Alternative construction methods

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  • Publicado : 10 de diciembre de 2011
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A) Rammed Earth – This method of construction utilizes a mixture of sand, gravel, water and cement. The mixture is rammed into the desired form to produce a wall (or any other architectural element)that is durable and can be quite beautiful. The decorative element is produced combining colors and shapes for the different layers of the initial mixture that have to be added one by one and rammedon top of the previous ones to produce a solid unit. This is considered a “green” construction method by the builders, but the fact that they still use cement, energy for the compacting tool; maketicker walls than ordinary thus using more materials. (they only use one third of the cement but build triple thickness walls) disappears any sustainability advantages this technique could provide.However, this could be a sustainable construction technique if they planned ways to eliminate the need for extra material (see picture 1) and used another method for ramming.
B) Straw Bale – Theconstruction of houses using straw bales offers a great level of insulation, (saving energy that would be used for heating and cooling) it is sustainable because the main material is produced everywhere andcan be obtained at a very low cost. There are many ways to protect the primary material and people can use other “green” materials to complete the house. It is true that wire, wood, nails and otherthings are necessary to give the building the adequate structure; but wood and metal are at least degradable. There is a certain amount of energy that has to be used to produce the bales, but sincethey are going to be used for the house, one could considerate dividing the amount of energy used between the two products, the housing and the grain.
C) Cob – This is the primitive form of adobeconstruction. The materials are completely renewable; cob can be made without using any other tools than hands and feet. It takes a long time for only one person but it could be construction could be...
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