From cob to prefab and beyond


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  • Today we are going to be going over Green Materials in the built environment.
  • A whole category of building in itself, Natural Building incorporates age old techniques and materials that are still prevalent in the developing world today.
  • "Currently it is estimated that one half of the world's population — approximately three billion people on six continents — lives or works in buildings constructed of earth.“The 5th Adobe Conference of the Adobe Association of the Southwest, AdobeUSA 2009, will take place May 15 and 16, 2009 in El Rito, New Mexico on the campus of co-sponsor Northern New Mexico College in Cutting Hall Auditorium.Engineering and Architect Professionals will be eligible to obtain Continuing Education Units (PDH) during the conference.
  • The fresh adobe blocks are laid on a prepared bed of earth.  After a day or two they will be turned on edge and hand trimmed.  Each block is handled only three times during its transition from mud to structure. 
  • Currently experts like Bruce King, director of Eco Build Network, are sharing seismic structural information with people in the Third World in areas like Turkey, and creating California and Universal building codes for strawbale and earth structures.
  • Electrical boxes should be chosen carefully.  They need to be deep enough to allow the electrician enough room to work and durable enough to stand up as long as the wall lasts.  Since some adobe structures are hundreds of years old it would be wise to consider something in metal.
  • Peruvian coast
  • In Peru
  • White adobe buildings with red tiled roofs, Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco. Jalisco, Mexico
  • The earliest remnants date to the 1780’s when Spain authorized the construction of a presidio and the Santa Barbara Mission. Much of this early adobe construction was toppled during subsequent earthquakes, but recent reconstruction, using stabilized adobes, has returned the area to its original presence.
  • Arg-e Bam was the gem of Iranian historical sites in Kerman Province and one of the most beautiful buildings of the Ashkanian era as well as the largest adobe building in the world. It has been attributed to Bahman Pour Gashasb, who is the AchaemenianArdeshir the First who lived in Iran circa 312 B.C. during Alexander's rule. It was destroyed in the Dec. 26, 2003 earthquake
  • Santa Fe and Albequerque.Notice the unfinished adobe bricks and the thickness of the walls.
  • Rammed earth is a construction method where you make a formwork for a wall, similar to how you would if you were going to pour concrete, but then you fill it with layers of clay/sand mixed with a small amount of portland cement. The layers are “Rammed” with a pneumatic pounder or by hand with a heavy tamper on the end of a pole. The result is a very dense wall made primarily from materials found at the jobsite.
  • architecture for Aboriginal Canada. Projects include the Nk’Mip Desert Cultural Centre by Hotson Bakker Boniface Haden Architects.
  • Institute of Noetic SciencesMichael Frereking, architectMagnesium Oxide substitute for concrete – found naturally in the ocean
  • Cob is an extremely environmentally-friendly natural building material composed of sand, clay, and straw, and it has withstood the test of time and the elements over many past generations all over the world.
  • Cob building dates back hundreds of years ago, and cob houses built over 500 years ago in Europe are still inhabited to this day.
  • Metal lath grid that has already been sewn into place with a circuit of blue strings. The strings were sewn about a foot apart from one side of the bale to the other and then run up to the next row of bales. The diagonal finer/sturdier expanded metal lathe shown is there for additional plaster support around the window frame.
  • Finishing the first coat of plaster
  • A truth window above shows the inside of a straw bale house.
  • Quebec City, Macchu Picchu, Portugal stone sidewalks
  • Earthships are essentially homes powered by solar and wind energy, and made of natural and recycled materials. For instance, walls are molded from aluminum cans and tires that are filled with dirt and stacked like bricks. The tires are then plastered with adobe or cement.The homes are the brainchild of Michael Reynolds, who calls himself a biotect, rather than an architect. He lives in Taos, N.M., where the energy crisis in the mid-1970s motivated him to come up with an affordable home.
