Tire Vault House

 
 

Area: 120 square meters (1,292 square feet)

Primary Building Materials: Tires, rammed earth, cob, trash bottles, glass bottles, and ferro cement

Description: With a kitchen / living space, bedroom with walk in wardrobe, bathroom and storage area, this tire configuration is a small house in totality.

 

Tire Vault + Loft

 
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Area: 67 square meters (725 square feet)

Primary Building Materials: Tire walls, ferro-cement vaulted roof, adobe and lime finishes

Description:  This design this is a low-cost and easy to construct family home.  The sala or living room is large and open to the kitchen, with abundant natural light entering through the windows and glass bottle bricks.  The outdoor patio can be used for cooking or as an outdoor living area.  This dwelling is buried on east and west sides, and buttressed to the north and south, making it extremely resistant to earthquakes as well as thermally self-regulating.  The proportions and floor plan were designed to match the the Fibonacci sequence blocks.

 

Tire Vaults + Patio

 
 

Area: 123 square meters (1,324 square feet)

Primary Building Materials: Tires, rammed earth, cob, trash bottles, glass bottles, and ferro cement

Description: This small house design is built from tires, rammed earth, trash bottles and cob, and offers a living / kitchen space, bedroom / study, bathroom, and patio.  This patio can also be covered to form a greenhouse for growing produce on site.  The thermal mass of the tires and rammed earth means that no additional costs are required for heating or cooling.  Rainwater is harvested from the roof run-off, and grey water drains directly into the side garden bed.  Along with the solar panels atop the patio, this house is conceivably fully self-sufficient, and can be constructed in any habitable environment.

 
 

Tire Vaults + Greenhouse

 
 

Area: 146 square meters (1,572 square feet)

Primary Building Materials: Tires, rammed earth, cob, trash bottles, glass bottles, and ferro cement

Description: With one bedroom, one bathroom, living room, kitchen, and indoor greenhouse / garden / food production, this could be the ultimate off-grid living.

 
 

Tire Dome

 
 

Area: 30 square meters (323 square feet) floor area

Primary Building Materials: Tires, rammed earth, glass bottles, and concrete

Description: Los Técnicos’ Tire Buildings offer a quick, affordable and environmentally sustainable way of building, and result in spaces which are both comfortable and economical.

Each tire in the building is filled with compacted earth, and laid in a running bond, much like standard brick work.  There is no reinforcement in any of this as the weight of the compacted tire and elliptical shape of the building maintain structural integrity.  A concrete bond beam is poured in-situ at the top of the wall, acting as a tie-in member between the tires and roof structure.  The technique of ferro cement is used for the roof, where wire mesh is shaped and cement applied directly to the mesh.  Glass bottles are inserted into the cement; recycling and re-purposing the bottle, where they act as mini skylights in the roof.

Tire buildings have a high thermal mass, maintaining a constant internal temperature whatever the external weather conditions.  This minimizes the need for additional expensive thermal regulators, such as heating.  The building can be connected to water and electrical supplies to run services as required, or alternatively can easily be powered by photovoltaic cells and use on-site water tanks or catchments - better for the environment and reduces running costs.  Additionally earth as a building material has a very low embodied energy, and reduces construction waste, which saves money and the environment.

Using recycled materials in the building not only reduces landfill waste, but tire structures are also highly earthquake resistant, making them ideal for disaster relief or disaster prevention.

 
 

Superadobe Dome

 
 

Areas: Ground level 19 square meters(204 square feet) floor area, Upper level 15.5 square meters(167 square feet) floor area

Primary Building Materials: Earth bags, cob renders, and glass bottles

Description: Los Técnicos’ earth bag buildings offer a quick, affordable and environmentally sustainable way of building, and result in spaces that are both comfortable and economical.

The Earth Bag Dome is constructed with courses of tube-like bags packed with rammed earth, and laid in a circular pattern.  Each subsequent earth bag course reduces slightly in radius, forming a domed “beehive” shape.  Natural renders of cob and lime-based plaster are applied to the earth bags for final finishes.  There are very few structural elements required for the earth bag buildings due to their shape which evenly distributes loads, and the integrity of the earth itself.

Earth bag buildings have high thermal mass, maintaining a constant internal temperature whatever the external weather conditions may be.  This minimizes the need for additional expensive thermal regulators, such as heating.  The building can be connected to water and electrical supplies to run services as required, or alternatively can easily be powered by photovoltaic cells and use on-site water tanks or catchments - better for the environment and reduces running costs.  Additionally, earth as a building material has a very low embodied energy and reduces construction waste, which saves money and the environment.

These buildings, being constructed from natural materials, are also fireproof and highly earthquakes resistant; ideal for disaster relief or disaster prevention.

 
 

Bamboo + Ecobricks

 
 

Area: 12.5 square meters (134.5 square feetinternal space

Building Materials: Trash bottles, bamboo, and cob renders

Description: Building with bamboo and trash bottles provides cheap and easy construction, and can be used in various configurations to suit project requirements.  The bamboo forms the structural members of the building, and the trash bottles act as infill panels, mortared together with cob.

 
 

Tire Garage

 
 

Primary Building Materials: Tires, wood framed roof, external wood paneling.

"I must admit that a garage has little inherent sex appeal but this one is unique because of the textured walls created by the tires. We decided to leave the tires in view so that all future users could appreciate the value of reused waste materials in construction.  And tires make an appropriate material for a garage because of their close relationship to cars!"
-
Elizabeth Hull, Client

 
 

Tire Retaining Walls

 
 

Area: Site dependent

Primary Building Materials: Tires and rammed earth

Approximate Cost: Site dependent

Description: We have re-used thousands of tires in the construction of retaining walls to prevent erosion, land slides, and provide a firm foundation for construction on the platform behind the wall.  We can supplement our crew with local unskilled labor to build at a very fast pace.  When building extremely large walls, we use deadmen and integrate strategic drainage features, so as to ensure the integrity of the wall even after years of extreme rains.

 
 

Cisterns

 
 

Primary Building Materials: Tires, rammed earth and concrete

Description:  Cisterns can be constructed in numerous capacities to keep water on site.  Ideally for rain water catchment, a cistern can supply water for the total consumption for the site, as well as being filtered and treated for potable water.  Building the cisterns using tires and rammed earth minimizes the amount of concrete required, which considerably reduces construction costs.  The size of the cistern can be large or small depending on site needs, average rainfall, and construction budget.

 
 

Dry Composting Latrines

 
 

Area: As determined by number of latrines required

Primary Building Materials: Trash bottles and bamboo

Description: Dry composting latrines are bathrooms that can be installed in most locales, and do not require water for operations.  Solid and liquid wastes are separated in the unique toilet design,  where solids can be treated and used for fertilizer, and liquids automatically diluted and fed onto nearby gardens.  These latrines are constructed from wall panels of trash bottles, and locally sourced bamboo (or other site appropriate materials). 

 
 

Wood Fire Oven

Prep materials

Prep materials

Finished Product

Finished Product

 
 

Great addition to any backyard or patio! Can also be accompanied by cob finish in the right climate.