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Monolithic Dome

 
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timby wrote:
So what's your point. We can't make everything out of earthbags, hemp, cob? Also, check your figures on what is expelled into the air for one volcano eruption. I've stated in other forums, if man quit pollution all together for an entire year, that one eruption would create more pollution and would wipe out the gains.


Comparing a natural occurrence and poisoning the environment on purpose is a huge difference. 
 
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thanks, this one is 14' it about wore me out making the adobe/cob, hoping i got a mixer figured out to make it easier to build,, i heated with woodstove
firstleg-206.jpg
[Thumbnail for firstleg-206.jpg]
 
Dave Bennett
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Having never built with cob I can only imagine but I may be building something similar though.  If I move back to upstate NY the place where I am moving is about 50 acres of gray clay.  I will know more in a couple of weeks.
 
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timby wrote:
Also, check your figures on what is expelled into the air for one volcano eruption. I've stated in other forums, if man quit pollution all together for an entire year, that one eruption would create more pollution and would wipe out the gains.


All of earth's volcanoes emit less than 1% of human-based CO2 annually.

For example, in 2008 humans emitted about 36 billion metric tons of CO2. In that same year, the highest estimates for all volcanoes combined (submarine volcanoes included) were just 270 million metric tons (Gerlach, 2010).

Even the European airline industry emits more CO2 than a volcano blast:
http://www.informationisbeautiful.net/2010/planes-or-volcano/

 
                      
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velacreations wrote:
All of earth's volcanoes emit less than 1% of human-based CO2 annually.

For example, in 2008 humans emitted about 36 billion metric tons of CO2. In that same year, the highest estimates for all volcanoes combined (submarine volcanoes included) were just 270 million metric tons (Gerlach, 2010).

Even the European airline industry emits more CO2 than a volcano blast:
http://www.informationisbeautiful.net/2010/planes-or-volcano/




Beside particulate (ash and other particles), volcanoes can release enormous quantities of gases, including the following pollutants:
H2O water vapor
CO2 carbon dioxide
SO2 sulfur dioxide
H2S hydrogen sulfide
CO carbon monoxide
HCl hydrogen chloride
HF hydrogen flouride
 
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I don't think the comparison between volcanic eruptions and human pollution is of much consequence. Volcanos are not a factor we have control of, and human pollution is. So logically we shouldn't worry about the stuff that comes out of volcanos. I'm also confident that we can find less polluting ways to make substances such as concrete. Also, it seems clear that earth's natural systems can deal with volcanic eruptions, as they have for billions of years. Whether human pollution is the pebble that starts the avalanche or a giant boulder merely determines how much work we have to do to fix it, not whether or not it is an issue.
 
Abe Connally
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timby wrote:
Beside particulate (ash and other particles), volcanoes can release enormous quantities of gases, including the following pollutants:
H2O water vapor
CO2 carbon dioxide
SO2 sulfur dioxide
H2S hydrogen sulfide
CO carbon monoxide
HCl hydrogen chloride
HF hydrogen flouride



Even so, it is a fraction (less than 1%) of human-based pollution. "H2O water vapor" is not considered a pollutant.

We can actually replace a significant amount of concrete with geopolymers, that don't require the significant heating requirements as Portland Cement (reduced energy and emissions).  There are geopolymer skyscrapers, like the pyramids. Geopolymer highways and runways exist, and perform well.  Many geopolymers outperform concrete on strength and longevity.

But, this discussion comes back to what is appropriate for homes, for owner-builders. We're not building the Golden Gate Bridge.  Most of us aren't constructing 50 story skyscrapers on our homesteads. We're building homes, sheds, barns, etc.  We need to consider what is appropriate for those uses.

If cost and impact are considerations, then concrete alternatives should be explored.  Many suitable alternatives exist that significantly reduce cost and environmental impact (adobe, cob, earthbags, CEBs, rammed earth, etc).

