Dec 4, 2010, 2:10 PM
Post #2 of 7
Re: [Rolly] Hay bale and adobe construction
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That type of construction has been used here in Albuquerque and other areas of New Mexico for years. While a generally well accepted construction method, I have had occasion to view projects where they were doing additions that required opening up sections of the old walls. I observed hay that had extreme mold and serious deterioration along with critters living and dead inside of these walls. While I would grant you that the original building techniques may have been marginal, they did give me enough pause to feel that I probably would not want this type of construction.
After doing my research, I decided on the ICF (Insulated Concrete Form) construction method. Given the availability and relative low cost of concrete in Mexico, I always thought this would really work there. There are numerous different systems and some use recycled foam as the basis for their blocks: http://www.rastra.com/index.html
Here is a video of another product: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HvVsNoTuOIc
Naturally, it would have to be done in an area with concrete pumper trucks. A side cost benefit would be the low labor rate in setting up the forms, stringing the rebar and running the conduit/plumbing in the walls prior to the pour. I have been on the job site when an entire 3500 to 4000 square foot house was poured in a single day.
I have attached our floorplan for a 3151 sq ft ICF home. The exterior walls are all 12" thick and properly constructed the home would be almost bomb proof.