons of buildings and demolition wastes per annum in which about 8 million tons are recycled mainly for unbound road base courses.

The 285 million tons of per annum construction waste produced in Germany, out of which 77 million tons are demolition waste. Approximately 70% of it is recycled and reused in new construction work. It has been estimated that approximately 13 million tons of concrete is demolished in France every year whereas in Japan total quantity of concrete debris is in the tune of 10-15 million tons each year. The Hong Kong generates about 20 million tons demolition debris per year and facing serious problem for its disposal. USA is utilizing approximately 2.7 billion tons of aggregate annually out of which 30-40% are used in road works and balance in structural concrete work. A recent report of Federal Highways Administration, USA refers to the relative experience from European data on the subject of concrete and asphalt pavement recycling as given in Table 3.The rapid development in research on the use of RCA for the production of new concrete has also led to the production of concrete of high strength/performance.

Indian Status
There is severe shortage of infrastructural facilities like houses, hospitals, roads etc. in India and large quantities of construction materials for creating these facilities are needed. The planning Commission allocated approximately 50% of capital outlay for infrastructure development in successive 10th & 11th five year plans. Rapid infrastructural development such highways, airports etc. and growing demand for housing has led to scarcity & rise in cost of construction materials. Most of waste materials produced by demolished structures disposed off by dumping them as land fill. Dumping of wastes on land is causing shortage of dumping place in urban areas. Therefore, it is necessary to start recycling and re-use of demolition concrete waste to save environment, cost and energy. Central Pollution Control Board has estimated current quantum of solid waste generation in India to the tune of 48 million tons per annum out of which, waste from construction industry only accounts for more than 25%. Management of such high quantum of waste puts enormous pressure on solid waste management system. In view of significant role of recycled construction material and technology in the development of urban infrastructure, TIFAC has conducted a techno-market survey on Utilization of Waste from Construction Industry targeting housing /building and road segment. The total quantum of waste from construction industry is estimated to be 12 to 14.7 million tons per annum out of which 7-8 million tons are concrete and brick waste. According to findings of survey, 70% of the respondent have given the reason for not adopting recycling of waste from Construction Industry is Not aware of the recycling techniques while remaining 30% have indicated that they are not even aware of recycling possibilities. Further, the user agencies/ industries pointed out that presently, the BIS and other codal provisions do not provide the specifications for use of recycled product in the construction activities. In view of above, there is urgent need to take following measures:y y y y y y y y y

Sensitization/ dissemination/ capacity building towards utilization of construction & demolition waste. Preparation and implementation of techno-legal regime including legislations, guidance, penalties etc. for disposal of building & construction waste. Delineation of dumping areas for pre-selection, treatment, transport of RCA. National level support on research studies on RCA. Preparation of techno-financial regime, financial support for introducing RCA in construction including assistance in transportation, establishing recycling plant etc. Preparation of data base on utilization of RCA. Formulation of guidelines, specifications and codal provisions. Preparation of list of experts available in this field who can provide knowhow and technology on totality basis. Incentives on using recycled aggregate concrete-subsidy or tax exemptions.

Realising the future & national importance of recycled aggregate concrete in construction, SERC, Ghaziabad had taken up a pilot R&D project on Recycling and Reuse of Demolition and Construction Wastes in Concrete for Low Rise and Low Cost Buildings in mid nineties with the aim of developing techniques/ methodologies for use recycled aggregate concrete in construction. The experimental investigations were carried out in Mat Science laboratory and Institutes around Delhi/GBD to evaluate the mechanical properties and durability parameters of recycled aggregate concrete made with recycled coarse aggregate collected from different sources. Also, the suitability in construction of buildings has been studied. The properties of RAC has been established and demonstrated through several experimental and field projects successfully. It has been concluded that RCA can be readily used in construction of low rise buildings, concrete paving blocks & tiles, flooring, retaining walls, approach lanes, sewerage structures, subbase course of pavement, drainage layer in highways, dry lean concrete(DLC) etc. in Indian scenario. Use of RCA will further ensure the sustainable development of society with savings in natural resources, materials and energy.

Experimental Investigations
In the present paper, an endeavor is made so as to compare some of the mechanical properties of recycled aggregate concrete (RAC) with the natural aggregate concrete (NAC). Since the enormous quantity of concrete is available for recycling from demolished concrete structures, field demolished concrete is used in the present study to produce the recycled aggregates. The concrete debris were collected from different (four) sources with the age ranging from 2 to 40 years old and broken into the pieces of approximately 80 mm size with the help of hammer & drilling machine. The foreign matters were sorted out from the pieces. Further, those pieces were crushed in a lab jaw crusher and mechanically sieved through sieve of 4.75 mm to remove the finer particles. The recycled coarse aggregates were washed to remove dirt, dust etc. and collected for use in concrete mix. The fine aggregate were separated out, and used for masonry mortar & lean concrete mixes, which is not part this reported study. But these were found to suit for normal brick masonary mortar and had normal setting and enough strength for masonary work.

