Thin Shelled Dome Construction - Concrete turns Green

Generally, the use of concrete is not considered the best green material to use for construction. It is one of the highest Embodied Energy materials and has a very high environmental impact. What is the benefit of using concrete to make a sustainable home? One must think beyond just the chosen building materials and consider the entire impact the structure will have economically and environmentally over its lifetime. Because an Earthship is more than just a structure, this is where concrete can create value:   

·        Traditional constructed homes have a 40-60 year life expectancy. Earthships can have a 1000 year life expectancy.

·        Concrete can provide structural integrity that many other materials can not.

·        By design, Earthships & PAHS eliminate the root issues that cause concrete to fail.

·        By using tires rammed with earth, less concrete is needed. No concrete is necessary for walls or foundation.

·        Domes are inherently stronger than flat structures and can use 75% less concrete for the same square footage. 

Remember an Earthship does not have to use concrete.  It is an option that provides flexibility for design, region or climate issues, and regulation restrictions. 

There are many “versions” of concrete from traditional to natural admixtures (rice hulls, hemp, etc), so there is also an additional opportunity to minimize the impact.

Further details:
Monolithic Dome (MDI)