Article by Derek Markham – September 2020
First there was foamcrete, then there was papercreteand hempcrete, and now we’ve got AirCrete, a foamy mixture of air bubbles and cement that is cheap to make, waterproof, fireproof, and DIY-friendly.
At one point, I fell under the spell of domes as a building form, and as I had plans to someday build my own home on some vacant land, I spent quite a bit of time and energy exploring the idea. Geodesic domes sure did look cool, but dang, there are a lot of angles and joints on a geodesic dome house that would not only have to be cut and assembled, but that would also be a potential weak point for water leaks for the entire life of the home, and almost all of the materials would have to come from off-site, so that design was out for me.
DomeGaia’s AirCrete homes, which are the brainchild of Hajjar Gibran (who happens to be the great-nephew of the poet Kahlil Gibran), are made with a foamy mixture of cement and air bubbles, which create a lightweight and low-cost building block that is fireproof, waterproof, and serves to insulate the building. According to its creator, AirCreteoffers a number of desirable attributes for use as a building material for single-storey residences, especially for the owner-builder, among them the ability to cut construction costs “by a factor of 10” when compared with conventional construction.
“It is waterproof, fireproof, and insect proof. It offers good thermal and acoustic insulation. It will not rot, warp, or corrode. Unlike concrete which is hard, heavy, cold and difficult to work with, AirCrete is easy to work with. It dries overnight and can be cut, carved, drilled and shaped with wood-working tools. It accepts nails and screws and is easily repaired. It had good compressive strength to make excellent foundations, subfloors, building blocks, poured walls, domes or whatever. It can be molded or formed into practically any shape.” – DomeGaia
The key to AirCrete is in the foaming agent, which works to suspend tiny air bubbles in the cement mixture, and a small piece of equipment, a continuous foam generator, which disperses a mix of the foaming agent (which can be as simple as an all-natural “high foaming” dish detergent) into the cement mixture to be mixed together. DomeGaia sells a readymade foam generator unit, the Little Dragon, and has plans and parts for building your own, as well as selling a Foam-Injection AirCrete mixer.
Interested in becoming a professional Aircrete builder or a workshop instructor?
Our workshops are the best way to learn to build Domegaia-style!
You’ll meet people from all over the world with whom you can collaborate.
Our Community Forum has a growing list of folks who need help with their projects.
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Note: We have not be able to find a good supplier of Aircrete essential items in Australia, however we do recommend DomeGaia for all your Aircrete needs. You can order online at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Might be a good idea if you are looking for a new career path to sign up for one of there workshops and bring this knowledge back to Australia, we could do with Aircrete folks here that’s for sure.