All about papercrete: And other alternative building materials

All about papercrete: And other alternative building materials

All about papercrete: And other alternative building materialsAuthor(s): Charmaine Taylor

Publisher: Taylor Publishing and Elk River Press (2001)


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Papercrete is an IDEA , a gift, a new (old) way to look at alternative building materials. By taking unwanted newspapers, discarded cardboard, old phone books, pizza boxes and junk mail you can help eliminate landfill waste and build anything from garden pottery and outdoor furniture, up to a full sized house! This book describes all known methods and practices using Papercrete.

“Papercrete” has been rediscovered about every 30 years. In 1948 an Idaho man, Walt Friberg turned cement, sawdust and diatomaceous earth into crisp building blocks for his home, and went on to help more than 30 others construct their homes. In 1978 Mother Earth news reviewed his still functional home and tried to re-promote the mix. But the Idaho governement-funded study support money dried up and another 30 years went by until Ken Kern experimented with sawdust and clay again.

You’ll read about the latest three “inventors” working with papercrete, and learn how individuals are experimenting and building. Complete houses have been built already, along with offices, privacy walls, workshops and other structures. Small projects like garden pottery (also called Tufastone- with specialized recipes) are easy to make. Mixing instructions and formulas are given, as well as descriptions for mixer construction and alternative options.This version has close up photos of Mike McCain’s new scissor blades and mixer design.

The book also includes descriptions of building experiments with woodchips, sawdust, peat moss, hemp, lime, weeds, EPS and paper adobe, which can be used just like papercrete. This is NOT a housebuilding how- to , but it will get you started on construction ideas away from traditional stick built housing. Papercrete mixes can be used for wall insulation, for sturdy interior plaster over adobe and other materials, as bricks for wall infill, as a slipform pour to build walls, as a poured floor or ceiling, and more, such as the outdoor garden bench I built.

You can begin by making test bricks and plasters using kitchen tools, and experiment on a small scale. Then move on to construct a simple privacy wall, a shed, doghouse, or other small project. 75+ pages with black & white photos and illustrations, tips and advice. Includes emails with pertinent information, and interviews with people who are building with this material, plus comments on building with paper adobe, and earth friendly materials from inventor Sean Sands and Mike McCain.

Book FORMAT: This is a high quality, xerographic document, comb bound, 75+ pages with black & white photos and illustrations. Includes floppy disks with color photos, sites and more papercrete information. If you want to try similar papercrete recipes on a small scale-sucessfully- get Making Concrete Garden Ornaments #1078, beautiful color photos of projects you can try in a weekend, for very little money.

Posted in How-to, Materials, Systems, Papercrete and tagged .

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