Concrete Mixes
The two different mix proportions of characteristic strength of 20 N/ mm2 (M 20) and 25 N/mm2 (M 25) commonly used in construction of low rise buildings are obtained as per IS 10262 1982 or both recycled aggregate concrete and natural aggregate concrete. Due to the higher water absorption capacity of RCA as compared to natural aggregate, both the aggregates are maintained at saturated surface dry (SSD) conditions before mixing operations. The proportions of the ingredients constituting the concrete mixes are 1:1.5:2.9 and 1:1.2:2.4 with water cement ratio 0.50 & 0.45 respectively for M-20 & M-25 grade concrete. The ordinary Portland cement of 43 grade and natural fine aggregates (Haldwani sand) are used throughout the casting work. The maximum size of coarse aggregate used was 20 mm in both recycled and natural aggregate concrete. The total two mixes were cast using natural aggregate and eight mixes were cast using four type of recycled aggregate concrete for M-20 & M-25. The development of compressive strength is monitored by testing the 150-mm cubes at 1, 3, 7, 14, 28, 56 and 90 days. In one set 39 cubes were cast for each mix. The cylinder strength and corresponding strain & modulus of elasticity were measured in standard cylinder of 150300 mm size at the age of 28 days. The prism of size 150x150x700 mm and cylinder of size 150x300mm were cast from the same batches to measure Flexural strength and splitting tensile strength respectively. This paper reports the results of experimental investigations on recycled aggregate concrete.

Properties of Recycled Concrete Aggregate

Particle Size Distribution

The result of sieve analysis carried out as per IS 2386 for different types of crushed recycled concrete aggregate and natural aggregates. It is found that recycled coarse aggregate are reduced to various sizes during the process of crushing and sieving (by a sieve of 4.75mm), which gives best particle size distribution. The amount of fine particles (<4.75mm) after recycling of demolished were in the order of 5-20% depending upon the original grade of demolished concrete. The best quality natural aggregate can obtained by primary, secondary & tertiary crushing whereas the same can be obtained after primary & secondary crushing incase of recycled aggregate. The single crushing process is also effective in the case of recycled aggregate. The particle shape analysis of recycled aggregate indicates similar particle shape of natural aggregate obtained from crushed rock. The recycled aggregate generally meets all the standard requirements of aggregate used in concrete.

Specific Gravity and Water Absorption

The specific gravity (saturated surface dry condition) of recycled concrete aggregate was found from 2.35 to 2.58 which are lower as compared to natural aggregates. Since the RCA from demolished concrete consist of crushed stone aggregate with old mortar adhering to it, the water absorption ranges from 3.05% to 7.40%, which is relatively higher than that of the natural aggregates. The Table 4 gives the details of properties of RCA & natural aggregates. In general, as the water absorption characteristics of recycled aggregates are higher, it is advisable to maintain saturated surface dry (SSD) conditions of aggregate before start of the mixing operations.

Bulk Density
The rodded & loose bulk density of recycled aggregate is lower than that of natural aggregate except recycled aggregate-RCA4, which is obtained from demolished newly constructed culvert. Recycled aggregate had passed through the sieve of 4.75mm due to which voids increased in rodded condition. The lower value of loose bulk density of recycled aggregate may be attributed to its higher porosity than that of natural aggregate.

Crushing and Impact Values

The recycled aggregate is relatively weaker than the natural aggregate against mechanical actions. As per IS 2386, the crushing and impact values for concrete wearing surfaces should not exceed 45% and 50% respectively. The crushing & impact values of recycled aggregate satisfy the BIS specifications except RCA2 type of recycled aggregate for impact value as originally it is low grade rubbles.

Compressive Strength
The average compressive strengths cubes cast are determined as per IS 516 using RCA and natural aggregate at the age 1, 3, 7, 14, 28, 56 and 90 days and reported in Table 5. The table 4 shows that the target cube strength was achieved at 28 days for all types of concrete. As expected, the compressive strength of RAC is lower than the conventional concrete made from similar mix proportions. The reduction in strength of RAC as compare to NAC is in order of 214% and 7.5 to 16% for M-20 & M-25 concretes respectively. The amount of reduction in strength depends on parameters such as grade of demolished concrete, replacement ratio, w/c ratio, processing of recycled aggregate etc.

Splitting Tensile & Flexural Strength

The average splitting tensile and flexural of recycled aggregate are determined at the age 1, 3, 7, 14, & 28 days varies from 0.30 -3.1 MPa and 0.95- 7.2 MPa respectively. The reduction in splitting and flexural strength of RAC as compared to NAC is in order of 5-12% and 4 -15% respectively.

Modulus of Elasticity
The static modulus of elasticity of RAC has been reported in Table 4 and found lower than the AC. The reduction is up to 15% .The reason for the lower static modulus of elasticity of RCA is higher proportion of hardened cement paste. It is well establish that Ec depends on Ec value of coarse aggregate, w/c ratio & cement paste etc. The modulus of elasticity is critical parameter for designing the structures, hence more studies are needed.