 
Dave Bennett
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timby wrote:
I'm not against alternative building methods or materials. Again, you guys keep missing the point. It would be nice to build a new home with better greener materials however,in most cases that's impossible. That's the point. Steel requires a lot of resources and causes pollution. Wood does the same. The point is that we have to accept these losses and try to do the best we can. However, we can't crucify folks for utilizing what is readily available until other systems become more main stream and less costly.


"However, we can't crucify folks for utilizing what is readily available until other systems become more main stream and less costly."

That is the point they are available these days and at a comparable cost. 
 
                      
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Dave Bennett wrote:
"However, we can't crucify folks for utilizing what is readily available until other systems become more main stream and less costly."

That is the point they are available these days and at a comparable cost. 



Again, if they were main stream I could go to my local Home store supply and get them. I can't. So that is the point. Yes, if I make considerable efforts I can find some of these materials. However, It's hard to find anyone that is using them and understands how to best apply the material.
 
Abe Connally
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However, It's hard to find anyone that is using them and understands how to best apply the material.


This forum, and many others like it are full of people building with alternative materials. It's not hard to find folks building with the greener materials. Those materials are ready available for the majority of the world, as the majority uses "alternative" (earthern) forms of construction.

Many of these alternatives are cheaper than stick frame or concrete houses.  I've built 2 such homes myself, and both came in less than $10/sf, and they are designed to last for centuries.

Folks can choose the alternative that best suits their climate and materials available.  On one of my homes, we used rock and adobe, both of which were found within 100 feet of the construction site.  On the other, we used a variety of materials, including rocks, ferrocement, earthbags, CEBs, and acrylic cement.

The point here is that for true cost savings, use materials you have on hand.  Those materials are also often very environmental friendly.
 
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timby wrote:
Again, if they were main stream I could go to my local Home store supply and get them. I can't. So that is the point. Yes, if I make considerable efforts I can find some of these materials. However, It's hard to find anyone that is using them and understands how to best apply the material.



While that may be the point for you, it's certainly not the point for me at all.  The point for me is to make the additional efforts necessary to find materials that are more ecologically (and hopefully economically) sound than what I can find in the builders' supply.  If I have to call or ask around a bit to find somebody in my area to deliver a load of road base to my site, so what?  It will still be miles less polluting than a comparable load of portland cement based concrete, and almost certainly less expensive to boot.  If I were to limit my selection of building materials to what I could find at the local home supply store, I would have pretty much zero need (or likely desire) to read a green building message board on a permaculture forum.   

Doug
 
                      
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elsyr wrote:
While that may be the point for you, it's certainly not the point for me at all.  The point for me is to make the additional efforts necessary to find materials that are more ecologically (and hopefully economically) sound than what I can find in the builders' supply.  If I have to call or ask around a bit to find somebody in my area to deliver a load of road base to my site, so what?  It will still be miles less polluting than a comparable load of portland cement based concrete, and almost certainly less expensive to boot.  If I were to limit my selection of building materials to what I could find at the local home supply store, I would have pretty much zero need (or likely desire) to read a green building message board on a permaculture forum.   

Doug



Agreed.....

If one had the time and determination, they could dumpster dive and gain most of their building materials. Also, if I wait long enough maybe some of these newer systems may become mainstream. However, I find the main thing that drives the building industry is cost/bottom line and not green. Also, many have a different vision of what green is. So many are not on the same page when it comes to the term "GREEN".

A few years back there was a local builder touting green homes. They claimed they could build the same home for a little more than the conventional stick built non-custom home. Well what they claimed as green housing wasn't necessarily what others would call green. Even though they produced an efficient (energy usage wise) they're out of business. They couldn't compete with the higher margin cookie cutter homes in the area.

The point is, if you have the appropriate resources (time, material, money) anything is possible. If I'm getting nearly free labor and the cost of my materials is low and readily available then I can build anything (earthbag, earthship, cob, straw bail, teepee, yurt, etc) cheaply. If my family owns a concrete yard I could build a 3000sq ft bunker cheaply that would meet many of the green standards accepted today.
 
