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Car windscreens as end walls

 
Garry Hoddinott
Posts: 75
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As an admirer of mike oehler's sun sink on the up hill side approach and a dedicated cheapskate builder, I'm thinking seriously of using car windscreens, obtainable free from local wreckers, as a window wall on both ends of a tunnel type structure.

I'm sure someone has worked with these before, and I'd like to learn from their experience. My current plan is to use ferro cement to create the wall structures to hold the windscreens and silicone them in place. I'm not thinking they will be load bearing, I'm planning on columns using a sculptural effect of painted pvc pipe formations filled with concrete.

I'm not too concerned with the heat loss / gain from so much glass - I want the light, the shape of the light and coloured cement to of the ferro to add funkiness to the building. In this most temperate of regions in Australia we have warmish summers and just a touch of coolth in winter ... probably not enough chill factor to set most stone fruit. The reasons for below grade and sod roof, are to disguise building activity on the property as I am doing without the approval both God and Local Council .... (one and the same!) The earth sheltering and earth roof should modify the temperature just enough to make it perfect for most of the year.

If your interested ... Basically a rectangular form 4m wide 9 metres long with humanure loo & shower set in the sun sink. They will be open structures (I'm a closet exhibitionist hehe). The earth will not abut the walls ... there will be a gap of still air. For poles, I'd love to use the plentiful timber on the 200 acres here but since termites are a major headache I look like having to go with some sort of column and fill approach. Currently considering brick or DIY pre-cast concrete columns with beer bottles (butt end inwards) set in mud / mortar between as infill. As a disincentive to termites (white ants) I'll use what we call ant capping as a physical barrier high up on the 1.8m side walls. Ant capping is nothing more than galvanised sheeting the thickness of the wall with a 45' down turned edge on the outer side of the building. Some use copper or stainless sheeting but gal is fine here. Maybe you'd call it flashing.

A couple of other bits .... as foundation I'm using an above grade concrete beam. The tops of the side walls will be finished with 1.5litre square sided re-used plastic water bottles filled with coloured water (inkjet inks are great for this and colour seems to hold in suspension. These will siliconed together with black Sika (brand name incredibly strong stuff) and set in painted styrofoam. Styrofoam so termites are not interested, as insulation, and to enable them to be slid out for cleaning and shaking in case the colour settles out. The bottles will let some light in and be a decorative effect, (what do you think about a string of little LED's like xmas lights - behind the bottles ... hehe something cute at night!) The roof will come down to about 2 feet (50cm) above the ground allowing space for light under, and for inspection of the termite barrier

Roof
Boron / borax (borate in glycol solution) will be used to protect the timber ridge pole, top plate poles and rafters and treated with sealant also as suggested by borate supplier. On top of the rafters is 1" diameter bamboo, separated by 6" strips of 1" styrofoam. The bamboo / painted styrofoam should make for a good looking ceiling with the bamboo running perpendicular to the pole rafters. On top of this is re-used (free) roofing iron, on it is cardboard to protect the plastic second layer of water protection. Over the plastic I'm placing ladders of wired up 1" diameter branches. This is to hold the earth and sod from sliding off the roof and to soak up a little water a bit like hugelkutur does. When I told my son I was thinking of putting strawberries on the roof he said a Straw Buried house sounded about right.

I'm looking for input - so please comment.

Garry
 
Lacy VanCam
Posts: 42
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Have you tried this? Does it work? I think it is a great idea! please post your results.
 
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