The following parameters were studied to assess the influence of recycled aggregates on durability of concrete: Carbonation Freeze-Thaw Resistance


CO2 from the air penetrates into the concrete by diffusion process. The pores (pore size>100nm) in the concrete in which this transport process can take place are therefore particularly crucial for the rate of carbonation. The carbonation tests were carried out for 90 days on the specimens (150x150x150mm) of recycled aggregate concrete and natural aggregate concrete in carbonation chamber with relative humidity of 70% and 20% CO2concentration. The carbonation depths of recycled aggregate concretes for different grade were found from 11.5 to 14mm as compared to 11mm depth for natural aggregate concrete. This increase in the carbonation depth of RAC as compared to NAC, attributed to porous recycled aggregate due to presence of old mortar attached to the crushed stone aggregate.

Freeze-Thaw Resistance
In the freeze-thaw resistance test (cube method), loss of mass of the concrete made with recycled aggregate was found sometimes above and below than that of concrete made with natural aggregate. The results were so close that no difference in freeze thaw resistance (after 100 cycles) could be found. The literature also found that the effect of cement mortar adhering to the original aggregate in RAC may not adversely affect the properties of RAC.

Obstacles in Use of RCA & RAC

The acceptability of recycled aggregate is impeded for structural applications due to the technical problems associated with it such as weak interfacial transition zones between cement paste and

aggregate, porosity and transverse cracks within demolished concrete, high level of sulphate and chloride contents, impurity, cement remains, poor grading, and large variation in quality. Although, it is environmentally & economically beneficial to use RCA in construction, however the current legislation and experience are not adequate to support and encourage recycling of construction & demolished waste in India. Lack of awareness, guidelines, specifications, standards, data base of utilization of RCA in concrete and lack of confidence in engineers, researchers and user agencies is major cause for poor utilization of RCA in construction. If the Govt wishes these obstacles can easily be removed.


Recycling and reuse of building wastes have been found to be an appropriate solution to the problems of dumping hundred of thousands tons of debris accompanied with shortage of natural aggregates. The use of recycled aggregates in concrete prove to be a valuable building materials in technical, environment and economical respect Recycled aggregate posses relatively lower bulk density, crushing and impact values and higher water absorption as compared to natural aggregate. The compressive strength of recycled aggregate concrete is relatively lower up to 15% than natural aggregate concrete. The variation also depends on the original concrete from which the aggregates have been obtained. The durability parameters studied at SERC(G) confirms suitability of RCA & RAC in making durable concrete structures of selected types. There are several reliable applications for using recycled coarse aggregate in construction. However, more research and initiation of pilot project for application of RCA is needed for modifying our design codes, specifications and procedure for use of recycled aggregate concrete. The subject of use of RCA in construction works in India should be given impetus, because of big infrastructural projects are being commissioned including Common Wealth Games in 2010.

1. Hansen, T.C. (1992), Recycling of Demolished Concrete Masonry, Rilem Report No. 6, E&FN Spon, London, Great Britain, pp. 316. 2. Oikonomou,N.D.(2005) Recycled Concrete Aggregates, Cement & Concrete Composites, Vol. 27, pp315-318. 3. Thielen,G.(2004) Concrete Technology Reports 2001- 2003, German Cement Works Association. 4. US Deptt. of Transportation (2000) Recycled Materials in European Highways EnvironmentUses, Technologies and Policies, Int. Technology Exchange Programme. 5. Biojen,J. (1996) Waste Materials and Alternative Products Pro s and Con s Concrete for Environmental enhanced and Protection, E & FN Spon, pp. 587-598. 6. Buchner, S. and Scholten, L.J. (1992). Demolition and Construction Debris Recycling in Europe, European Demolition Association (EDA). 7. Ferguson, J.; Kermode, O.N.; Nash, C.L.; Sketch, W.A.J. and Huxford, R.P. (1995), Managing and Minimising Construction Waste, Institution of Civil Engineers, Thomas, Telford Publications, U.K., pp. 1-60. 8. Gottfredsen, F.R. and Thogerson,F. (1994), Recycling of Concrete in Aggressive Environment, Demolition and Reuse of Concrete and Masonry; Rilem Proceeding 23, E & FN Spon, pp. 309317.