Abe Connally
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Also, that a concrete house can be "CONSIDERED" green by definition as it allows the home owner to meet some of the standards for green (energy efficiency).


It is only "considered" green if your ignore the large environmental debt it creates during its production.  It will take decades of energy savings to pay back those debts.  That's not green.

We could build homes out of a lot of stuff that isn't "green", but pack it with carcinogens.... er, I mean insulation, and then slap a green label on it. Sorry, that doesn't make it green.

Spent nuclear fuel rods make an excellent shell for a house. They last forever, and they're a waste product!  Combine that with 10 inches of polyurethane, and you have a durable, "green" home!



Never mind the environmental costs, right?

So, basically, if you hide 1/2 of the picture, it looks attractive.  When you uncover that over half, however....

 
                      
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velacreations wrote:
It is only "considered" green if your ignore the large environmental debt it creates during its production.  It will take decades of energy savings to pay back those debts.  That's not green.

We could build homes out of a lot of stuff that isn't "green", but pack it with carcinogens.... er, I mean insulation, and then slap a green label on it. Sorry, that doesn't make it green.

Never mind the environmental costs, right?

So, basically, if you hide 1/2 of the picture, it looks attractive.  When you uncover that over half, however....




The point I'm trying to get across is that to build a totally green structure is nearly impossible here in the states. For example the You Tube vids on Hemp Crete house. The infrastructure (the bones of the home) were constructed of post and beam with a concrete slab. The walls were nearly clad in wood and the only thing green was the cladding. However, it was passed off as a green home. So of we look at the carbon foot print of the slab and lumbering the big trees for the posts. The process to get the hempcrete into a usable form I would think the savings (carbon emissions) would have been a wash. Was this an energy efficient home?Yes. Does it meet your standards of low carbon emissions?NO

Now if we look at what the governing body (fed and locals) use to give you green energy credits we find the product doesn't have to be green (made of a low carbon emitting substance). It just has to fall within a guideline of being recyclable and energy efficient. So I can re-cycle the concrete and much of the insides of an all concrete dwelling. Also due to thermal mass and construction methodologies it passes the energy efficiency test. Therefor it's green.

So as I stated so many times. When you say green it's not necessarily what other understand as green. My new storm door qualified for a rebate because it was considered green. Steel and glass are not low carbon emitting processes.
 
Abe Connally
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so basically "green-washing" building materials....
 
Dave Bennett
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Timby states: "Now if we look at what the governing body (fed and locals) use to give you green energy credits we find the product doesn't have to be green (made of a low carbon emitting substance). "

Manufacturing cement adds TONS of Mercury to the environment.  Mercury does not ever biodegrade.  It is Permanent pollution that Poisons the environment especially the water table.  If satisfying the "governing body" to get your "green energy credit" is what you care about then you are missing the point of green building entirely.
 
Abe Connally
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actually, I think the consumer, not the govt really defines these things.  We see how they bastardized "organic", "sustainable", "natural", etc.

Claiming something is green because it meets the lowest possible definition of "green" lacks credibility.
 
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I think sometimes in life it is best to just let an argument die.  Like when you know that neither side will convince the other.  Continuing an argument will only lead to hard feelings.

I think we can all agree that building a home to your local codes may require a person to use less then ideal materials.  A person could choose to build in secret and risk fines, not me.  For those of you lucky enough to live in a code free area, I envy you.

I would love to have a Monolithic Dome because of how indestructible it appears.  However, being poor prevents this.

I will try to build an earth bag home, even if I have to call it a shed/barn/playhouse.  I want to dig a pond, so the removed earth can be used to fill bags.

The only thing that I should have to import to my property are the bags, some evil plastic, and maybe another shovel.

Peace...

ps.  Timby we had a family at our church give us truck when our vehicle died, I almost cried (my wife did).
 
master steward
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Deleted a bunch of posts.

