Build Your Own Yurt Using Papercrete

| 6/21/2013 1:53:00 PM

Tags: yurt, papercrete, Instructables,
Photo by Instructables

This article was originally posted in Instructables and is reposted with permission from Michael Warren.

Papercrete is just what it sounds like: concrete made with paper. I tell people to think of it as industrial papier-mache. It’s inexpensive to make, amazingly sturdy, lightweight and insulating.

Step 1: So, What Is Papercrete, Anyway?

Making papercrete consists of adding a certain ratio of paper and/or cardboard to water and then adding portland cement. The mixture is then stirred with a blade to re-pulp the paper and mix everything together. When properly mixed, it has the consistency of lumpy oatmeal, which can be poured into forms and cast into shapes, such as blocks or beams or dome sections. You use the same stuff as a mortar to glue the blocks together. It can also be used as a plaster to make a smooth finish coat on the inside and outside of a structure. Papercrete has an R value of 2 per inch so a 12" wall has an R value of 24. Not bad!

• It’s sturdy but lightweight. A block only weighs a few pounds but can hold up a car!

• It’s weatherproof. I’ve had blocks out in the elements for four years, and they haven’t changed at all. It does absorb water like a sponge so if they are going to be used for walls they need to be protected from moisture. Similar to wood they will decompose if buried underground so they need to be up on a raised foundation.
5/15/2018 12:14:40 AM

I used the plans at WWW.EASYWOODWORK.ORG to build my own yurt – I highly recommend you visit that website and check their plans out too. They are detailed and super easy to read and understand unlike several others I found online. The amount of plans there is mind-boggling… there’s like 16,000 plans or something like that for tons of different projects. Definitely enough to keep me busy with projects for many more years to come haha Go to WWW.EASYWOODWORK.ORG if you want some additional plans :)

3/2/2015 3:17:56 AM

Nice post. I was always thinking of yurt like something made of wool... and somewhere in post soviet Asia. Maybe like here: But you changed my perception! Thanks!

7/13/2013 3:55:47 PM

Is it possible to build a permantent structure with papercregte that you could live in?

If it is suseptible to moisture, how do you keep it dry?

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