Your critique of this method is that it has to import materials, like the Portland cement, conduit and plastic for rigging the form, and maybe even straw from a nearby agricultural source?
Sure, we could achieve much of the same effect with hand-cobbing, but it would be much, much slower, and likely use more material than is actually needed as the structure is cobbed course by course. I also like the structural honeycomb concept.
When I compare it to less "faddish" methods, what do I see?
It is more insulative than earthbag construction, which is better for a mid-continental climate.
With an integrated roof, it reduces complexities involved with securing a roof in post & beam construction. Post & Beam also suffers from insulation issues at the posts (no matter how insulative the in-fill is, the posts are still wood, earth, or cement).
A lot of the less faddish, vernacular design methods use a "plastered light clay" in-fill in their post/beam construction. By making the "plaster" a vapor-transmissive fibercrete, it can become structural, rather than in an in-fill only option, or not?
I am well-aware that an integrated roof/dome would need to have some sort of weather-proof shell. That was my biggest complaint about that site's model. It would either require a different kind of cement on the exterior, or some sort of coating. The best weather-proofing coatings are industrial/chemical. I asked in another thread about some natural alternatives to this, but I'm doubtful.
I think I understand the concept you're describing for Missouri. I had the thought that the traditional post-beam w/ in-fill is not so great, because the posts themselves would be heat conductors. If they are integral to the wall system, then they compromise the insulation.
I figure-- if you need to have good "hat and boots" to protect the in-fill material from the weather, and are best off with deep eaves, why not build the posts out at the perimeter of the eaves?
This could be screened/glazed or left open. The important thing is that the exterior walls of the living space are not structural...
Would there be no way of effectively creating a 4-season cabin?
These could be arranged in little housing clusters, but we'd LOVE to be able to connect them all together in such a way that you could walk from building to building in slippers and bath-robe, even in Winter.
Kevin EarthSoul wrote:I just found this site:
He proposes an interesting building method. I'm posting it here, because it most resembles cob construction.
Essentially, he's creating a monolithic dome using light clay insulation, sandwiched between two layers of fibercrete, and reinforced with a fibercrete honeycomb structure.
He's doing this over a partially rigid, partially inflated form that can be disassembled and reused.
The biggest thing I see missing in his documentation is a water-proofing material on the outside. With ~12" of light clay and maybe 1" of fibercrete on both ends, it should be about R-20 on the walls and roof. The hexagonal or square dome design he proposes should be pretty strong and energy-efficient, as well. I like the arches that create flat walls that can be connected to additional units, as well.
Thoughts on this?