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Should TermaSave Building Panels be used to rebuild NOLA?

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suziedemocrat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 06:21 PM
Original message
Should TermaSave Building Panels be used to rebuild NOLA?
http://www.thermapanel.net /

If you've ever bought coffee from a fast food place, then you're familiar with polystyrene foam -- better known as Styrofoam. And while it does a great job keeping that coffee hot -- you might be surprised to learn the material those cups are made of can be put to use in a much larger way.

"That's a 16th of an inch of what we're building this house out of."

Hoot Haddock is the founder and owner of Thermasave homes, an Alabama business that designs and builds houses out of foam panels just inches thick. The foam is cut to size and then two sheets of cement board are glued to either side of it, sandwiching the foam inside.

...

That ability to retain heat, as well as the foam's ability to keep a house cool in warm weather, is just one of the reasons the Federation of American Scientists -- or F.A.S. -- thinks the foam could go a long way toward solving the affordable housing crisis here in the United States. Rachel Jagoda is the Project Manager for Housing Technology for the F.A.S.

.....

Jagoda says the cost of constructing a 15-hundred square foot home using the traditional, stick frame technology costs about 55-thousand dollars. That same building, she says, would cost about 10-thousand dollars less if built with foam panels. That's because they require no lumber and the construction time is much shorter.


....

In the meantime, some are exploring the use of this building technology in developing countries. Government officials from Senegal recently visited a Thermasave plant to see the technology for themselves. They're working on a national program to provide affordable housing to their citizens. Hoot Haddock, the owner of Thermasave, says while the foam may help with Senegal's housing problem, it could also help put people to work.

"We can go and put a plant there and use people in that country to make the panels and train 'em how to put 'em up. It is much simpler to do. The panels come with a number on 'em with all the windows and doors cut. You just put them where they go."

An architect with an international charity has designed a two-room foam house for use in Afghanistan, where many homes were destroyed in the decades of war there and also by earthquakes.

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TallahasseeGrannie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 06:23 PM
Response to Original message
1. I'd live in it.
Sounds like it would stay nice and cool.
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smurfygirl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 06:25 PM
Response to Original message
2. I was thinking that they should incorporate solar and wind
technology right now as well. It makes sense. They have to rebuild almost all of the power grid so they might as well do something beneficial.
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suziedemocrat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 07:05 PM
Response to Reply #2
5. I agree. This earlier DU post about a German off-grid solar/battery ..
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NYC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 06:51 PM
Response to Original message
3. How do you make styrofoam?
I won't drink out of it.

What is extruded polystyrene? Isn't plastic petrochemical?

...Polystyrene is a strong plastic created from erethylene and benzine...

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suziedemocrat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 07:02 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. It does not have CFCs - but I think it is a petrolium product.
From their web-site.

The Ozone Layer Versus Expanded Polystyrene Foam

Expanded polystyrene EPS is a closed cell, lightweight foam which by itself, depending upon density, has a compressive strength between 10 and 60 pounds per sq. inch. EPS is an ideal foam for most construction applications. EPS is used extensively in ThermaSAVE Building Panels.

Unlike polyurethane and formaldehyde foams, which use unstable gases in their manufacture, EPS contains only stabilized air. Thus its R-value will not decrease, as others do, with age. EPS can withstand the thermal shock of extreme freeze-thaw cycling without loss of insulation value or structural integrity.

EPS is an inert (plastic product with no future chemical activity) insulation material. It has no nutritive value for plants, insects or other animals to feed upon. It will not rot and is extremely resistant to mildew.

The Ozone Issue

The news media has brought national attention to the scientific communities well documented ozone loss theory. Over recent years, the uncontrolled release of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) are reducing or eroding the atmospheric ozone layer of the earth and this erosion continues at an unacceptable rate.

The specific cause of the depletion is unknown some scientists speculate that this is mainly due to the release of CFCs. These gases are used throughout the world in refrigeration systems, aerosol cans and some plastic foams. It is the area of plastic foams which seem to cause the most confusion. Some foams use CFCs as a blowing agent and some do not. The following insulations do contain CFCs as a blowing agent: isocyanurates, extruded polystyrenes and phenalics.

EXPANDED POLYSTYRENE DOES NOT CONTAIN CFCs! The blowing agent used to manufacture EPS is pentane, which is totally free of chloro-fluorocarbons and unrelated to the CFC/ozone controversy. Therefore, if you too share the present concerns of the scientific community regarding ozone depletion and its potential long term ramifications, then we strongly suggest the use of expanded polystyrene as used exclusively in ThermaSAVE Building Panels.

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amerikat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 07:12 PM
Response to Original message
6. Structural Insulated Panels
I may build a house out of these. Excellent insulating qualities. Here's a link.

http://www.sips.org/portal/tabID__3898/DesktopDefault.a...
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havocmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 09:15 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. Ever look into ShotCrete construction?
Here is a link on it:
http://www.cement.org/homes/ch_bs_shotcrete.asp

We are considering using this to build a home. Using polystyrene panels caged in a finer rebar grid (second picture on the linked page) then a light concrete mixture is 'sprayed' inside and out and on roof. The method is extremely flexible. There are some new buildings in old European villages built this way, made to blend in with buildings that are hundreds of years old. Or you can go round, ultra modern, so on. We are gonna do southwest stuccoed adobe pueblo style.