9. Hansen, T.C. (1986) Recycled Aggregate and Recycled Aggregate Concrete, Seocnd state of Art Report, Development 1945 1985, Rilem TC-DRC, Material & Structure, Vol. 19, No. III. pp. 201248. 10. Hendricks, Ch.F. (1996), Recycling and Reuse as a Basis of Sustainable Development in Construction Industry, Concrete for Environment, Enhancement and Protection, E&FN Spon, pp. 43-54. 11. Kikuchi, M. and Yasunaga, A. (1994), The Total Evaluation of Recycled Aggregate and Recycled Concrete Demolition and Reuse of Concrete and Masonry, Rilem Proceedings 23, E&FN Spon, pp. 367-377. 12. Lauritzen, E.K. (1994), Introduction, Disaster Planning, Structural Assessment, Demolition and Recycling, Rilem Report No. 9, E&FN Spon pp.1 10. 13. Mc Laughliu, J. (1993), A Review of the Prospect for Greater Use of Recycled and Secondary Aggregate in Concrete, Concrete, The Concrete Society Journal, Vol. 27, NO. 6,pp. 16-18. 14. Merlet, J.D. and Pimienta, P. (1994), Mechanical and Physico- Chemical Properties of Concrete Produced with Coarse and Fine Recycled Concrete Aggregates, Demolition and Reuse of Concrete and Masonry, Rilem Proceeding 23, E&FN Spon, pp. 343-353. 15. Nikon, P.J. (1986), Recycled Concrete an Aggregate for Concrete a Review, Rilem TC-37, DRC, Materials Structures, Vol. 19, No. 111. 16. Pauw, C.D. (1994), Reuse of Building Materials and Disposal of Structural Waste Material, Disaster Planning, Structural Assessment, Demolition and Recycling, Rilem Report 9, E&FN Spon, pp. 133-159. 17. RILEM TC 121 DRG Recommendation (1994), Specification for Concrete with Recycled Aggregates, Materials and Structure, Vo. 27, No. 173, pp. 557- 559. 18. Singh, S.K., Sharma, P.C., and Nagraj, N. (1997), State-of-Art Report on Recycled Aggregate Concrete, SERC Report, Ghaziabad. 19. Sharma, P.C., Singh, S.K. and Nagraj, N. (1998), Future of Recycled Aggregate Concrete in India, National Seminar on New Materials and Technology in Building Industry, July 24-25, Vigyan Bhawan,New Delhi, pp. IV-197-IV- 205. 20. Singh, S. K. and P. C. Sharma (1998) Recycling and Reuse of Building Waste in Constructions- A Review, All India Seminar on Concrete for Infrastructural Development, Roorkee, pp 317-329. 21. Tavakoli, M. and Soroushian, P. (1996), Strength of Recycled Aggregate Concrete made using Field Demolished Concrete as Aggregate, ACI Materials Journal, Vol. 93, No.2, pp.182-190. 22. Tavakoli, M. and Soroushian, P.(1996), Drying Shrinkage Behavior of Recycled Aggregate Concrete, Concrete International, Vol. 18, No. 11, pp. 58-61. 23. Vyncke, J. Rousseau, E. (1994), Recycling and Construction and Demolition Waste in Belgium : Actual Situation and Future Evaluation, Demolition and Reuse of Concrete & Masonry, Rilem Proceeding 23, E&FN Spon, pp. 57- 69. 24. Yogishita, F. et al. (1994), Behavior of Reinforced Concrete Beams containing Recycled Coarse Aggregate Demolition and Reuse of Concrete & Masonry Rilem Proceeding 23, E&FN Spon, pp. 331-342. 25. Yangani, K., Hisaka, M. and Kasai, Y. (1994), Physical Properties of Recycled Concrete using Recycled Coarse Aggregate made of Construction with Finishing Mater4ials, Demolition and Reuse of Concrete & Masonry, Rilem Proceeding 23, E&FN Spon, pp. 379-390. 26. Sharma, P.C., Nagraj, N.(1999), Recycled Aggregate Concrete and Its Importance in Indian Conditions All India Seminar on Indian Cement Industries : Challenges and Prospects of Cement Chandrapur (Maharashtra) 27. Ramammurthy, K. & Gumaste, K.S.(1998), Properties of Recycled Aggregate Concrete, Indian Concrete Journal, pp. 49-53. 28. Rahal, K. (2007) Mechnical Properties of Concrete with Recycled Coarse Aggregate, Building & Environment,Vol. 42, pp 407-415.

Post-consumer glass represents a major component of solid waste. On the other hand, more than 100 million tons of coal combustion ash are generated in the U.S. annually, of which 60 million tons are fly ash. To deal with these problems, two new materials were developed: glascrete and

ashcrete. They have the potential of being made almost entirely from recycled materials: crushed mix-color waste glass as aggregate and activated fly ash (or portland cement) as cementitious binder. The combination of waste glass with portland cement or with activated fly ash offers an economically viable technology for high-value utilization of the industrial wastes. Disposal of waste tires is another serious environmental problem in the U.S. Two innovative materials were developed for utilization of rubber particles in concrete: rubber modified concrete (RMC) and sulfur rubber concrete (SRC). In RMC, the strength loss of the concrete is minimized, and the toughness of the concrete is enhanced by surface treatment of the rubber particles using coupling agents. In SRC, waste rubber particles are mixed in sulfur concrete, and the partial vulcanization process between the rubber and hot sulfur improves the strength of SRC.

