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building using tires Options
skruzich
#1 Posted : Friday, February 28, 2003 12:22:12 AM
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I think dennis weaver built his house out of used tires. DOesn''t look that good though. I would think that it would be a very dangerous thing to use in case of fire. Like surrounding yourself with a petroleum product. I can''t imagine what would leach into the soil either.
They use the old tires nowadays to grind up and putinto brakepads.
Steve
MisterM
#2 Posted : Friday, February 28, 2003 3:35:19 AM
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Check out these sites:

http://www.earthship.org/

http://www.slip.net/~ckent/earthship/

Those are the only two sites I found about using earth filled tires, however I have read before (I forget where) about using shredded tires as a filler in concrete construction. I think its great to see old tires being used as something other than garbage to bury in the landfills. When I was a kid (about 30 years ago) seeing giant piles of old tires burned wasnt an uncommon site, now we dont burn them but we still havent figured out very many ways to use them.
As far as fire hazard from using tires in home construction I suspect it would be fairly low in earth filled concrete covered stuctures, since even if somehow some tires caught fire they would burn very slowly from lack of oxygen from being covered in concrete and the cooling/suffocating effect of the earth filling. I''ll bet a wood house burns a great deal faster.
Chemical leeching I am not sure about, as I am not exactly sure what todays tires are made of, but I do know old tires mostly degrade from UV and oxygen exposure, and they would have no UV and minimized oxygen if covered in concrete or imbedded in soil.
dropkick
#3 Posted : Friday, February 28, 2003 4:23:26 AM
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Here are 3 pages dealing with it, I think it is a great idea:

http://mywebpages.comcast.net/algooch/index.htm

www.alternative-way.com/

www.earthship.org/news/wmview.php?ArtID=64

I have just read a study from the Florida Center for Solid and Hazardous Waste (in conjunction with the Florida State University System) and they say there is no danger of tires leaching a significant amount of dangerous chemicals (all elements tested for came up BDL - below detection limits).

Found this study as I have plans to use tires in construction too.
skruzich
#4 Posted : Friday, February 28, 2003 1:08:44 PM
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I still don''t know about this. I see there is little leaching going on. But lately i am realizing that the lies are being told too much to us. Who is going to guarantee the truth from these agencies. I was reading where one had survived a fire out west when the forest fires burned it in 96. It was a extremely hot fire inside the home. I don''t know. Another thing is resale value. What would its value be compared to other types of houses.
STeve
Paul™
#5 Posted : Friday, February 28, 2003 10:08:50 PM
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It seems the resell value the home would be along the same lines as one constructed of ''alternative'' material. The majority still think it''s preferable to build from treated lumber and the like.
StreetLegal
#6 Posted : Saturday, March 01, 2003 7:40:36 PM
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I would think building a home from used tires would be very time consuming and extremely difficult...Have you ever tried to cut a tire??

As for flammability...well, look around you. I would bet 90% of the things in your home are just as flammable and produce just as much toxic smoke as tires. Much of what surrounds you are petroleum-based: vinyl, adhesives, plastics, paints, etc.
LRAVENSEER
#7 Posted : Sunday, April 13, 2003 9:32:43 AM
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There is a bit of zinc leeched out of tires into the soil, but depending on the crops that may be benificial.
One of the main problems with burying tires is that they tend to trap gas and as a result, slowly float to the surface. Certain preparetory methods have been devised to limit and even eliminate this problem.When our local tire store sends tires to the landfill in our state they have to split them like a bagle so that the escaping gases have nowhere to be trapped.Putting 1" holes in the tires might be another good idea.[:D}
Nicky
#8 Posted : Sunday, April 13, 2003 7:00:18 PM
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More wesites to be found if you a search for rammed earth construction. THis building type has a solid ly documented history since the late 60ès and many examples are able to be seen in undrground housing links- some are found (links) on this website submitted by the name tallskinnyguy under his housing links. leaching is almost solely dependant on exposure to sunlight and the levels of acidity in your soil. Ideal consitions are dry well drained basic soil with tires entirely bermed or buries or with a total plaster cover. An excellent r value is produced for heating é cooling your homea and most of thesse homes are built as hillside walkouts either utilising natural slope or through berming. Although time consuming materials are cheap and readily avaliable amking this the ultimate recycling and TMEN type DIY project. Lots of luck. Oh and check the building permit guidelines for the area as they may require and engineer approved drawing which can sometimes be difficult with alternative bilding methods. Have fun.
Nicky
#9 Posted : Sunday, April 13, 2003 7:02:06 PM
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EEEEEEEKKKKKK please excuse my plethora of typos in the last post sorry.
StreetLegal
#10 Posted : Monday, April 14, 2003 4:15:47 AM
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Hmmmm...Building out of tires would be difficult enough...combine it with rammed earth or adobe and...whew!!