The shotcrete building method used for huge arenas and things like underwater tunnels, huge wine cellars, lots of public buildings. Saw some pics of the aftermath of Hurricane Andrew and the only place standing in some neighborhoods were shotcrete homes. The damage one had was that a wooden porch added on was ripped half off. They have also been tested in earthquake areas of the Calif desert.

Good insulation, easy to manipulate the wall structures before the concrete is sprayed, window, door, wiring openings done with hand saw and/or router. Havocdad has seen the method in Europe and thinks we can do most of the construction ourselves, which will be a real cool adventure AND let us get more bang for the housing buck. Plus, we are older and have very strong ideas about what we want for our 'last home'.

It is a very interesting building method. Here's another links to stir the imagination and get your creative juices pumping ;)
http://www.commercialshotcrete.com/residential/dome /

http://www.commercialshotcrete.com/index.html

http://www.tridipanel.com/content/section/12/167 /

http://www.tridipanel.com/content/category/12/104/167 / (check the swell stuff on the index, from houses to outdoor cooking areas!
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dcfirefighter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 09:31 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. materials
havocmom - i've always like the http://www.monolithicdome.com / ,a little cheesey maybe for a home, but would make a great workshop or garage. I could imagine one half-bermed and covered with turf, though perhaps I've been watching too many hobbit movies.

Other SW materials i really like include rammed earth:
http://www.rammedearthworks.com /
http://www.sirewall.com/Portfolio/exteriors1.html
both look nice

As for me I'd build with insulated concrete forms, especially for the basement / foundation. I'd consider sips for the upper storey & roof.

Actually - the shotcrete method you speak of can be used with earth, im sure it's more expensive but it looks nice unfinished.
http://www.rammedearthworks.com/pise.html
http://www.rammedearthworks.com/complete.html
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havocmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 08:55 AM
Response to Reply #8
12. Havocdad has a site bookmarked with a funky domed home
that really does look like Hobbits live there. It is really whimisical and cool, but, I avoid his browser due to his filing system which looks to be designed by a pack of rats ;)

Will try to get the link and post or PM you with it. It is really cool.

We looked into the rammed earth as we like the concept but it is not just right for what we want to do and where we want to do it. Original plan: make adobe bricks and build with them, but we are not young and will have a limited time frame to get shelter up, pretty much on our own. The shotcrete method will be best for what we need to get done and the way we will have to do it.

I would use rammed earth and sod on the roof if we were gonna build a new home here in Montana. I love the idea of a real roof garden!
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havocmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 09:25 AM
Response to Reply #8
14. Funky organic designs, this guy has it covered!
Too whimsey for Havocdad, but I could live with some of it. Perfect for my sister who thinks cave living with creature comforts would be good ;)
http://www.tdrinc.com/architecture.html

Living in some of his designs would sorta be like a return to th womb... maybe good for some to start all over. Round-ish buildings might be more intuned with the human spirit than the boxes we are used to living in. Wonder how a return to organic styles might affect us as a culture.
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amerikat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 12:12 AM
Response to Reply #7
10. I have, and it's in the running also.
I like the monolithic dome also.

I did the solar installation on a small sip home for "Earth Day 2000" In NYC. I was very impressed by the ease and speed of construction.

A little off the subject......but speaking of concrete this is one of the first poured concrete houses(Fonthill) in the US. A tile museam of the same construction is adjacent to the house and the museum is a few miles away. It's a must see if you ever get the chance. It's just north of Philadelphia,

http://www.mercermuseum.org/
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TommyO Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 03:57 PM
Response to Reply #7
16. ICF is another great tech
Insulating forms, lined with re-bar and filled with concrete form the walls of the house, with conventional truss roofing. You can use any type of siding you want on the outside and can easily attach drywall to the steel straps embedded in the form. A Habitat for Humanity house that I worked on used it, and I feel in love with the technology.
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gulfcoastliberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 12:01 AM
Response to Original message
9. Autoclaved Aerated Concrete is the most efficient, environmentally f
friendly building material. Check it out.

http://www.toolbase.org/techinv/techDetails.aspx?techno...
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suziedemocrat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 07:00 AM
Response to Reply #9
11. Also, Hyssil, a new material from Australia. Similar to AAC
but lighter, cleaner, easier to use.

http://www.hyssil.com /
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gulfcoastliberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 10:41 AM
Response to Reply #11
15. Definitely seems like prefab concrete is the way of the future nt
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havocmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 09:03 AM
Response to Reply #9
13. That was high on our list of methods. Again, Havocdad has seen it used
Edited on Thu Sep-29-05 09:13 AM by havocmom
for decades in Europe too. Works very well in places with pretty extreme weather and high consumer taxes, so we know it is extremely efficient. He has helped building structures with the aerated concrete blocks. Says you can just cut them with a hacksaw but they are extremely strong. A lot of commercial buildings in the US (motels, strip malls) go up fast and economically with this method. It is really strong and fast. Very good shelter. Very malable for form and such.


But we will prolly stick with the shotcrete as it is lighter still for the foundation walls, and the two of us geezers will be able to pull it off without too much contracted help. Also, with roof and walls all being formed and shot at once, the roof structures are easy and very reliable. Once the house gets done, I want him to enjoy his library and courtyard and stay the fuck off of ladders doing repairs in his old age! We hope to build where it rains seldom, but VERY hard when it does.

OK, here is ONE of the funky Hobbit houses we ran across in our research!

http://radio.weblogs.com/0119080/stories/2003/04/28/gal...

and this shows some more traditional homes using the method:

http://www.solarcrete.com/custom-built-homes-pictures.p... (index on left takes you to interesting things)
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