Reply Thu 5 Aug, 2010 08:24 am
My partner and I built a house out of tires and papercrete (a slurry made of pulped newspapers, clay and Portland cement) . We started with a free mobile home (12' by 55') and built two, 6' by 55' additions along the sides (we made the additions on a foundation of packed tires and poured 12" thick walls on top of the that foundation) and then peeled the mobile home sides off to open the whole home which is now 24' wide by 55' long. We have a greenhouse made of used sliding glass doors at the south facing end and the whole thing is covered by metal roofing from a scrap yard. We are about to make our own solar panels from parts on eBay and a wind turbine from PVC pipe. We are wondering if anyone else has done anything like this or is thinking about it. BTW, we are both women, 55 and 56 years old. [Edit (moderator): Link removed]
  • Topic Stats
  • Top Replies
  • Link to this Topic
Type: Discussion • Score: 2 • Views: 3,647 • Replies: 42
No top replies

 
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Thu 5 Aug, 2010 09:31 am
@rainbowlaw,
Interesting, Rainbow.

What's the climate like where you are?

Are the 12" thick walls on the tire foundation the papercrete walls? How high are they? Did you use rafters or trusses for the new roof?
rainbowlaw
 
  1  
Reply Thu 5 Aug, 2010 09:53 am
@JTT,
We live in West Virginia -- cold in winter and sweltering in (this particular) summer! Yes, the walls are papercrete which I have stuccoed over. The walls are 10' but ceilings inside are 8' high. We got lumber (from the same scrap yard as the tin) and built rafters. there are 3 roofs -- one n top of the original mobile home and one on each addition. I posted some photos on the website and am adding more each day. [Edit (moderator): Link removed]
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Thu 5 Aug, 2010 09:38 pm
@rainbowlaw,
Where are the photos, RB? Was the papercrete mixed and poured by you & friends? How was it done, in a mortar mixer or cement truck?

Are all areas heated in the winter? Are they separated or all together?

What are your normal daytime highs in the coldest months/usual overnight lows in coldest months
MontereyJack
 
  1  
Reply Thu 5 Aug, 2010 10:21 pm
Moderator, why were the links removed? I'd like to see the house.
roger
 
  1  
Reply Fri 6 Aug, 2010 12:11 am
@MontereyJack,
I think they might be interesting, too.
rainbowlaw
 
  1  
Reply Fri 6 Aug, 2010 05:48 am
@JTT,
"Where are the photos, RB?"

The photos are on our blog which apparently I am not allowed to share. Weird policy. I named the blog after our house building technique. If you Google the words "built from trash" with the quotation marks, it is first on the list.

"Was the papercrete mixed and poured by you & friends?"

We did it all by ourselves -- just me and Elisia.

"How was it done, in a mortar mixer or cement truck?"

We have a 2 step process for making papercrete. First, we soak the newspaper for at least 24 hours, then add it to a 15 gallon wash tub (I added a baffle made from a 2 x 4 and cemented in - with Bondo - a PVC drain pipe) that is positioned under a floor model drill press. In the chuck I insert a metal rod which has a food processing blade attached to it. I add paper and water as I mix until it is full and the paper is completely broken down into pulp. When finished, I open the drain and the slurry pours out into a a draining tank (I capture the water for reuse). We add the drained (still wet) paper pulp (via 5 gallon buckets) to a cement mixer into which we also add another 5 gallon bucket of clay (with the rocks sifted out) and a shake of Borax and about 4 quarts of Portland cement.

Once the slurry is ready, we pour it into forms we built over the tires (we poured a 12" wide by 8 " high concrete pad on the tires before pouring the papercrete walls).

Hope you can see the photos as they speak a thousand words.

"Are all areas heated in the winter? Are they separated or all together?"

Most of the house is open and heated by one wood burning stove. For those very cold nights, we do have 2 propane heaters in the distant corners! With papercrete walls and ceilings, we often need to open the window in winter to let out some heat!

"What are your normal daytime highs in the coldest months/usual overnight lows in coldest months"

In the winter months, the average high is between 30 and 40 degrees and the average low is around 20 to 25 degrees. This last winter it was much colder with lots of snow!

JTT
 
  1  
Reply Fri 6 Aug, 2010 09:41 am
@rainbowlaw,
Really really interesting, RB!!

I have tons of questions. You two should be really proud, first, for not using up more resources than you need and also for doing such a damn good job.

I'll read more before I bore you with my questions.
rainbowlaw
 
  1  
Reply Fri 6 Aug, 2010 10:24 am
@JTT,
Thank you! Yesterday we spoke to someone from Mother Earth News about doing a workshop at their fair. They said they've already filled their workshop schedule but may be interested in sending someone from the magazine to take photos when we have our open house in October. Now, THAT will light a fire under us for sure!
0 Replies
 
rainbowlaw
 
  0  
Reply Fri 6 Aug, 2010 10:29 am
@roger,
I admit, it IS interesting and when I step back, I can hardly believe what we accomplished so far. If you do a Google search with the words "built from trash" (including quotation marks) our blog is the first one listed.
roger
 
  0  
Reply Fri 6 Aug, 2010 01:51 pm
Interesting. The house looks seriously out of plumb
[Edit (moderator): Link removed] but that's clearly an illusion due to the slope of the ground.

