Aircrete Home Design
In modern times, we find ourselves in a predicament that no other generations have had to deal with in the past: the need for adequate housing for the world’s estimated 1.5 billion homeless and a sustainable and affordable way of building it. Little do most know, one of the answers to this problem lies within a modified version of one of the world’s oldest and strongest building materials – concrete. PSE Consulting Engineers strives to provide our clients with affordable, durable, attractive, and safe building solutions, and one of the best ways to achieve these standards is through the use of aircrete.
What is Aircrete?
Aircrete is concrete filled with air pockets. This provides builders with a lightweight material while at the same time remaining as durable as traditional concrete. Aircrete uses foam that adds “bubbles” or airspace within the concrete mix, and it is very easy to work with – it can be drilled, shaped, and even cut with woodworking tools to get the shapes you desire. In addition, contrary to most any other building material, aircrete continues to harden as time goes on, which makes it ideal for building long-lasting and durable structures. Here at PSE Consulting Engineers, we understand how vital simple builds are to our clients, and we do everything we can to present them with simple, durable, and sustainable building materials for a better future for all.
This easy-to-make and use material is the answer to most of the problems builders face today, but how is it made?
How to Make Aircrete
Aircrete is incredibly simple to make and is made the same way as traditional concrete save for one extra ingredient. The extra ingredient is foam which can be made from common dish detergents such as Dawn or any other dish soap that creates foam with a density of around 90 grams per liter. Domegaia is a leading aircrete builder, and their guide will cover any additional questions you may have about making it.
Adding this foam to your concrete takes up space within the mixture itself but will eventually dissipate, leaving small air bubbles throughout. The simplicity in which you can make aircrete is one of the main reasons we believe it has a permanent claim as a sustainable building material for the future.
Benefits of Aircrete
Aircrete is more than a quick solution for building as it has legitimate benefits that set it a step above modern stick-framed homes. Many of the benefits of concrete homes also apply to aircrete, so it makes a great alternative material for building. Here are the five main advantages to using aircrete and why we here at PSE Consulting Engineers swear by it.
- Fire & Waterproof
Fire and water are the two most damaging elements that homes come in contact with regularly. Stick frame homes cannot withstand water, and they promote the quick spreading of flames. The engineers at PSE understand how vital fire and waterproof materials are for a sustainable building, which is why we adamantly promote aircrete as a better building solution.
Sustainable and environmentally friendly building materials are more critical than ever, and here at PSE Consulting, we understand how important minimizing a building’s carbon footprint is for the longevity of our collective home. Concrete is a reusable and recyclable material, which makes aircrete much the same.
Material costs are at an all-time high, and PSE Consulting Engineers understands the need for affordable building materials. Aircrete is more affordable than other traditional materials even before factoring in the near nonexistent maintenance costs.
- Pest Proof
At PSE Consulting Engineers, we recommend aircrete to all of our clients building in an area where pests pose a genuine threat to the long-term stability of a home. Aircrete is seamless, so it minimizes the entry points making it nearly impossible for insects to enter. Another benefit of aircrete is its imperviousness to structure damaging pests such as termites.
- Thermal Efficiency
While aircrete in and of itself is not the most energy-efficient material, once laminated with a reinforcing fabric, it is one of the most efficient. In addition, most aircrete homes are built with a seamless construction between the floors, walls, and roof, which eliminates any thermal bridges and minimizes energy loss.
What is Aircrete Used for?
- Precast Blocks, Panels, and Slabs
- Insulating Roofs / Floors
- Insulating Underground Pipes
These are just a few of the applications of aircrete. At PSE Consulting Engineers, Inc., we strive to provide our clients with the most effective and sustainable building materials available today, which is why we love showing off the benefits of aircrete. We genuinely believe that aircrete is the answer to many of the housing problems we face as a society, but at the same time it offers 100% unique and beautiful structures. Contact PSE Consulting today for all of your sustainable structural engineering needs.
Strength and Harmony
A structure must withstand both tension and compression forces – these are the two omnipresent gods pushing and pulling on all physical forms.
Aircrete has good compression strength but poor tensile strength. When fiber-reinforced cement is bonded to Aircrete’s surface a composite material (surface-bonded Aircrete) is formed that has both compressive and tensile strength. Surface-bonded Aircrete can be shaped into elegant architecture that will withstand the forces of nature and the test of time.
The study of ancient architecture provides a master class in the art of creating domes built to withstand centuries without steel reinforcement. When steel oxidizes, it destroys concrete. Had the Romans used steel to reinforce the Pantheon, for example – it would have had to be rebuilt 16 times over to stand as it does today, over 2,000 years later. With a diameter of 150 feet, it is the largest non-reinforced, lightweight concrete dome in the world.
A dome is a self-supporting compression shell that requires little or no tensile reinforcement above it’s equator. The structural integrity of a surface-bonded Aircrete dome is formed by the relationship between the composite material and the inherent rigidity produced by a dome’s double curvature. All other factors being equal, the more the curvature, the stronger the form. Conversely, flatter surfaces create weaker forms.
When the forces acting upon a compression shell are understood and followed, we can build elegant structures of magnificent integrity. The art of designing equilibrium into a structure can create poetic forms, composed of harmonic geometry, expressing a graceful dance with the forces of nature.
– Hajjar Gibran
Founder of Domegaia
Visit our Friends at DomeGaia for even more information on these beautiful structures. – www.domegaia.com