1. Introduction Conversion of three types of solid wastes (i.e., waste glass, fly ash, and rubber particles) into construction materials will be discussed in this paper. But, our focus will be made on the utilization of waste glass and rubber particles as aggregates in concrete. Post-consumer glass represents a major component of solid waste. Current collection methods for glass products are quite limited, therefore, only a small fraction of the solid waste can be recycled directly to the primary marketthe bottling and container industry. The problem is very severe in large metropolitan areas such as New York City, Los Angeles, and Chicago. In New York City, for example, more than 100,000 tons of mixed-color glass is collected annually. This amount does not include the waste glass collected by industrial and commercial companies. On the other hand, the United States generates more than 100 million tons of coal combustion ash annually, of which 60 million tons are fly ash. Only about 27% of the fly ash produced is reused or recycled, and the rest is land filled. Two new materials, called glascrete and ashcrete were developed to solve the problems. Glascrete has attractive appearance due to the smooth and colorful glass aggregates, which makes it suitable for various architectural and decorative applications. Ashcrete has high strength and very high early strength, which make it unique for applications in precast concrete industry. The literature review shows that in the waste glass market there are more than 70 potential secondary uses of glass [1, 2, 3]. The most important ones are glasphalt, fiberglass, clean fill, and drainage. There are some advantages for using mixed color glass aggregate in concrete, especially for some architectural applications. However, being a reactive material, when glass aggregates are added into portland cement concrete, they inevitably result in a long-term durability problem, called alkali-silica reaction (ASR). The product of ASR is called ASR gel, which swells with the absorption of moisture. Sometimes the generated pressure due to ASR gel is sufficient to induce the development and propagation of fractures in concrete. Therefore, the major problem that we need to solve for utilization of glass aggregate in portland cement concrete is how to reduce the long-term damage of concrete due to ASR expansion. Waste tires are another major environmental problem for many metropolitan areas in the U.S. There are more than 242 million scrap tires, approximately one tire per person, generated each year in the U.S. The steady stream of scrap tires, plus 2-3 billion waste tires that have already accumulated in stockpiles and uncontrolled tire dumps, have created a significant disposal problem. In the state of Colorado, more than 2 million waste tires generated per year. It is one of the long-term goals for many state governments to develop more effective uses and markets for the large quantities of waste tires.

Some researchers have tried to use recycled rubber particles as aggregates in portland cement concrete [4, 5, 6, 7, 8]. The advantages of the rubber modified concrete (RMC) can be summarized as (1) The toughness and ductility of RMC are usually higher than that of regular concrete, which makes it suitable for many applications; (2) The density of RMC is lower than the density of regular concrete; and (3) Comparing with other recycling methods, such as using waste tires as fuel in cement plants, RMC makes a fully use of the high energy absorption feature of the rubber particles. The disadvantages of RMC are (1) the strength of RMC is usually lower than the strength of regular concrete; and (2) The durability of RMC is not well understood. In the following sections, we will introduce most recent research results obtained by several research groups in the United States. 2. Glascrete: Portland Cement Concrete with Waste Glass as Aggregates The partial replacement of natural aggregate by waste glass in portland cement concrete was studied by Meyer and his co-workers [9, 10]. As mentioned earlier, the main problem to be confronted here is the ASR expansion. The research showed that there are several approaches that can effectively control the expansion of ASR due to glass aggregate, in addition to the conventional approaches used to minimize ASR expansion of regular portland cement concrete, such as using silica fume and various additives. First, the particle size of glass aggregate was found to have a major influence on ASR expansion. Since the ASR reaction is clearly a surface-area dependent phenomenon, one would expect the ASR associated expansion to increase monotonically with aggregate fineness. However, there exists a size of the aggregate at which the maximum expansion occurs. This is called pessimum size. For regular soda lime glass, the pessimum size is about #16 or #30 mesh size. For aggregate finer than the pessimum size, the ASR expansion decreases with further decrease in particle size. In fact, when waste glass was ground to mesh size #50 or finer, no expansion of the glascrete mortar bars was observed. This means that the ASR expansion increases with increasing fineness of glass particles up to a certain point, and then decreases afterwards [11, 12]. The practical implication of this finding is that waste glass, ground to at least mesh size #100, is not likely to cause unacceptable expansion due to ASR. Types of glass were found to have a significant effect on the ASR expansion. Various types of glass aggregate were tested including soda-lime glass (used in most beverage containers), Pyrex glass, and fused silica. The maximum expansions of mortar bars made with different glass aggregate types differ by almost one order of magnitude. Window glass, plate glass, and windshield glass were found to cause negligible ASR expansion in the ASTM C1260 test. Colors of glass are also important for ASR expansion. Clear glass (the most common kind in waste glass) was found to be most reactive, followed by amber (brown) glass. Green glass did not cause any expansion. Depending on the size of glass particle, green glass of fine particles can reduce the expansion. This implies that finely ground green glass has the potential for an inexpensive ASR suppressant. The green color comes from added Cr2O3 in the glass. However, when chromium oxide is added directly into the concrete mix, the ASR expansion of the concrete is not reduced. So, the ASR suppressing mechanisms of Cr2O3 in green glass needs to be further studied. 3. Ashcrete: Activated Fly Ash with Glass Aggregates The glass aggregates were also used in a relatively new cementitious material, called ashcrete, or chemically activated fly ash (CAFA), or water-glass activated fly ash (WAFA) [13, 14, 15, 16]. It is a low-cost and environmentally friendly cementitious material and has great potential for various applications in construction, especially for precast concrete. Ashcrete consists of activation chemicals, Class-F fly ash, coarse and fine aggregates without any portland cement.