BTW...A 14 inch thick adobe wall has an R-value of 3.89...one of the worst possible building materials, IMHO.
Nicky
#11 Posted : Monday, April 14, 2003 1:22:42 PM
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The rammed earth is within the tire circles it''s what stabalises the walls, the tires are whole and don''t need to be cut, and the r value is significantly greater than a finished 14 in ch adobe wall. but then its also a much bigger wall and buried or bermed.
Sheila
#12 Posted : Tuesday, April 15, 2003 1:46:55 AM
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Adobe does have a low R-value, about .25/inch, but that doesn''t tell the whole story. The walls make an excellent thermal mass, absorbing heat during the daytime and offering it back to the space at night...see www.networkearth.org/naturalbuilding/honey.html for more info (I may have quoted them directly, but they give more detail about the K value described).
skruzich
#13 Posted : Tuesday, April 15, 2003 2:37:30 AM
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Sheila that is great for cold weather, but geee, when you live in a place in the south, where the temp is 108 and the humidity is 98 it can make it a living hell having that thermal mass exchanging heat. I would MUCH rather have a tank of sorts, where i store water and cycle the water into the house when i needed heat.
There must be a easier way. The tires are a good idea as they are almost free most places but really how long and how much work is involved in ramming earth into them and setting them into place.
And what is the cost of cement to cover the tires with. That itself is going to be costly as you would have to mix it and then spread at least 2" over the tires, which every depression in the wall will take up to 6" of concrete. It is almost cheaper to pour concrete walls if you count the money and factor in the time spent ramming earth into the tires, procuring the tires, and materials, digging the earth to ram into the tires, and of course setting them. Still once you set the tires, you still have to bring in a concrete truck and pour the floors and footers before you set the tires.
I don''t know, any one run into these questions???
steve
dropkick
#14 Posted : Tuesday, April 15, 2003 10:02:42 AM
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The thermal mass can also cool, its'' purpose is to balance out the temperature and keep it stable.
The depressions in the walls are normally filled with bottles, cans, or whatever is available mixed with earth before sealing
And the walls can be covered with stucco, plaster, or an earth
cement mix. (there are other coverings but these are the most popular)
StreetLegal
#15 Posted : Tuesday, April 15, 2003 4:35:20 PM
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The tire outside diameter is what-28"?- That means you need a slab and a roof that is an extra 60" or so wide.

Chances are the building inspector will require at least the corners of your structure to be poured concrete for stability purposes, then he may also require a bond beam (of sorts) spanning the tops of the concrete columns. I suspect the foundation will have to be beefed-up to accomodate the extra weight of the walls.

The lintel, or header, above the doors and windows will need to be fairly massive in order to support the weight of the dirt above. Those lintels may have to be extra wide so they span two tire columns on each side.

The inspector will no doubt require the tires be secured to one another...probably nuts and bolts(?) You also need a way of securing chicken wire to the tires to hold your stucco and plaster.

If you are counting on abutting interior walls to provide structural integrity (and you should), then you have the added difficulty of attaching the two walls together in a secure way...those tire columns may need to be poured with concrete as well.

Basically, a column of dried mud fourteen inches in diameter and eight feet tall provides little structural value.

And wouldn''t the mud need outside air to dry? (Fill a zip-lock bag with mud, open a one-inch diameter hole in it, and see how long it takes to dry completely). I don''t know, but it seems to me the drying time would be months...and you couldn''t do any more work `til it was dry.

I don''t mean to try to discourage anyone from building this way. These are just the initial thoughts that came to my mind. No doubt it could work...the concept is at least worth a good study since the materials are so inexpensive.
Sheila
#16 Posted : Tuesday, April 15, 2003 5:34:37 PM
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In the dry southwest the thermal mass does a terrific job of stabilizing the interior temperature. I''ve been inside adobes in Arizona (Tucson area) in August, and they were pretty comfortable without mechanical cooling inside.
StreetLegal
#17 Posted : Tuesday, April 15, 2003 9:00:03 PM
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I lived in an adobe house for 2 years. 18" thick walls, plaster inside, stucco outside, urethane foam roof, carpeted throughout.

The indoor temperature was indeed stable and predictable...hot in the summer and cold in the winter! :)

In all fairness, I can''t blame it all on the adobe...the windows and doors sucked. The living room had a 14 foot tall ceiling, which allowed for a huge Christmas tree!
Sheila
#18 Posted : Wednesday, April 16, 2003 6:44:30 AM
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Oooh...14 foot ceilings and bad doors and windows? I''ll bet that was truly miserable. From what I''ve been reading up on passive solar systems, insulating covers for the windows and well selected and installed doors are pretty critical to the whole thing.
arrdavid
#19 Posted : Thursday, April 17, 2003 11:07:45 PM
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Hello, just a couple of comments. Steve, tire walls require no foundation, they are a foundation/wall. Streetlegal, the stability of tire walls is maintained by building U shaped modules. The curve in the wall stabilizes the tires. On the open end, the roof rafters secure the ends. I''ve wanted to build an earthship before, and still do to a certain extent. It is very labor intensive. One of the concepts of the earthship is to be totally independent, including being mortgage free. A lot of projects can take 5 years to complete. That''s a lot of sweat. I don''t know about you all but being mortgage free in 5 years is very appealing to me.
StreetLegal
#20 Posted : Tuesday, April 29, 2003 4:23:38 PM
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arrdavid...curving the walls would indeed help stabilize them.

As for the foundation/wall, I''ve not heard of that practice using dirt. If you do that, you''d better be certain that you have excellant drainage! I know that in my State, and adobe wall must be set on concrete and be at least 4 inches above grade.

I don''t want to sound like a broken record, but check with the local building inspector FIRST!

It is my understanding that building inspectors are allowed to make variances in the Uniform Building Code, but doing-so opens them and their employer to liability exposure. Most cities/inspectors are not willing to incur that risk just so a do-it-yourselfer can experiment and/or save a little money.

Building code exists so that sound structures can be built by people who are basically un-qualified to build.
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