Earth, mud , dirt floor & Green foundations

Reply

  #1  
Old 04-14-09, 09:40 AM
L
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: az
Posts: 2
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Red face Earth, mud , dirt floor & Green foundations

Hello,

I want to build a 200-400 sqft workshop on my Az property. No snow, very dry there, Cactus country.

does anyone know about earth floors also called dirt or pressed dirt floors?

Some website say EVERY BUILDING from the Old NO Spanish houses had dirt floors that they used Linseed oil on to New England Victorians with Dirt floor Basements.

Others say these floors has a cement slab/foundation under the dirt.

1. Can I building a workshop (wood or metal) and use compressed dirt (earthen floor) as the floor without a sub-floor?

2. Can I later use that dirt floor as a sub floor and put wood or tiles on it? (Did the Spanish and Mexican House have tiles put directly in the dirt or did they use a cement foundation?)

3. Can I do what ancient homes/castles did and use stone like cobble stone or flagstone with pressed dirt as the flooring-- they say those house are like one big block of rock after so many centruies?


thank you for all you help. A full cement slab is out of my price range at the moment and I'd rather go with a wood kit and use a wood decking then go Metal and need cement.

thank you again,
ladydee

PS: I hope it's obvious I've never built anything, hense the kit, so please answer me like I'm hopeless, don't know the lingo, and am as stupid as someone who want to build like the Romans (ha ha on me, they used cement-- I know. better than ours too! No re-bar)
 
  #2  
Old 04-14-09, 02:21 PM
B
Member
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: New England
Posts: 10,524
Received 37 Votes on 34 Posts
Not my field, but I think some reading about "adobe" may help you. A quick search on adobe floors turned up much.

Here is a link to start and I think you will enjoy where you are headed.

Green Home Building: Article about the Beuaty of Mud and Straw

Have fun playing in the mud, (adobe)
Bud
 
  #3  
Old 11-18-09, 06:01 AM
E
Member
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: NY
Posts: 7
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Try this.

1 get enough old tires to lay flat to cover you floor space and out side you walls so that the walls will be hitting the center of the outer rows of tire.

2 dig down to the sub dirt and lay out your tires.

3 using clayish dirt pack it into the tires with an 8lb sledge make sure you pack the sides of the tires first then the center. AVOID using top soil as this takes much longer to settles and even if packed will still settle over time.

4 I used larger stones and some old cinder blocks for solid footings for my shed.

5 later if you wish I would recommend a sand and paver floor thus allowing you to make adjustments as needed for any settling

This will take a little time and some hard work. However all the materials can be gotten free.

A tires are found anywhere and most places are ready and willing to give them away

B the clayish dirt can be gotten from a lot of construction companies that are looking to dump the leftover subdirt they have. A few phone calls can net you a free truck load delivered

C I found the stones on my property. However again keeping eyes open you can often find them on the side of farmers fields ditches act.

D cinderblocks I got from a local demolition job as well as enough bricks to do a 12x12' floor in my shed

There is def some time iinvolved and packing the tires was the toughest part but I am def happy with it.

Ps I did a double layer of tires but I have fros heave deal with. I am sure that a single layer wilk do where there is no frost heave to worry about.

Also I would def talk to the local building inspector about this setup. If you are going larger than I did you make need to have cement corner and center wall footings. Def check the code there.
 
  #4  
Old 11-18-09, 07:49 AM
pmgca's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: CANADA
Posts: 892
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
I don't think this is a good advice: you can't dispose entire tires, for several reasons, includings gas, air cavities and contamination. In addition the whole tires don't provide stability due the air cavities
Usually, there are companies that crumb rubber from whole waste tires, and this is a material you can use
 
  #5  
Old 11-22-09, 04:51 AM
E
Member
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: NY
Posts: 7
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by pmgca View Post
I don't think this is a good advice: you can't dispose entire tires, for several reasons, includings gas, air cavities and contamination. In addition the whole tires don't provide stability due the air cavities
Usually, there are companies that crumb rubber from whole waste tires, and this is a material you can use
I disagree. I have used this method a couple of times. My grandfather thought it to me. And the foundation we built for his tractor shed 30+ years ago has not budged since we built it.

A couple points I can stress here that are important to this type of building.

you have to ensure that you pack the sides of the tire first befor the center. This eliminates the air pocket issue if you take the time to do it right and make sure there are no pockets

there is less environmental impact from doing it this way than taking it and getting it crumbled.

tires release little to no palutants as they break down. And we all know how long that takes to happen we actually we don't really heh.

another point is that tires after being cleaned can and are safely used as drinking well liners. Its a something a professor from AZ developed to help in disaster areas both in the US and in other countries. He did the full environmental impact analysis and found that the tire releases less palutants than the standard steel pipe used for wells.

I think that the biggest problem folks have is the actual idea of the nasty looking tire itself. There are plenty of ways to mask or hide them I used local stones to do this myself.

I would ask that you try and pack 1 tire and see how it goes using the method I suggested .

Ps I am not suggesting this use for a house. But a shed or garage type area and I also maintain the checking with the local building inspector is best and that anything over 12x12' should be supported with piers/footings
 
  #6  
Old 11-22-09, 07:52 AM
pmgca's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: CANADA
Posts: 892
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
The tires manufacturers are fighting to set regulatory policies and laws. One of them is the "scrap tire law". The goal of this law is avoid the misuse of recicled tires. Tires MUST be scrapped before you dispose them to avoid contamination
 
  #7  
Old 11-22-09, 09:32 AM
E
Member
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: NY
Posts: 7
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Well. I took a few min and using the key words "tire environmental impact" I did some quick searching about tires and this is what I came up with out of the first 10 topics presented...


1. The major impact with tires occurs when they are burned as they produce serious carbon as well as poisoness gasses

2. When left laying they collect water and become pest infestations some of wich are known disease carriers

3. The piles of them are plain ugly

Some alternatives that I have found

take to a recycle plant the does retreads, crumbling for fill and mulch type applications, conversion to various household products as well as industrial products
make into planters for vegetables
use as landscaping tool for raising land and retaining walls


Again the real problem is finding a use for the things that works within environmentaly safe guidelines

Its an interesting debate and its gonna be years befor the issue is truly solved.

Fyi I am co sidering doing a driveway in a simalure fashion. Packing tires then using wood chips over the top lined with larger stone. Can't see the tires being more hazerdus than blacktop...the real question for me is if my back can handle packing that many tires. This may not as pretty as a blacktop or stone or concrete driveway but it seems more friendly to me using tires and stone for stability and wood chips do look better imo
 
  #8  
Old 11-24-09, 03:23 AM
C
Member
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: IL
Posts: 5
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
was watching a program on building building 'earthships' and they used a tire wall approach for a thermal mass and for structure. they did point out though that you have to fill the tires with dirt and pound it in (seemed like a involved process). they didn't use them for foundation, and i would suggest their are probably better solutions
 
  #9  
Old 11-24-09, 07:32 AM
E
Member
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: NY
Posts: 7
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
I did suggest this set up for a smaller building and suggested piers if you go larger than 12X12'

Also suggested paver and sand for a final floor thus allowing for adjustments in the floor as needed.

I have also seen a show on green channel where they built an earth ship. However they used tires for the foundation and rain water well in the center of the building. Used plastic bottles and clay mud to build the walls I do not recall the roof construction except that it was designed to feed water to the well.

And yes this is most def an involved process you have to have some time and be willing to work hard to get this done properly.

A friend suggested taking the tires to the local car wash and washing them there as they already have an oil water separator in place to clean off any residues befor using them. I have since started doing this.
 
 

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: