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Ultra Low-Cost Housing

Ultra Low-Cost Housing M.Subhash Chandra L.Aditya GITAM UNIVERSITY Page 1 of 15
Ultra Low-Cost Housing M.Subhash Chandra L.Aditya GITAM UNIVERSITY Page 1 of 15

M.Subhash Chandra L.Aditya GITAM UNIVERSITY

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Ultra Low-Cost Housing

ABSTRACT

The greatest material need in the world today is the need for housing and life- support systems for the sustainable development of civilization. In western countries such as the U.S.A., housing is no longer affordable by a large percentage of Americans. In developing countries, housing is both substandard and expensive. Therefore, affordable housing and the ability to sustain civilization without destroying the environment are the critical needs in every country of the world today. Unless we solve the world housing shortage and provide a means for people to sustain themselves in life supporting environments, the world may erupt into competing battles for resources.

So, definitely there is a need for development of low cost, high strength, low weight and environment friendly houses. This is possible only by using natural and agricultural products in the field of construction. We use new engineering principles and new types of building laws and techniques in design of these low cost and environment friendly houses. There are several aspects which influence this design. This design and construction process is completely explained in this paper.

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Ultra Low-Cost Housing

INTRODUCTION

The greatest material need in the world today is the need for housing and life- support systems for the sustainable development of civilization. In western countries such as the U.S.A., housing is no longer affordable by a large percentage of Americans. In developing countries, housing is both substandard and expensive. Therefore, affordable housing and the ability to sustain civilization without destroying the environment are the critical needs in every country of the world today. Unless we solve the world housing shortage and provide a means for people to sustain themselves in life supporting environments, the world may erupt into competing battles for resources.

ENGINEERING PRINCIPLES

Bending moment

`The single most important principle for the strong design of structures is called the bending moment. Basically, a moment in engineering parlance is the principle of the lever. If you want to tighten a bolt, you can hold a wrench close to the bolt or you could grab the wrench at the end. The end of the wrench gives you more advantage. The distance at which a force acts influences the outcome. That is the principle of the moment.

Likewise, the strength of a structure is not just a function of the kind of material it is made of, but how it is shaped -- the distances involved. Take three 1/8 inch thick boards 2 ft long and 3 inches wide. If you were to place them flat on top of each other and support them on the ends only, you could easily snap them by stepping on them with one foot. However, if you were to construct a triangular beam out of them, they would probably support your whole weight.

Ultra Low-Cost Housing INTRODUCTION The greatest material need in the world today is the need for

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Ultra Low-Cost Housing

So the moment is the combination of force and distance -- the force times the distance from the axis that the force is applied or resisted. The bridge truss, the box beam, and the I beam all take advantage of this by putting the strongest material at the outside edges -- as far as possible from the central axis. The material at the center takes no force at all. The material at the edges takes all the force and maximizes the strength.

Remember the principle of the moment: It does not matter much what the inside is made of, if the outside edges are strong, the structure will be strong. You can make a house out of material as light and fragile as styrofoam and it would be strong enough to fly if the surfaces are coated with a strong material. Use this principle in the design of all your structures!

Curved Surfaces -- The Shell

Curved surfaces, shells, are stronger than flat surfaces. Take three sheets of material. If one sheet were curved along one axis to make a half cylinder, like a quonset hut, the strength would be several times that of a flat roof. A heavy snow load could be resisted. If a sheet were curved along both axes to make a dome, the strength would be greater still. Surfaces curved in two dimensions can be 40 times stronger than flat surfaces! This is the strength of the curved shell. Use this principle of shells to increase the strength of your structures! Actually, the curves only increase the distance of the material from the central axis, taking advantage of the principle of the moment just discussed. An egg shell is a great example of significant strength from a tiny amount of material.

Ultra Low-Cost Housing So the moment is the combination of force and distance -- the force

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Ultra Low-Cost Housing

Corrugation

You've seen corrugated sheet metal. The corrugations give it greater strength in the direction along the corrugations. Again the principle of curved surfaces and the moment are put to good use. Corrugations can be deeper than the usual corrugated metal sheet roofing. The deeper the corrugations the greater the strength, because the moment is greater. Serpentine walls take advantage of this corrugation factor. Curved walls only one brick thick have stood for centuries. Many fan-type sea shells use corrugation as a strengthening principle.