  • • Modular - is Pre-fabricated in a factory about three hours away. Pre-Fabricated in this sense means pretty much complete with plumbing, electrical, fixtures, floors, cabinets, etc... already installed. It would need to have utilities hooked up other things would have to be installed like certain fixtures our concrete sinks and tub for example as well as possibly exterior finishes. There are many sustainable options for finishes, paints, insulation and they even offer a bio-diesel option for the trucks that deliver the modules. Cost overruns in theory would be minimal. There would also be much less waste of materials for a house built in a factory. There is also less disturbance to the site and less impact on our neighbors. The house would be completed in approximately 12 weeks from the first day of construction in the factory and then whatever time it would take on site to finish. Cost overruns in theory would be minimal.
  • SIPs are superior to frame construction in the following ways:Are more energy-efficientProvide excellent soundproofingReduce infiltration relative to frame constructionCan be erected quicklySave wood
  • The benefits of SIP include the ability to ship a wall panel to your house site that is cut to size and ready to install. Insulation and framing are handled in one step.SIPs save construction waste on site, and ensure that your home will have one of the best energy efficiencies possible for the given wall thickness.Straw Insulation PanelsA lightweight, biodegradable insulating panel made from compressed straw with a recycled cardboard skin. The panels can also double up as partition walls due to their robust nature, and therefore are a must see for anyone considering low-impact dwellings.
  • Quote by Paul Calvert, materials scientist at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.
  • Drywall is the number three producer of greenhouse gasses among building materials, trailing just behind cement and steel. Eco Rock has high recycled content. Hastackled many other issues that typically have been environmental concerns with drywall such as being mold resistant and lower in pollutants.
  • Living Homes offers a line of homes featuring modern design and green materials. Founded by CEO Steve Glenn, LivingHomes is a premier developer of modern, prefab homes that combine world-class architecture with a commitment to health and sustainable construction. Michelle Kaufmann’s Glide, Breeze & MK LotusHouses..Kaufmann has established five eco-principles--smart design, eco-materials, energy efficiency, water conservation, and healthy environment--that guide her every design. Unique, flexible home designs, including the Sunset Breezehouse and Glidehouse
  • It's a 1700 sf container home, but you probably can't tell just by looking. Sustainability will be number one, with GreenPoint and LEED certification in the plans.
  • In this Oct. 28, 2008 image released by Clayton Homes Inc., the new 'i-house' is shown. The solar-powered, energy efficient prefab house features decks on the ground level and on the roof of the detached 'flex room."This innovative 'green' home, featuring solar panels and numerous other energy-saving products, is truly a home of the future," Buffett wrote his shareholders. "Estimated costs for electricity and heating total only about $1 per day when the home is sited in an area like Omaha.“Clayton Homes plans to price the "i-house" at $100 to $130 a square foot, depending on amenities and add-ons, such as additional bedrooms. A stick-built house with similar features could range from $200 to $300 a square foot to start, said Chris Nicely, Clayton marketing vice president.The key cost difference is from the savings Clayton achieves by building homes in volume in green standardized factories with very little waste. Clayton has four plants in Oregon, Tennessee, California and New Mexico geared up for "i-house" production.Thanks for sharing Sandra!
  • Geodesic dome"Windstar" domeAspen, Colorado
  • Manhattan Island
  • Arizona – anyone been there?
  • Home in Berkeley. Tell about experience bidding one of his projects.He is perhaps the first architect/designer in history to profoundly study, analyze and implement the workings of natural phenomena, through an interdisciplinary approach, as a basis for design at all scales including construction materials and methods. He is the originator of the term, Evolutionary Architecture, which is an understanding of producing designs based upon a rigorous scientific study of natural organisms, structures and processes. His work vastly expands and extends beyond the paradigm of "Ecological design". His seminal work sweeps us into the 21st century and shows us the ineffable and fantastic intelligence of nature and the compelling possibilities of an architecture that aligns itself with nature's genius. Architect, visionary, Olympic fencing and equestrian, classical concert pianist, clothing designer, city and regional planner,
  • Designed to withstand natural calamities, Ultima Tower is highly stable and aerodynamic. Rather than spreading horizontally the structure rises vertically from a base with a 7,000 foot diameter - inspired in part by the termite’s nest structures of Africa, the highest structure created by any living organism...Design and research center in Emeryville
  • Met him when bidding a job at Marin General Hospital
  • Tested to withstand hurricane winds in Florida
  • From cob to prefab and beyond

    1. 1. From Cob to Prefab and beyond<br />
    2. 2. What’s the Matter with Buildings?<br />According to the World Watch Institute, buildings account for one fourth of the world's wood harvest, two fifths of its material and energy usage, and one sixth of its fresh water usage.<br />
    3. 3. Natural Building<br />Doing more with less is the key to working with, and not against, the natural world that supports us.<br />
    4. 4. NATURAL BUILDING:<br />Adobe<br />
    5. 5. One half of the world’s population, approximately 3 billion people, lives or works in buildings constructed of earth.<br />
    6. 6. Adobe bricks near construction site<br />
    7. 7. Adobe house under construction<br />
    8. 8. Adobe construction<br />
    9. 9. Typical damage to adobe construction<br />
    10. 10.
