Environmentally Secure Concrete Houses

Also in this section:

Addressing the Need for Permanent Shelter in Hawaii

  • Evaluating Wood, Steel, Concrete, and Lightweight Composite
  • Comparing LWC & Wood Structures
  • Examining the resistance to change

Architectural Design © 1992 John August. All Rights Reserved.

The Concrete House

© 1993 John August

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 feature.

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 or out.

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, not decades.

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Select one of the below for additional information on each subject:

Addressing the Need for Permanent Shelter in Hawaii

Evaluating Wood, Steel, Concrete, and LWC

Comparing LWC & Wood Structures

Interlocking Pavers & Molds

Concrete Furniture & CMUs

Lightweight Composite Concrete

Secure Concrete Houses

Architectural & Related Design