Honeycombs

If you've ever seen a paper wasp nest or a bee hive, you've seen a honeycomb. Honeycombs are used to maximize the use of materials. A honeycomb with a shell on each side is one of the strongest structural engineering designs. We use this idea for dome shells, walls, and virtually every other construction.

Stress Points

The reason most structures fail is not just because of the weakness of the material, but because of its connections to other materials. Connections such as bolts, nails, and screws cause localized stress points near the connections which fail long before the material itself would fail. It is these localized stress points that are the weakest link in conventional structures. It would be better to avoid localized stresses altogether if possible. This can be done by not using localized stressors such as nails, bolts, and screws. Instead, connections should be continuous, like ribbons. Ribbon connections continuously tie two surfaces together and prevent localization of stress at a point. Even better, make a monolithic shell without the need for connections.

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Ultra Low-Cost Housing

STRUCTURAL MATERIALS

Structural materials generally means the walls, roof slabs etc. In this ultra low cost design of housing low cost natural and agricultural materials are used for all these walls, roofs etc. But taking strength criteria in to consideration special principle is used for construction of walls etc.

Generally sandwich type of construction is followed which consists of composite on ends that are separated by layer of insulation.

Ultra Low-Cost Housing STRUCTURAL MATERIALS Structural materials generally means the walls, roof slabs etc. In this

Composites:

The best low-cost structural materials are composites. Composites are a combination of distributed fiber reinforcement, lightweight aggregate, and a binding agent. Ferro-cement is one such composite using metal or synthetic fibers and portland cement, but there are many others. Fiberglass is a common (but toxic) composite. A newcomer in fiber composites is papercrete or fibercrete, which is a combination of pulped paper, or other cellulose-based raw material, and binders such as lime, cement, and/or clay. Sand adds strength and density to these composites, but lightweight aggregates could also be used. Any composite material can be used to create shell structures which we call Composite-Shell construction. Domes 100 ft. in diameter, have been built using portland cement and glass fibers. Using lesser fibers and binders, more modest structures can be built. If the fiber composite is applied to both sides of a thick insulating layer such as straw-clay, perlite cement, or agcrete, a strong "sandwich" is formed. If the insulation layer is made from a structural honeycomb of lightweight fiber composite, the strength of the shell is even better.

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Ultra Low-Cost Housing

Composite materials can be sprayed, or poured, or packed directly onto a reusable formwork. Simply pour from a bucket, or apply from a scoop, and spread. Fiber reinforcement options include natural fibers such as wood, bamboo, industrial hemp, sisal, and jute, for low-tech applications, and synthetic, glass, and steel fibers for high- tech applications where greater rigidity is desired. Recycled clothing fibers can be used. Bamboo has been used successfully in place of rebar in many countries for decades. Wood fiber has been used in Japan for centuries for its strength and beauty. Industrial hemp fiber has tremendous potential where it is available. It is used for architectural molding in North America. Discrete bamboo fibers have tremendous strength, exceeding hemp, and could be the most effective fiber of all if properly processed. Jute is also a strong natural fiber. All high silica fibers last a long time if protected from rust or rot.

Types of composites

1. Fibercrete Composite:

60% Paper

+

40% Binder

Binder: 50:50 Portland cement/Hydrated lime 25:25:25:25 Cement, Lime, Clay and Sand

2. Lightweight AgStone Formula:

20 parts chips (Agricultural waste) (Bamboo, Sunflower)

  • 5 parts Clay (With Sand)

  • 5 parts Binders (3 Lime, 2 Cement)

Insulation:

Generally insulation is done by the method of honey combing. This creates a highly insulated very strong structure. A low cost method is to apply a thin 1/2 to 1" initial layer to a lower portion of the supporting fabric covering a frame in order to begin the inner shell. Then a honeycomb of material is added on top. Short sections of lightweight plastic pipe, such as smooth, thin, ABS drainage pipe, are used to make circular forms. Common flower pots could also work. Slurry is scooped or poured out over a row of forms, such that 1/2" to 2" of material surrounds the holes and creates a continuous web of honeycomb. This process is repeated with additional rows of lightweight circular forms until the structure is covered in the honeycomb. In 24 hours or

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Ultra Low-Cost Housing

more, the cement will set and harden, the circular forms can be reused if carefully removed. Holes can be stuffed with balled newspaper or any lightweight, insulating material, then an outer shell of the desired thickness can be applied. Wasps build paper houses for their young with honeycomb shapes. This same method of honeycomb building can be used for walls, too. Only the pots are placed reversing the direction with each layer or ABS pipe is used rather than pots. Window frames, door frames, windows, and doors can be cast from this same material. Frames are placed, then the wall is built around them. Beautiful paper windows, such as the Japanese are famous for, can be made by stretching paper on both sides of a window frame with large openings for light. The window is "caulked" into the frame with a bit more of the same material.