If anybody posts something with a teeny tiny spec of suggesting that anyone on this site is anything less than perfect, I delete the whole post. 

It's not too hard to present your position without bashing the crap out of somebody else.
 
pahanna barineau
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i dont pretend to be a purist, i love plastic sheeting, it is a awesome material in my opinion, if it is kept from sunlight it lasts a long time, maybe longer, vapor barriers are essential for a comfortable on grade or below grade dwelling and i dont know what can be found in nature to equal plastic sheeting
 
Dave Bennett
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Shawn Bell wrote:
I think sometimes in life it is best to just let an argument die.  Like when you know that neither side will convince the other.  Continuing an argument will only lead to hard feelings.

I think we can all agree that building a home to your local codes may require a person to use less then ideal materials.  A person could choose to build in secret and risk fines, not me.  For those of you lucky enough to live in a code free area, I envy you.

I would love to have a Monolithic Dome because of how indestructible it appears.  However, being poor prevents this.

I will try to build an earth bag home, even if I have to call it a shed/barn/playhouse.  I want to dig a pond, so the removed earth can be used to fill bags.

The only thing that I should have to import to my property are the bags, some evil plastic, and maybe another shovel.

Peace...

ps.  Timby we had a family at our church give us truck when our vehicle died, I almost cried (my wife did).


Check out Dirt!  The Movie.  They cover how mixing horse and cow dung with earth makes an excellent plaster.  It made me wonder if rabbit poop would work as well.  I have lots of that.   I have a friend living in New Mexico in an earth bag dome.  She went out to California a while back and took the course.  According to her if you have bags for the soil and a coffee can you can build a nice structure.  She has been living there for a very long time so I guess it works.
 
Dave Bennett
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pahanna wrote:
i dont pretend to be a purist, i love plastic sheeting, it is a awesome material in my opinion, if it is kept from sunlight it lasts a long time, maybe longer, vapor barriers are essential for a comfortable on grade or below grade dwelling and i dont know what can be found in nature to equal plastic sheeting


It sure would be nice to have a replacement for that "stuff" wouldn't it.  I think that there is research being gone with hemp oil polymerization in Canada.  Henry Ford made plastic from hemp so it can be done.  It would surely happen more quickly if Industrial Hemp were legal to grow here in the US.  Then we could literally grow our own home building materials.
 
pahanna barineau
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i agree, i dont think plasters will work under ground, but i hear ya on the hemp oil issue, i like the adobe/cob because it is fair as a insulator and a heat storage medium. of course the price is the kicker
 
Dave Bennett
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Yep, can't beat the price.  Waterproofing below grade is a problem though.
 
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Now this is starting to evolve into something really exciting. I just got my second email on this subject aparently theres a large goverment rebate program in the US that ends tomorow so their trying to get everyone interested on the monolithic email list to put a deposit down to qualify for the rebate. Here's some text from the email, I never was totaly clear when something declair's it can do "#KW" I think they mean how much it can generate per hour but I'm never sure if they mean per day.

The wind turbine is built to set up on top of your dome and produce no sound into the
dome itself. The wind turbines come in 5kW to 250kW. They are going to average
something in the neighborhood of $3.25 per kW. So you need to give us an approximate
size of what you want.

Approximate size is measured at average high wind speed in your location. If you are
building a 50' dome you are probably limited to 10kW to 20kW if you are putting it on a
100' dome you are probably limited to 100kW to 250kW depending on your location and
wind speed. 250kW is as large as we want to take on one of these advance orders.


“But,” one may ask, “what’s the difference between putting a windmill on a dome to putting it on a rock pile? Can’t be that different!”
“Nay, nay,” I say. There is a huge difference.
In the late 1990s through the early 2000s, Dr. Morris Boughtin did extensive experiments resulting in conclusive proof: moving wind over a smooth dome increases its speed. That’s because the wind has to travel farther, so it speeds up as it goes over the dome.
That’s about a 25% speed increase that translates into about double the pressure on windmill blades. In other words, going over the dome, the wind has about twice the power it would have going along side of the dome.