jump to: systems and materials| applications | bio-climatic design | refrences


Once again, Nature has flexed her muscles and hundreds of thousands are displaces and homeless. These people are now facing the huge tasks of dealing with their loss and rebuilding their lives from the sand up. The process of rebuilding that has started is a very sensitive and complex one. Millions of dollars of aid are coming in and several relief organizations are stepping up to help the rebuild process. This project is designed to maximize the amount of aid given by exploring sustainable, alternative building technologies, while looking at traditional Indonesian building methods and customs. Rebuilding sustainably will help protect the already stressed environment and possibly create a more comfortable living environment. Completely modern prototypes will be presented while some prototypes modifying traditional housing types with alternative methods and materials will be explored. Also, several technologies are presented in a manor in which they can be applied to several building types and sites. For example, if a village still wanted to build in the traditional style, some of these new technologies could be applied to that building or if a set of modular housing units were built by a relief organization the technologies could also apply to these buildings. The first section of this project reports alternative building material and systems that are applicable to Indonesia, where as the second part explores the application of these technologies and materials at different scales and sites.

Systems and Materials jump to: modular contained earth (earthbag) |earth-rammed tires |bamboo |

Modular Contain Earth (Earthbag)

Earthbag is a method of construction using plastic or textile casings (earthbags) packed with soil, and sometimes sand, gravel and cementitious materials. It has grown in popularity as a natural alternative building method primarily in the United Sates. It can be used to construct foundations, walls, and domed structures. Earthbag is one of the most inexpensive building methods, and is very valuable to areas that are prone to flooding, hurricanes, wildfires or areas with no wood or clay. Earthbag construction technique requires few skills, and if faster than other earth building methods. Few tools other than a shovel is necessary those can usually can be hand made. Architect Nader Khalili at Cal Earth in Hesperia has explored the use of earthbag construction both as residential houses and emergency shelters. Through his work and the work of students at the California Institute of Earth Art and Architecture, this technology is proven to be a viable solution for rebuilding communities after a war or major disaster. Earthbag construction is a very promising option for the rebuild in the Aceh area. For both temporary and permanent solutions. Emergency shelters made from sandbags and barbwire can be constructed in a few hours and have been proven to last for three winters. As a permanent solution, earthbag dome structure could be built that would be covered in cement or lime plaster. In the Aceh region, all of the other materials except for the bags can be found locally.

emergency shelter

domed home

vaulted interior vaulted home

*Eathbag images coutesy of calearth.org construction materials


Two types of bags are available: Hessian (burlap) or polypropylene. The polypropylene bags are

the only sutable for the area of Indonesia because of the high levels of sand in the soil. The weaker the fill material, the stonger the bag must be. If only dry sand is used as a fill, the bag must be made of a non-degradable material that is strong enough to with stand dead and live loads.
polypropylene Polypropylene bags are made of woven plastic. Polypropylene bags will deteriorate if exposed to (UV) rays. Steps should be made to protect the bags from sunlight both before and after construction. UV resistant bags are also available, however more expensive. In the United States, manufacturers sell the polypropylene bags for around 22 cents per year plus delivery. The sacks are available in a variety of widths. reused bags Recycled seed or feed sacks made of polypropylene can be obtained from factories or stores that bag these products. The bags can be sewn together to increase the length. fill A typical adobe mix of sand and clay soil is ideal for earthbag construction. A mixture of sand and lime or lime-rich coral sand that would be common in these regions is also sufficient. All organic matter, rocks, and sticks should be sifted out of the soil. Any material that degrades that is left in the bags could create pockets, weakening the structure. Also remove all topsoil and only use the substrate and fill material. After the fill material is sifted and lime or coral sand is add the bags can be filled. The fill can be used either wet or dry however when using lime the fill should be moist so that the material sets for structural support. The perfect moisture content is tested by grabing a hand full of the fill and sqeezing it. It should hold its shape but not feel wet. other materials 4-point barbed wire is laid between courses to keep the bags from slipping. As a rule of thumb, if the bag is less than 12 inches wide, only one row is needed. Two or more rows of barbed wire may be required for rows wider than 16 inches.

tools The most important tool in earthbag construction is a shovel. Shovels are used to excavate the fill material, and fill the bags. Wheelbarrows are needed to transport the fill material and can be used to mix up the cement or lime into the soil mix. Coffee cans are useful to fill the bags. Cans or sturdy cardboard tubes are good for keeping the ends of the bags open as they are filled. Soil tampers are needed to compact the bags. Filling a plastic container with concrete and inserting a stick into it can make a tamper. The tamper should cure for two weeks before use. Heavy flat stones or bricks can be used. A hoe is helpful when mixing stabilizers like cement. A blade/scissors for cutting the bags, a level, tape measure, barbwire cutters, gloves, a trowel, and water hose and water bucks for carrying water are also needed. Forms for vaults, domes and arches are needed if creating any of these shapes. The forms can be made from metal or plywood. Bamboo plywood would also work well and these forms can be used over and over again.


