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Topic Tag: rammed earth

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Before I got involved in the PP Community I used to teach sustainable construction methods. With Project Kamp pulling on many different types of sustainable construction methods to create the community I wanted to create a simple breakdown of the possible methods we could use. Biocrete Description: Biocrete replaces elements of the Sand/Aggregate with organic waste material such as hemp, coconut fibre, and rice husks to create a material that has a lower carbon footprint than standard cement. Pros: -Similar construction methods to standard cement. -Low carbon footprint. -Uses waste materials -Biocrete is known for its natural cooling properties in warm climates. Cons: -Heavily cement/lime based -Takes longer to cure than standard cement -Requires formwork Speed: Fast (utilises existing machinery) Cost: Low (cement is cheap and free elements) Documentation: Extensive (depending on the bio-element) Rammed Earth Description: Clay, sand and sometimes a little cement are mixed together and "rammed" to create a durable and very cheap construction technique. Pros: -Carbon neutral if near sources of materials -Durable construction dry climates -Thermal mass of walls create a comfortable climate within the structure in warm locations Cons: -Requires formwork -Labour intensive construction -Not suitable for wet regions unless the earth structure is plastered or protected in another way. Speed: Medium Cost: Low Documentation; Well documented. Strawbales Description: Strawbales are stacked within a timber structure to create a well insulated and durable structure made from mostly waste materials. Pros: -Carbon negative and great for rural areas. -Good insulation properties Cons: -Very thick walls-Requires a timber structure -Hay needs to be treated to prevent infestation -Requires plastering Speed: Medium Cost: Medium Documentation; Well documented. Ecobrick Description: Plastic bottles are rammed full of either plastic waste or sand if construction is needed to be faster and then stacked side by side like bricks with mud or concrete mortar holding the blocks together. More durable methods use chicken wire to strengthen the structure if needed. Pros: -Made from 80% waste material -Cheap to build with Cons: -Labour intensive -Hard to recycle in the future Speed: Slow Cost: Low Documentation; Well documented. Precious Plastic Description: A exciting community who are awesome, developing a great way to save the world from plastic pollution (duh!). Currently beams have been developed but are very slow to produce if you wanted a building, however V4 shows the potential of creating key elements to solve these problems Pros: -Made from 100% waste material -Cheap to build-Strong durable materials Cons: -Unknown structural strengths -Plastic is not great exposed to UV and would either need to be painted or covered. Speed: Medium Cost: Low Documentation; Well documented, but not in construction. Plastic Crete Description: Using shredders fine plastic is mixed with cement to create concrete block or poured into structures. Pros: -Uses large volumes of PET, with or without labels. -Similar to standard construction methods and easily taught to communities. Cons: -Cement based. -Plastic is no longer recyclable in the future. Speed: Medium Cost: Medium Documentation; Well documented, but no manuals. If you have any questions/suggestions or would like to compare one I have missed, comment below! Image is a building I built out of bamboo, biocrete and reclaimed timber over 2 months.
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