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Project Kamp: Sustainable Construction Methods

This topic contains 6 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  Rory Dickens 1 day ago.

5
Rory Dickens rorydickens

Project Kamp: Sustainable Construction Methods

06/05/2019 at 01:15

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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helper
16/05/2019 at 00:59
0

Excellent.

dedicated
16/05/2019 at 22:52
0

I’m guessing that strands from PET bottles, or polypropylene rope (both major constitents of beach plastic), could be mixed with mud (or mud/cement) for Wattle and Daub style construction.  But would they bond as well as the old, traditional, straw or horsehair?

helper
17/05/2019 at 00:00
1

@frogfall

This is an interesting question and depends on the way the PET is shredded.

The closest thing we can use compare to compare the effects of adding plastic to a material is with PET mixed with Plastic Crete. If the ratio of binding vs aggregate gets too low a significant change occurs in strength. 1:2 seems best (Cement : Aggregate) However that aggregate can range with <10% PET to sand mix increasing strength and with 50%-20% gradually decreasing the strength.

In this paper here the source shows the trend between shredded size, and strength with size making a major difference. Another paper does use smooth PET in strands which is too interesting and better effects.

I guess the real question is how long are the fibres we can create, and how rough is their surface by using PET. Because what we want to create are a copy of these plastic industrial standard fibreglass reinforcement for cement. Thus ensuring an improvement in strength rather than a reduction.

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dedicated
17/05/2019 at 00:42
0

Yeah – I was thinking in terms of long strands, rather than flakes.  Maybe like the size of paper strands that come from a non-cross-cut document shredder.  Alternatively bottles could be split into long thin threads which are then chopped into the optimum length for mixing – like your illustration.
I think it might be time for some tests… 😉

helper
18/05/2019 at 10:24
1

I’m sure somebody can build this Compressed Earth Brick-press

Beats stamping earthbags…

https://vimeo.com/49864277

helper
21/05/2019 at 00:47
1

@donald

Love this, it’s like a precious plastic meets construction and would definitely beat rammed earth.  Thanks for highlighting such a great machine and method to the thread!

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