Plastic Slurry pipes
Plastic
Slurry
pipes
Ultra Low-Cost Housing more, the cement will set and harden, the circular forms can be reused
Ultra Low-Cost Housing more, the cement will set and harden, the circular forms can be reused

Plastic

Composit

Slurry

pipes

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Ultra Low-Cost Housing

DESIGN IDEAS

Hexagonal Domes:

Our designs employ rooms (often hexagonal) with domed roofs and vertical walls. The hex room shape increases usable space compared to most other shapes. They can be nested together to create clusters. The domed roofs are the strongest shape. Vertical walls are practical for doors, windows, furniture, decoration, and weatherproofing.

The structures consist of a sandwich of:

  • 1. An inner shell of fiber composite placed over a removable form

  • 2. A honeycomb insulation layer made of fiber composite filled with high R value insulation

  • 3. An outer shell of fiber composite, waterproofed

This building technology is called Composite-Shell construction. Housing can be built for an extremely low material cost.

The room structure shown above can be combined with others in many ways. They can be linked, grouped, or nested into various configurations to provide a wide variety of housing solutions as shown below.

Generally, the plan of house is made such that it looks like cluster of hexagons. Hexagon shaped rooms are designed to increase the usable space to maximum. Half hexagons are also used for rooms like study room, mud rooms, alcoves, porches, foyers and other small area uses.

Ultra Low-Cost Housing DESIGN IDEAS Hexagonal Domes: Our designs employ rooms (often hexagonal) with domed roofs

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Ultra Low-Cost Housing

Inflatable forms reduce costs:

Two layers of plastic sheeting are welded together at their perimeter and stretched across a tubular form. Air inflates between the layers to create a convex shape. One or more "wedges" are placed, and then an inch thick of material is poured in place on the lower portion of the form. Then the honeycomb insulation layer is applied, and then the outside shell is applied. The forms are removable and reusable. Even doors and windows (except the glass) can be made from these same composite materials. Our ultimate goal is for do-it-yourselfers to be able to build one room in a day, or every few days, including windows, doors, floor, electrical, and modest plumbing.

Social Implications:

Building at such a low cost would enable every family to afford housing without having to take out a mortgage. No longer would families be forced onto the streets due to the inability to pay rents or mortgages. Nor would families have to mortgage their lives for 30 years as is common in the West. The social implications would be tremendous when families can reduce their financial stress. Family violence, drugs usage, child abuse, and other social ills would be reduced as the pressure to survive is reduced. Greater opportunities would arise as families have the time to pursue interests in education, gardening, music, the arts, yoga, meditation, and spiritual awakening in general. Families could return to having only one spouse work, allowing one spouse to anchor the family in culture, home education, inner values, and guidance which have been abandoned in large measure in the hectic pace of western "civilization".

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Ultra Low-Cost Housing

FOUNDATION

In mild climates, the perimeter foundation only needs to be about 6-8 inches deep. In cold climates, the foundation should be dug deeper, 12-18 inches. It doesn't have to go all the way to freezing depth because it w ill be insulated and heated. It's insulated from the surrounding earth both to prevent freezing and to retain radiant floor heat (solar derived). Perlite-cement 6:1 is a good material for subsurface insulation.

For structural integrity the wall foundations may be rammed until the earth at the perimeter is rock solid. Trials need to be made as to whether a rammed earth perimeter foundation will last. Historical data would be helpful from those parts of the world where this may have been tried. Otherwise, conventional poured foundation walls of concrete with reinforcement are suitable in developed countries.

Gravel foundations, sometimes known as floating foundations, have proved very successful, even for very heavy walls such as adobe. Most foundations in western countries are overbuilt. Obviously, the gravel can only come up to grade level without spilling over, so a rammed earth, stabilized earth (with 10-15% cement), mortared rock, or concrete layer is needed on top to divert flowing rainwater away from the wall.

One easy way to make the foundation is to make it integral to the wall as it is being constructed. When the forms have been tilted up and the gravel foundation is at the edge of the form (as shown to the right), the wall and foundation can be sprayed with ferro-fiber cement at the same time, making the foundation, wall, and roof in one process. Whole rooms are created at once with six-sided forms.

