AirCrete homes are starting to get some spotlight lately and it’s for good reason. This cost effective DYI home is quite unbelievable when it comes cost and ease to do. Using some low cost tools you can start molding these Air Crete bricks and pretty much anything else you want. AirCrete is basically made with water, soap and a smaller amount of concrete, way less than a normal brick. The air thrusted into it interacts with soap and creates a concrete type foam. Which dries into a very strong concrete.
The amazing part is even a child can pick up this Air Crete brick. So overall this makes it Ideal when it comes to doing this project solo, such at the dome pictured. Lets look at some of the benefits.
Top 10 Benefits to DIY AirCrete Homes
Fireproof - Unlike traditional wood frame homes an AirCrete Home on its own is not flammable.
Water resistant - Although proper steps need to be taken for this like how you seal the home. You don't have to worry about the wood rotting or mold in the wooden frame.
Pest Proof - Termite damage can be a huge issue any many places. Most of us have seen homes that are tented for termite control. Termite damage can be extremely costly. But luckily AirCrete isn't on the menu for termites.
Safe - Usually a huge concern and the reason people think they cant use AirCrete. However, thousands, if not a million homes in Germany are built from AirCrete. It can also be reinforced with fibers and has been tested in many extreme conditions as durable.
Low Cost - By far one of the best benefits is the cost. Some of these beautiful homes are built for under $10k. That is because you don't need as much concrete due to the Air method. It's also really lightweight and easy to work with. That is why people can do it themselves and save on labor.
Easy to work with - The bricks end up being really light weight which allows for some amazing flexibility. It is also moldable, meaning you can frame a mold and fill it with the AirCrete to create anything.
The tools are really cheap - The tools that can be purchased on domegaia are all you need to make your AirCrete. The cost is nothing compared to what you could spend on traditional building material.
Thermal Performance - When you frame a traditional wooden home you need to insulate it. But with AirCrete, given there is air in the actual concrete you will already have a complete insulation system.
Frost Protection - Given the millions of tiny bubbles AirCrete is not effected by frost and is great in that environment.
- Have you seen the Homes! - Given the flexibility of AirCrete, design options are endless and some have yet to be seen. Homes on AirBnb that have a unique design are often rented the most.
First and foremost before we get into the process, the top group in the world for this is domegaia. They offer workshops around the world, you can buy the equipment there and they are the top authority of AirCrete building for dome homes.
The AirCrete process is taking the very important correct levels of cement, water and a foaming agent. Traditional dishwashing soap can be used, however there are many benefits to using professional foaming agents. Even mixing in some reinforcing fabric is sometimes added to increase it’s overall strength. Although, have no doubt it is very durable and strong without it.
The process is what is sounds like, adding air to the mix makes the concrete mixture foam up. Which makes your cost of your concrete for the project significantly reduced. The air agitator is commonly referred to as a “Little Dragon”.
The best place to buy these is Domegaia, where you can purchase tools and take workshops around the world. They are really considered the masters of this process and their workshops are unbelievable. They take place all over the world, so make a trip out of it. From Asia, Costa Rica, Hawaii and much more, you can be sure to catch this 1 week class. They provide places to sleep and food as well for an additional cost. They also don’t charge much for these workshops and you will actually build a dome home on site.
Back to AirCrete, once your mixture is made you place it in molds and wait for it to harden. The interesting thing is you can mold this into any form you want. From bricks to poles and anything you can dream of. If you’re wondering why housing industries do not use this more that’s a common question. In the united states it’s always been common to use wooden framing. However in other European countries AirCrete has been used for years. This is mainly because the manufactures that make building bricks for mass construction did not focus on the US housing market. That doesn’t mean you can’t use it in the United States but chances are you will be making your own bricks and not buying them. Which you could in other parts of the world. The only place we could find a manufacturer is in the Virgin Islands. I guess that shows you how strong they are because they have hurricanes there.
In conclusion, this is an easy process to learn about and well worth it. More and more people are looking to live off the grid and without some crazy mortgage. The fear of losing a job and losing your home adds to the stress of life. Especially after all the money you put in by getting a traditional bank loan. You will need to do some research on building restrictions on your land. Last thing you want to do is build it and some county comes in and says it's unlivable, when it totally is.
Given almost every county has zero information about AirCrete it would be best to send an email to the county or city so you have documentation of approval. In some areas there are no building restrictions so you can get started right away. If you want amenities like water and power we would recommend bringing on a contractor to help with this process at least. Especially if there are building codes. If you are planning off the grid, look into catchment tanks and solar. Hope this helps, be sure to learn a lot more about the mixing process and building process first by visiting domegaia!