QUESTION: I’m planning to body a super-efficient abode on a bound budget. The abode charge be actual able back I alive in the tornado belt. How able and able are new concrete/foam block architecture systems?
ANSWER: Concrete/foam block architecture absolutely includes several types of abode construction. All the methods aftermath acutely strong, quiet houses with low account bills year-round. They can bear 150-mph winds. Back I body my own new house, this architecture adjustment will be at the top of my list.
With the simple architecture methods, you can do some of the assignment yourself. The exoteric can be accomplished with siding, stucco, brick or any accepted material. Accomplished concrete/foam block houses (called stay-in-place-forms) attending identical to any commonly congenital abode from central and outdoors.
This architecture address uses hollow, adamant broadcast polystyrene (EPS or Styrofoam) cream blocks. Each block is about 4 anxiety long, 1 bottom advanced and high, and weighs alone 5 pounds. Best are fabricated from recycled plastics.
The chain cream blocks breeze calm like a huge Lego set. Once the walls are airtight calm and rebar is slipped into the openings, accurate is caked into the top block openings. To abutment the floors in a two-story house, a balance lath with ballast ts is apprenticed in afore the pour.
The accurate flows throughout the cavities in the cream blocks. Back cured, this creates a monolithic, termite-proof, able accurate post-and-beam anatomy in a connected envelope of adamant careful foam–up to R-30.
These are able for several reasons. Adamant EPS cream is a actual acceptable insulator; it is acclimated in best coolers. There are no voids and little air arising into the house, which reduces noise, dust and allergies.
The abundant accurate anatomy central the walls acts as thermal accumulation to abstinent calm temperature changes. This is a cogent advantage back air-conditioning and for summer comfort. With the aerial insulation, a abate and beneath big-ticket boiler and air conditioner are required.
There are several concrete/foam block architecture variations. Polysteel uses two-piece cream blocks absorbed calm with animate cobweb with apparent strips. This adds backbone back the accurate flows through the mesh. The strips accommodate defended ascent locations for balustrade and drywall.
Conform offers a capricious amplitude bank application color-coded chain crossties amid cream block halves. Rastra uses a failing admixture of adhesive and artificial cream to accomplish 10-foot-long blocks. Accurate is caked in the cavities. This actual is additionally fireproof after drywall applied.
Write for Update Bulletin No. 879, which lists 16 manufacturers of concrete/foam blocks, sizes, prices, R-values and architecture details. Please accommodate $3 and a business-size, self-addressed envelope and mail to James Dulley, Los Angeles Times, 6906 Royalgreen Drive, Cincinnati, OH 45244.
Help for Broiler That Doesn’t Draw Well
Q: I am accepting my broiler accessible for the fall. It doesn’t consistently draw able-bodied and the allowance gets smoky. I accept heard that nailing a 5-inch lath beyond the top of the aperture will help?
A: The accord of the aperture amplitude and acme ambit are important for a broiler to draw well. Many fireplaces are advised for aesthetics with a alpine opening, but they smoke like yours.
Reducing the acme by 5 inches generally helps. Do not use a copse board. Use animate or aluminum. A copse lath would be a blaze hazard and your absolute abode may become one big fireplace.
Letters and questions to Dulley, a Cincinnati-based engineering consultant, may be beatific to James Dulley, Los Angeles Times, 6906 Royalgreen Drive, Cincinnati, OH 45244; or burning download: www.dulley.com
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