Thick-wall Building Materials
The Stewards who are experts in construction agree with Christopher Alexander that building thick walls using variable density aggregate or VDA is the way to go.
The Qualities of Lightweight / Variable Density Aggregate (VDA)
- Non-combustible, low heat transfer in fires
- Does not rot, termite-proof at prescribed densities
- Non-toxic, insulating, creates a healthy micro-climate, feels warm
- Sound absorbing, neighbors cannot be heard through the walls
- Reliable and proven – timeless and familiar to inspectors
- Efficient bulk material, little residual waste
- Fast & cheap to build, low transport costs of materials
- Easy to shape, drill and cut
- Low-on going maintenance
- Opportunity to produce beautiful buildings by molding
- Same base materials for most structural parts of building
When it hardens it performs very differently than concrete that tends to be cold, clammy and have a ring to it that transmits noise. Instead, VDA feels comfortable, it suppresses sound transmission and it has a 4 hour fire rating. By building thick walls, this single bulk material replaces many layers. It is the load-bearing structure, the insulation, the exterior and interior finish, and it locks in the doors, windows, pipes and conduit when poured. It lowers costs, cuts time and does more.
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