I think the policy is that you can't post a link promoting your own web page, or something like that. Some nights, there are a half dozen posts promoting various products and services, and we are a territorial bunch.
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Fri 6 Aug, 2010 02:05 pm
@rainbowlaw,
Are the papercrete walls the load bearing walls? What is the compressive strength of the finished cured wall per your recipe?

What is the R-value of a papercrete wall per inch?
talk72000
 
  1  
Reply Fri 6 Aug, 2010 02:12 pm
@JTT,
They would be similar to wood except the fire rating is higher. I worked on asimilar project with wood chips instead of clay. The clay would probably make it stonger but heavier than with wood chip aggregates.
rainbowlaw
 
  1  
Reply Fri 6 Aug, 2010 03:05 pm
@JTT,
"Are the papercrete walls the load bearing walls?" Yes

"What is the compressive strength of the finished cured wall per your recipe?" Papercrete is lightweight yet remarkably strong. It has a compressive strength of 260 psi compared to 175 psi for utility grade pine. And, since it contains paper fibers, papercrete has considerable tensile strength as well.

"What is the R-value of a papercrete wall per inch?" 2.8 to 3.0 per inch
0 Replies
 
rainbowlaw
 
  1  
Reply Fri 6 Aug, 2010 03:08 pm
@talk72000,
"The clay would probably make it stonger but heavier"
I am a 55 year old woman with arthritis. I can only lift a standard, 30lb, 8" x 8" x 16" concrete block to my waist. I can lift a papercrete block - clay and all - above my head.
rainbowlaw
 
  1  
Reply Fri 6 Aug, 2010 03:17 pm
@roger,
"...the policy is that you can't post a link promoting your own web page" I understand -- I tried to have a forum once on my blog but 80% were spammers who were trying to promote Viagra and other stuff not related to my project. I ended up taking it off.

"The house looks seriously out of plumb" LOL! I won't tell Elisia you said that! Everything she builds, she builds with the knowledge (fear) that her 80 year old father will tell her it isn't plumb -- so she takes great pains to make sure it is!

Of course, we ARE dealing with tires -- all of which are different sizes. But, when we poured that concrete plate on top, we made sure it was a level base to build on.

Right now I am using tires to make retaining walls. Like free Gabion baskets, I'm filling them with gravel.
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Fri 6 Aug, 2010 05:31 pm
@rainbowlaw,
Quote:
Of course, we ARE dealing with tires -- all of which are different sizes. But, when we poured that concrete plate on top, we made sure it was a level base to build on.


When one makes a footing, and especially when it is deep footing - I believe that you made this one 12" deep - the only thing that has to be level is the top of the footing.

Which leads me to some more questions.

How many "tires deep" is the tire foundation?

Are the tires exposed to the inside and outside or have they been stuccoed/parged over?

Were the tires filled with concrete or gravel?

How wide is the tire foundation? Does the concrete footing sit in the middle?
rainbowlaw
 
  1  
Reply Fri 6 Aug, 2010 06:51 pm
@JTT,
The foundation is 4 tires "high". Each tire is approximately 33" wide. We used a reciprocating saw to cut off one of the side walls and then we laid the side with the side wall intact down. Then we filled the tires with the clay that we excavated for the trench and the building site and tamped the clay in the tires until they were/are hard like giant clay blocks. We laid them like blocks as well. In the area between the tires where they meet, we stuffed crushed aluminum cans and covered the whole thing with chicken wire then stuccoed over the tire wall. The tire foundation sits on top of a rubble trench for drainage. The concrete plate is centered on top of the top row of tires.
0 Replies
 
talk72000
 
  1  
Reply Fri 6 Aug, 2010 09:24 pm
@rainbowlaw,
You must have used a lot of paper pulp or fiber and very little clay.
rainbowlaw
 
  1  
Reply Sat 7 Aug, 2010 06:13 am
@talk72000,
Each batch contains equal parts clay and papercrete. As long as the block is wet, it is very heavy -- even after the cement has set. However, once the block is completely dry, it is dense but not heavy. This is awesome stuff. I suggest you experiment at home -- that is what we did. We bought a used food processor from a thrift store and pulped the paper, then we added an equal amount of clay dirt and some Portland cement, poured it into a small wooden box with no lid or bottom and waited for it to set then dry. There are lots of papercrete recipes but because we live in an area with clay soil, ours is:
5 parts drained paper mulch
5 parts sifted clay
1 part Portland Cement
1 shake of Borax (for mold control)
 

Related Topics

Home Construction Slows, But Building Plans Surge - Discussion by BumbleBeeBoogie
MASTER BUILDER USES ... LEGO BRICKS - Discussion by hamburger
blocking rf signals - Question by rocksoildo
 
  1. Forums
  2. » Papercrete House
Copyright © 2014 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.05 seconds on 10/23/2014 at 01:53:55