Earth-Rammed Tires

There are probably hundreds if not hundreds of thousands of tires that are amongst the debris from the tsunami. These tires which would normally be considered garbage could be used to create new homes. The U module is the most commonly and efficient shape for earth-rammed tire construction. U modules should not be created larger than 18 feet wide and 26 feet deep. Structures larger than this should be made form several modules or another design. Other designs using many different shapes have also been built to best adapt to the climate. Also earth-rammed tire walls should not exceed 10 feet because of their massiveness.

U-module home

Earthship home


cylinder home

construction materials


The automobile tires can be used as found. No modification to the tires is necessary.
fill The fill for the rammed earth should consist of a mix of sand, clay and 10 percent portland cement. The fill should be moist so that the cement can set up. The moisture content is tested by grabing a hand full of the fill and sqeezing it. It should hold its shape but not feel wet. tools Wheelbarrows for hauling the fill, sledge hammers for compacting the earth inside the tires, and a level are all needed materials. Other helpful materials are; tampers as shown above, hoes for mixing fill, and used cans to fill the gaps in the tire walls.



Bamboo has rapidly become a popular building material, proving to be a much more sustainable alternative to wood, it is valued for its strength and lightness. In comparison to the rigidity of steel or concrete, bamboo's high flexibility is well suited for earthquake prone areas. In Indonesia, it has proved to sustain storm and earthquake damage, however, its strength can be compromised with contact with wet soil and termites. It is a relatively strong material with a hard, clean surface, and can be easily cut with simple tools. Bamboo growth is fairly rapid, and is found throughout this region, making it an inexpensive alternative to timber, and can also be grown as a crop plant. Although bamboo is abundant in Sumatra, it is less so in the Aceh Province.

wall treatments





construction materials


Many different species of bamboo are available. From grass like species used for woven materials to bamboo poles that are 10 inches in diameter.
tools Tools for bamboo construction is much the same as traditional wood construction. Drills for drillings holes for joints and saws for cutting the bamboo are the most necessary. Manual and power tools both work well however power tools have become much more efficient.

strength comparison

Material Concrete Steel Wood Bamboo

Stress 8 N/mm2 160 N/mm2 7.5 N/mm2 10 N/mm2

Mass per Volume 2400 7800 600 600

Ratio 0.003 0.020 0.013 0.017

Source: Elizabeth & Adams. Alternative Construction:Contemporary Natural Building Methods



jump to: equatorial house design | prototypes |

Basic Essentials of the Equatorial House site choice
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Orient house toward the prevailing wind and not the sun The wind will help cool the house by cross-ventilation. Shaded valley are generally much cooler and protected. Locating house under a grove of palms or overshaded by trees can induce ventilation. The trees should be permeable to wind the house level, prune the trees up if needed. Build on the highest ground if possible to help protect residence from tsunamis. Build on stable soil that will resist mudflow in heavy rain and liquefaction caused by earthquakes.

house design
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Walls should be white or reflective, and shaded by wide eaves and palms or other trees. Wall materials should be light and permeable to wind if possible. Natural woven fibers or mosquito screens. Heat systems like cook stoves or hot water heaters should be detached from the main house as outdoor kitchens. Vertical louvres and window shutters should be used to allow for cross-ventilation.


earthbag variations eco-dome

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Built from local earth-filled Superadobe coils (soil-cement or lime-stabilized earth). Tree free. Maximum use of space through alternative options. The main dome and four niches, depending on local code approval, can function as: a) main living room, entrance hall, kitchen, bathroom, bedroom (called "bed-womb" because of it's small, organic form!) b) living room, entrance hall, and three bed-rooms. c) living room, entrance hall, two bedrooms, and a bathroom. Self-contained single unit Can be repeated and joined together to form larger homes and courtyard houses. Can be built by a team of 3-5 persons. Designed with the sun, shade and wind in mind for passive cooling and heating. Wind-scoop can be combined with a rated furnace unit, depending on local code approval. Interior furniture can be built-in with same material.

earthbag foundation home

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Earthbag creates strong foundation that allows floodwaters to pass through. Also foundation would move like a boat during an earthquake and resist structural failure. Above living quarters could be created in a traditional manner. Bamboo and other materials could create the living quarters. Upper story could be modular and could be easily disassembled and reassembled. People could reuse the earthbag foundation like they traditionally used wooded stilts of traditional homes.


