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I have been reading about a variety of construction methods and have become interested in the idea of making large, i.e. 4' x 2' x 1.5' blocks and building a house with them. Yes, they would be heavy - about 1,200 pounds - but could be made with a loop for a small backhoe to lift, or with notches in the bottom for a forklift to handle. They can also be made partly hollow, to allow for the insertion of electrical wiring or rebar for additional strength. I have seen concrete bricks (big but not this large) made with "nubbies" on top, like lego bricks, to allow them to be easily and smoothly stacked.

Bricks and concrete, in general, are not usually the cheapest way to build. What intrigues me about this idea is that: 1. They can be used for all of the load bearing walls in a home - perimeter and interior - and would not require additional materials, i.e. stick and sheet rock. 2. They can be made and stored on site in a make shift plastic tent when time is available, and then quickly assembled once the foundation is ready. The area that I will be buying land gets rain about 150 days a year, so having long stretches of rainfree days for construction purposes is hard to come by.

Does anyone have any experience with this kind of work? besides pouring concrete slabs for foundations?
 

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Just howling at the moon
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The wieght of that much concrete will require the foundation to go all the way down to bedrock.

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Google SIPs as an alternative. There are dozens of reasons why your idea as it stands is not a good one.

Electric chases can be expensive to make in solid concrete and in addition to them having to line up from block to block and have access for junction boxes, switches, sockets, etc., electric needs can change over time. Popping a few holes in sheet rock is easy and easily and cheaply repaired.

Concrete has great thermal mass but is a lousy insulator. If you have a hot sunny day, your entire evening and night will be in an oven. If it is cold outside, the walls inside will get cold and clammy. Visit any castle or raw concrete construction to experience this.

Your block would be 1800 lbs, not 1200 lbs. (concrete is +- 150lb/ft3 That is highly unwieldy. A single person can quickly build a standard concrete block wall 1 story high with basic skills and no loader. Your idea would need custom blocks with holes, which then were somehow cemented together without filling the holes. That means at least two people and a loader.
 

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Not very cost efficient in my opinion. If you want it built out of concrete just talk to an engineer and they can tell you want to need to build slabs and stand them up for walls.

Bob
 

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Born city, love country
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Google SIPs as an alternative. There are dozens of reasons why your idea as it stands is not a good one.
.........
Your block would be 1800 lbs, not 1200 lbs. (concrete is +- 150lb/ft3 That is highly unwieldy.
Second the SIPs. They are strong AND affordable.

Harry,
Don't scare people about the weight of concrete. It is only 148lb/ft3.........:thumb:

I happen to know for sure that a septic tank lid can not withstand the weight of a 35,000 lb truck with 40,000 lbs of concrete, not even the edge of the tank. :facepalm: Luckily, the truck and load were OK and he was able to make my pour. The other 8 trucks had to make a sharper turn. Messy job cleaning and repairing the tank........
 

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I understand the simplicity and the concept, I guess I am just not understanding the benefit??? Seems it would require heavy equipment to move and honestly I am not a person to preach all kids of white glove safety stuff, but setting these things could potentially be very hazardous and even deadly, if a person tried to cut corners by using less than ideal equipment for such heavy, unforgiving objects. Not a method I would choose I don't think??
 

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Check out Fox BLocks.com if you want another option. I saw this system and how it would be set up and it would be something I would considered. This is a poured wall system.

The setting of the blocks you are describing would take some work to make a plumb wall.

Good luck on your project.

Bellcow
 

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If you're dead-set on pouring your own 'megablocks,' you can use styrofoam beading as an aggregate additive - the more, the lighter the system.

However, you'd want to have a lab test various mixes to determine their compressive strength to make sure they wouldn't collapse.

I have done a few smaller projects with a product out of Phoenix that can actually be tooled, so you could actually cut in your chases for plumbing and elect. after.
 

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I have been reading about a variety of construction methods and have become interested in the idea of making large, i.e. 4' x 2' x 1.5' blocks and building a house with them. Yes, they would be heavy - about 1,200 pounds - but could be made with a loop for a small backhoe to lift, or with notches in the bottom for a forklift to handle. They can also be made partly hollow, to allow for the insertion of electrical wiring or rebar for additional strength. I have seen concrete bricks (big but not this large) made with "nubbies" on top, like lego bricks, to allow them to be easily and smoothly stacked.

Bricks and concrete, in general, are not usually the cheapest way to build. What intrigues me about this idea is that: 1. They can be used for all of the load bearing walls in a home - perimeter and interior - and would not require additional materials, i.e. stick and sheet rock. 2. They can be made and stored on site in a make shift plastic tent when time is available, and then quickly assembled once the foundation is ready. The area that I will be buying land gets rain about 150 days a year, so having long stretches of rainfree days for construction purposes is hard to come by.

Does anyone have any experience with this kind of work? besides pouring concrete slabs for foundations?
.............Why not just go ahead and pour solid concrete walls instead of messing around with large blocks ? You can use the forms lumber for your interior walls and other things . , fordy
 
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