Ultra Low-Cost Housing FOUNDATION In mild climates, the perimeter foundation only needs to be about 6-8

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Ultra Low-Cost Housing

FORM BUILDING

Inflatable Forming System:

There have been many kinds of inflatable systems for creating buildings, but the systems which have developed are simple and profound. It does not use large inflatable balloons, but combines the advantages of both rigid frame and inflatable technologies. Since it is adjustable, it requires little to no precision and could be made from cheap bamboo and polyethylene if need be. The inflated volume is drastically reduced, allowing quick inflation by cheap blowers or even a hand operated bellows, with check valves to prevent deflation. First the shape of the frame is defined using lightweight rigid tubing. For this structure we should use 1/2 inch EMT, electrical conduit. Generally this lightweight tubing would be suitable for rooms up to 30 feet in diameter. The tubular frame elements can be 3 or 4 sided and either curved or straight to define virtually any shape.

Ultra Low-Cost Housing FORM BUILDING Inflatable Forming System: There have been many kinds of inflatable systems

The tubular frame is braced with straight adjustable elements created from two tubes which slide inside each other. Emt/pvc which just slide into each other is used. The frame is wrapped with two layers of polyethylene or other plastic film, heat sealed at the perimeter. Oiled fabric may also work if sewn tightly at the edges. The double-film wrapper is oversized to accommodate multiple settings of the dimensions of the frame. The length of the base to apex arches could be adjustable as well. The oversized wrapper should fit the largest intended size. It simply wraps over the frame with the extra material wrapping around underneath the frame.

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Ultra Low-Cost Housing

The space between the two films is inflated with low pressure air. This provides a taut surface for applying casting materials such as fibrous cement. This overcomes the central obstacle to ferrocement which has always been the expensive and tedious nature of creating one-time-use rebar/mesh surfaces to define a structure.

Ultra Low-Cost Housing The space between the two films is inflated with low pressure air. This

In the same process whole design is covered with this plastic layer. On this the main procedure of construction will be started. Firstly the composite is added as layer to the plastic layer, later on that the insulation is done on the plastic layer and it is again covered with composite. Roofs and slabs also applied and jointing is done as jointing methods discussed in engineering principles using ribbons etc.

Ultra Low-Cost Housing The space between the two films is inflated with low pressure air. This

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Ultra Low-Cost Housing

EXAMPLES

The Gazebo:

This gazebo was made with a wooden forming system. The forms were quite a bit more complex than the forms described earlier in the discussion on form building. This was an experiment which worked, but the forms were much heavier and more expensive than we would want. Solid forms were abandoned.

Since this building required no insulation, a lightweight concrete made from pumice was used. This structure was built by Leslie Feuerborn. Les is an architectural artist.

One interesting and powerful idea in forming structures with a mold is that the mold or form can have textured relief cut into it. Various architectural designs can be incorporated into the mold to create designs in relief when the wall is cast. Notice the ceiling design. In this case, the relief was further enhanced by antiquing with ordinary latex paint.

Ultra Low-Cost Housing EXAMPLES The Gazebo: This gazebo was made with a wooden forming system. The

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Ultra Low-Cost Housing

CONCLUSION

This is an ultra low cost, low weight, high strength housing type. This design is very environment friendly as the materials used are almost natural and agricultural products such as the reinforcement used in composites is jute, bamboo etc, and binders used are also like clay etc. But every thing has its own disadvantages. In this type of housing there is no scope for future development and extension. This type of construction cannot be used for multistoried structures. But for housing purposes this is one of most low cost design ever designed.

REFERENCES

www.planetaryrenewal.org

www.wikipedia.com

AUTHORS

Ultra Low-Cost Housing CONCLUSION This is an ultra low cost, low weight, high strength housing type.

M.Subhash Chandra

2/4 Civil Engineering, GITAM Institute if Technology, GITAM UNIVERSITY, Rushikonda, Visakhaptnam-45. Phone: 9966620348

Email: subhashchandra_gitam@yahoo.com

Ultra Low-Cost Housing CONCLUSION This is an ultra low cost, low weight, high strength housing type.

L.Aditya

2/4 Civil Engineering, GITAM Institute if Technology, GITAM UNIVERSITY, Rushikonda, Visakhaptnam-45. Phone: 9966544961

Email: aditya_6367@yahoo.co.in

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