Green Building with Tire Bales
Posted on October 5, 2010 Comments (7)
Recycling is better than throwing things away. But reuse is better than recycling. And in fact, avoiding use is best. I was at dinner with Duncan Hagar last week when he talked about the house he and his wife built in Colorado. They use tire bales and took advantage of passive solar. They have a blog with interesting details on the green house built by 2 engineers. Tire bales area form of reuse (and while some tires are recycled into asphalt and such things, most waste tires go into landfills).
Our house uses approximately 170 full bales and about 5 half bales or about 17,000 tires. Tire bales are FREE as long as one presents a building permit. All we had to do was get the bales hauled from Sedalia to Granby Colorado, a distance of about 135 miles.
The tire bales are stacked like bricks to make up all of the outer walls. These walls form the structural integrity of the house. Shot-crete (sprayed on concrete) is applied to finish the walls, effectively creating a minimum 6-foot thick wall. The entire south of our house is glass windows and doors. This creates a large, active thermal mass, which should maintain a relatively constant temperature of 65-degrees. Imagine the energy savings!
Tire bales are not that new. They have been used for quite some time for building barns, holding river banks, and road construction. Using them for house construction is a fantastic and practical idea whose time has come.
Wall street journal video on the house and difficulty of financing unique green homes:
The bales were delivered in eight 75-foot semi-truck/trailer loads (20-23 bales per truck) over a period of 5 days. See more details on building a tire bale house. They have also added solar panels this year.