    11. 11. Seismic upgrading for adobe<br />Rebuilding Gaza with clay bricks – using unsafe techniques.<br />EcoBuild Network is working on approval of ASTM<br />Engineering is already clearly ready to make earth structures safe<br /><br />
    12. 12. Around the world…<br />Africa<br />
    13. 13. Mexico<br />
    14. 14. California<br />
    15. 15. New Zealand<br />
    16. 16. Persia<br />
    17. 17. Bolivia<br />
    18. 18. China<br />
    19. 19. New Mexico<br />
    20. 20. Greece<br />
    21. 21. Rammed earth<br />
    22. 22. In Canada…….<br />
    23. 23. Poured earth wall in Petaluma<br />
    24. 24. Cob<br />Poured earth<br />
    25. 25. Just add water…….<br />sand, clay and straw <br />
    26. 26. Cob<br />
    27. 27. Cob Buildings in Europe<br />
    28. 28. Strawbale<br />
    29. 29.
    30. 30.
    31. 31. Real Goods Solar Living Institute<br />
    32. 32. Truth Windows<br />
    33. 33. Stone<br />
    34. 34.
    35. 35. 6th Century Ireland<br />
    36. 36. Earthships<br />
    37. 37. Bamboo<br />
    38. 38. Bamboo<br />
    39. 39. Panelized Home Construction<br />
    40. 40. Structurally Insulated PanelsSIPS<br />
    41. 41. SIPS<br />
    42. 42. SIPS<br />
    43. 43. Rethinking the Material World<br />“Beat, heat and treat is a good methodology, and it built the country,” says Brandon Tinianov, chief technology officer of Serious Materials. <br />“But we have to approach it a little differently because our eyes are now open.”<br />Dwell 2008<br />
    44. 44. “So if you want to change something big, you have to change the material first.”<br />Material science is design at the molecular level. <br />How molecules are shaped, and how those shapes link together, determines the physical properties.<br />Ordered molecules, like diamonds, are harder and stiffer, while messy molecules can be pulled apart.<br />
    45. 45. Small changes, like turning iron into steel by adding carbon, have world-changing impact on what can be imagined, planned and built.<br />
    46. 46. Green plastics & Biomimicry<br />How does nature make things?<br />Plants make things out of CO2 and then assemble them into bark and leaves.<br />Replacing complex liquid carbon (petroleum) with strings of simple carbon oxides also requires less energy than standard polymer making.<br />It’s a low-temperature, low-pressure reaction.<br />Charles Hamilton, Novomer Inc.<br />
    47. 47. Innovations material science is currently developing...<br />Cost-competitive, low-energy ways of making cement, drywall, composites and other building materials<br />
    48. 48. Eco Rock<br />
    49. 49. Prefab “Green” Homes<br />
    50. 50. West Coast Green's SG Blocks, Harbinger House<br />Made from cargo containers<br />
    51. 51. i-house prefab<br />
    52. 52. Buckminster Fuller’s Geodesic Domes<br />
    53. 53.
    54. 54. Paolo Soleri - Arcosanti<br />
    55. 55. Eugene Tsui - <br />
    56. 56.
    57. 57. Jonathan Zimmerman - AIA<br />
    58. 58. Z Domes<br />
    59. 59. We did not inherit the Earth from our parents. We are borrowing it from our children.Chief Seattle<br />