[Strawbale] concrete footings

paul sheraton psheraton at hotmail...
Mon Feb 13 09:34:18 CET 2006

Hi  Mark,

I know you are asking about concrete footings but I was wondering if you had 
thought about using tyres filled with earth/rubble?

a trench with a low tyre wall as footings, the tyres filled out with earth 
(possibly with some lime mixed into the earth). With a wooden sole 
plate/plank pinned down onto the footings for the wall to be built on.

Have you thought about using lime concrete in place of cement concrete? It 
has half the embodied energy of cement.

Just some ideas, all the  best for your project

>From: Mark Bigland-Pritchard <mark at lowenergydesign...>
>Reply-To: European strawbale building discussions 
><strawbale at amper....muni.cz>
>To: "SB (Europe)" <Strawbale at amper....muni.cz>,        "SB (repp)" 
><STRAWBALE at LISTSERV...REPP.ORG>,        "SB (yahoo)" 
><SB-r-us at yahoogroups...>,        "SB (bale-on)" <bale-on at yahoogroups...>
>Subject: [Strawbale] concrete footings
>Date: Mon, 13 Feb 2006 01:12:31 -0600
>Hi folks.
>I'm organising the building of a small (30 m2) sb structure this spring, on 
>an environmentally sensitive site.  We need to minimise the amount of 
>concrete going into the ground (to minimise embodied energy, to minimise 
>local ecological impact through changed soil chemistry, and to minimise 
>transportation costs).  So I've ruled out a concrete pad.  A rubble trench 
>foundation is ruled out because there is no suitable rubble locally.  I'm 
>therefore looking at some sort of pile foundation.  Treated timber below 
>ground level wouldn't meet the ecological criteria set by the site 
>managers, and I don't want to take the risk with untreated timber; my 
>previous experience of using boulders is that it's not the best way to do 
>this because the timbers on top of them have to be individually shaped to 
>fit (time-consuming, and not suitable for the mostly unskilled volunteer 
>labour which we will have).  So I'm looking at using concrete piles, 
>probably arranged in something like a 2m grid, to support the building.
>My question is this: does anyone have experience they are willing to share 
>of using proprietary systems for shaping the concrete such as that at 
>www.bigfootsystems.com ?  (Bigfoot make a bell-shaped footing out of 
>recycled plastic, into which the concrete may be poured.)
>My second, more tenative question is:  can this sort of system be used with 
>rammed earth instead of concrete?  (I don't think I have the time to learn 
>everything I'd need to know to do this this time round, but it would be 
>good to know what's possible for future work.)
>Borden, SK, Canada
>    European strawbale building discussion list
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