Bio-climatic design cross-ventilation for houses

Vented ceiling slopes allow hot room air to escape, and cool trellis air to enter. (Figure Source: Permaculter A Designer's Manual by Bill Mollison.) The key to successful cross-ventilation are that the air that is flowing need to be able to follow a simple path (no corners), and that large vents are used that allow for a lot of air to pass through. cool air from shadehouse and buried pipe.

A 0.5 x 0.5 m tunnel 1 m deep and 20 m long sloping to the outside intake to de-humidify and cool the air, with a solar chimney to draw air through the house. (Figure Source: Permaculter A Designer's Manual by Bill Mollison.) Metal chimneys or a hot roof (a roof that is unventilated) are the best cooling systems in a tropical house. The metal chimneys or hot roof draws in cool air from underground pipes. Being underground the earth cools the air that is in the pipes. The air that is drawn in from the pipes is more dense so it naturally sinks to the lowest level of the house but a fan can move the cool air throughout the room of the house. The cool air pipe needs to be buried at least 1 meter, and should be 15-20 meters long. The pipe should be laid at an angle that slopes away from the dwelling to allow for the condensation that develops to drain away from the house. The Outlets of the pipe should be covered with screen to keep animals out. A shade house which is a trellis covered with vegetation can also be a good for creating cool air that could be utilized by creating vents in the exterior wall of the structure and at the eaves of the roof.

Designing a house with large over-hanging eaves, shades the house and also brings rain water from the roof farther away from the house.



Elizabeth, Lynne, and Cassandra Adams. Alternative Construction: Contemporary Natural Building Methods. (New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 2000). Mollison, Bill. Permaculture: A Designers Manual. Second Edition (Tasmania: Tagari Publications, 1988). California Institute of Earth Art & Architecture. 25 Feb. 2005. http://www.calearth.org

To capture CO2, just add calcium silicate

Dr Paula Carey of UK start up Carbon 8 Systems explains how an innovative new carbon capture technology built around a simple chemical process has the potential to cut carbon emissions from waste incinerators and save businesses money
By James Murray 29 Jan 2008 Be the first to comment
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BusinessGreen: Carbon 8 Systems claims to have found a way to permanently capture and store carbon emissions whilst treating hazardous waste ash. How does this work? Dr Paula Carey: It's actually a very simple process called carbonation. Industrial waste, such as the ash you get from municipal incinerators, contains calcium silicates which react vigorously with CO2 to produce calcium carbonate, or limestone as it is more commonly known. This process occurs naturally but because of the relatively low concentrations of CO2 in the air the reaction can takes years. We've developed a process based around the mixture of calcium silicates, water and the right concentration of CO2 that speeds the reaction up so it takes about 15 minutes. We have some patent coverage for the process and are working to commercialise the technology.

How do you see this process being applied practically? The most obvious application is for incinerators where you are producing CO2 from the chimney while also producing the ash you need to capture much of that CO2. Applying the technology to an incinerator means you would not only cut carbon emissions, the process would also treat the waste ash and make it less hazardous and the net result is limestone which can be reused as aggregate for the construction industry. How big a reduction in carbon emissions could this technology deliver? We estimate that 70,000 tonnes of ash would absorb between 10,000 and 20,000 tonnes of CO2. Beyond that the only constraint on how widely you could apply the technology would be the availability of the ash and the demand for the aggregate. What is the business case for incinerator operators and waste management firms to use the technology? By treating the hazardous ash at the same location as it is created you can save a huge amount in transport and treatment costs. On top of that you can sell the aggregate that is created as the end product for 20 to 30 a tonne. From Carbon 8's perspective we can envisage a business model where we are paid to take the ash off an incinerator's hands, generate carbon credits by capturing the CO2 and then sell on the aggregate. How close is the company to commercialising the technology? The biggest challenge is capturing the CO2 from the chimney, though carbon capture systems for doing that are absolutely feasible and we are working on developing the technology. When it comes to using the process to just treat the hazardous ash we can simply use bottled CO2 and we had a field trial last week using that process, following up on trials that we did several years ago. We are also working with a waste company to get a full pilot using bottled CO2 up and running in the next two to three months. Realistically how big an impact could this technology have on UK carbon emissions? We are talking about saving millions of tonnes rather than tens of millions of tonnes due to the limitations in terms of availability of ash and demand for the end product. But the potential application of the technology is still huge. It would be expensive retrofitting any system to existing incinerators, but we are going to see more incinerators built and we are already talking to waste firms about this technology being included in their designs. Could it also be applied to biomass energy plants as well as incinerators? Absolutely. What we are looking at is a genuinely carbon negative process. If you consider the advantage of biomass projects are that they are carbon neutral as emitted carbon had been absorbed as the biofuel grew then adding a technology that captures the CO2 when it is emitted and takes it permanently out of circulation is a carbon negative process.