So, if you know anything about Wofati and Oehler structures they follow one rule; "Work with what you have"
If someone has easy access to steel beams instead of wood, use that as posts. If one has easy access to billboard plastic, use that. If one has easy access to flat land, build on that. Well I found several huge roles of woven polypropylene highway fabric. (note polypropylene it is not the same as polyethylene but a very similar substance) I am sure you have seen this stuff somewhere at some point. They use it under the road when pouring pavement, When I saw it, and saw that it was abandoned after they used several roles to make a roadway, I was ecstatic because buying polyethylene sheets is definitely not the cheapest part of the job. However upon further investigation I found that it was different in some ways, and most importantly it is WOVEN. so if you hold it up to the light you can see the light escaping through, and of course when you pour water on it the water can seep through. The main reason we use poly sheets is as a sort of water barrier. so I wanted to ask you guys about this situation and see what you think. Is there any way I can use these sheets in construction? Heck, is there any way I can use them if I cover them in some sort of paint? What do you think of this situation? or am I just better off buying polyethylene sheets?
The main feature of this material is that it is strong, while polyethylene's main feature is that it is waterproof. Maybe you could combine them and either back up the plastic with the fabric, or put the fabric over the plastic... whichever will give more protection from puncture in your particular situation.
The takeaway here is that the highway fabric is tough, but NOT waterproof while the sheets are waterproof, but NOT tough unless you buy 10 or even 20 mil or higher that's used for pond and landfill construction. The trick is to find proper plastic sheets that aren't going to cost you an arm or kidney to have shipped depending on the size of your house.
Have you (or anyone) found a local cost effective supplier of the polypropylene sheets/blankets? I've found some good pricing just hunting online, but freight (trucking) is going to be too expensive for where I live in relation to the seller!
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