This is so kickass for dome owners, I'm not terribly sure how it would work for earth domes, but that's more to do with the size of those domes in comparison to the cost of mounting on the structure safeless. But here are some links to the monolithic article and the company that builds the turbines.
Does anyone with a track record in wind turbines want to critique this time of wind generator? I will eventualy be setting up in an area that has seasonal hurricanes and when i look at the max wind speeds of the average wind turbines i see online they will all rip off and kill a cow during an average tropical storm.

http://www.monolithic.com/stories/wind-power
http://www.directionalenergy.com/
medium_IMG_3009.jpg
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dome turbine
medium_IMG_3016.JPG
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verticle turbine
 
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pahanna barineau wrote:here is partial complete framing



Beautiful frame...
But imagine one day you will be able to make this frame out of hemp too! that is what we are working on..... so watch this space (or at least our website)

matt
www.hemparchitecture.com
 
pollinator
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I've been skimming a bit, so I hope this hasn't been covered. I am just surprised that since both cement domes cracking and water infiltration have both come up, no one has mentioned what happens to steel rebar inside concrete when it starts to rust, which is what will happen with water infiltration. Add freeze/thaw cycles, as I would have to, and you're looking at a very short-lived structure once the leaking starts. I would seriously investigate the possibility of a structural reinforcement that doesn't rip the structure apart from the inside when it starts to go. Hundreds of years? I think not.

-CK
 
Saybian Morgan
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Temperate domes retain the shell there inflated with and the outer dome is rendered with different sealing agents that has maintenance just like any other roof. The dome's are a radiative contiguous unit so there not build to be as subject to external conditions. B
One of the things that has been around for years at the monolithic dome institute is the advocacy in the use of basalt rebar which doesn't rust and weighs way less. In the construction of uninsulated ecoshells for tropical climates basalt rope is used rather than rebar, I can carry all the rebar I need to built a 1000 sq ft home on my shoulder.
 
Chris Kott
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Do you have links to more info on this stuff? And didn't some ancient Roman techniques call for vitreous china rope rebar? My personal interest is to find a way to make an Oehler structure (maybe WOFATI, but with more of an eye to it lasting thousands of years) that uses masonry for supporting the roof. But I don't mind the dome aesthetic. It is one of my penchants to point out flaws most people seem to gloss over, especially critical ones in concept and design. I was thinking retted raw hemp bast fibre, woven into a lattice structure in a dome configuration, like a giant yurt that you then plaster with an appropriate mix. But though my preference is for one you can grow, I'm happy to learn about concrete reinforcement that doesn't contained buried within the seeds of its own destruction. It's truly a wonder, and sad, to see what happens to steel-reinforced infrastructure here in Toronto, where cracking caused by normal wear is exacerbated by the freeze/thaw cycles we get. The concrete pops off in huge chunks where maintenance is anything less than stringent.

-CK
 
Saybian Morgan
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hehe you mean the classic mississauga new home who has to have a gravel trench put in within the first 3 years. Sure do have some links...
http://www.youtube.com/user/mdi01
The first video is about the basalt rope breakthrough, the second is there latest in the basalt mesh and how it can be used in permanent zig zag fencing that's under 2 inches thick.
 
Chris Kott
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Thanks, but I only see one link there. Or am I missing something?

-CK
 
Saybian Morgan
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there not all titled basalt rebar in quotes, if you look at the garden planter video or the students making a dome video there all showing the application of basalt rope/rebar/mesh. Pretty much the top 5 videos, i think the last one is on using the dome shape for wind power.
heres another basalt link i found further down. Mind you they don't use the roving anymore as basalt rope became available.
 
Chris Kott
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Very interesting, not to mention useful, thank you!

-CK

 
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It was really a trip watching everybody go back and forth about what was better etc

i would really like to know the outcome

did the MD get built?

did some other design sneak in and take over?

if someone is still around would be neat to see a follow up almost three years later
 
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