The above rendering shows a prototype
Lightweight Composite concrete house designed by John
August. Although this 1200 square foot, two bedroom home was
created specifically to address the need for a low cost/high
performance living environment in Hawaii, its design can be
easily adapted for any climate. The interior is arranged on
a compass orientation (the view is off the north east
corner), thus the interplay of sunlight is a significant
As a small, single family residence, the
compact floor plan provides ample space for the basics. The
north entry vestibule leads to either the living room on the
west or family-kitchen area on the east, or upstairs. The
lower floor includes a laundry room and a small bath.
Upstairs, a full size bath and study accompany the two
bedrooms which share a common exterior lanai. The layout
assures maximum privacy and noise isolation, either inside
Every main room has three-way sunlight
and ventilation, leaving no dark corners. The interior
stairwell, centrally located, also serves as a ventilation
corridor. Windows in the upper eaves are permanently vented
at the top to allow continuous air circulation. Louvers are
placed strategically where air flow supersedes light
requirements. Use of interior windows allows morning or
afternoon light to reach most rooms.
Structurally, steel reinforced concrete
shear columns support a monolithically cast Lightweight
Composite curvilinear roof and ceiling system which gives
the dwelling a cooler feeling due to its high insulating
qualities. Rain water naturally flows to the corners where
it can be directed to a cistern. The eaves extend to six
feet; the upper balcony is fully covered. Lower walls are
nine inches thick; upper walls are six inches. Both ceilings
are cast vaulted arches, providing 9.5 feet of headroom.
Total building height is 20 feet.
This low maintenance Lightweight
Composite house is fire, rot, termite, and hurricane proof.
It can withstand a moderate earthquake without structural
failure. A complete set of plans will soon be available from
the author, who is also seeking venture capital to develop
several models suitable for low to moderate cost housing
which will have a lifespan measured in terms of centuries,