Sustainability

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Seventh generation sustainability.

 

Seventh generation sustainability takes its name from the Great Law of the Haudenosaunee. The founding document of the Iroquois Confederacy - perhaps the oldest living participatory democracy on Earth. It is based on an ancient Iroquois philosophy:

 

“In our every deliberation, we must consider the impact of our decisions on the next seven generations.”

 

Low embodied energy. The energy embodied in the building materials of a typical US home (plywood, lumber, steel, concrete, shingles, insulation, drywall, paint, etc) is 20x to 60x greater than a bioceramic dome of equal floor space. This an inexact science, but you can see how replacing all those conventional materials with low energy ceramic composites and air can be a huge improvement. With a few years of technology development and more conscious raw material harvesting, the bioceramic dome could have hundreds of times less embodied energy than a conventional wood box house. It is also well documented that MGO ceramics sequester large amounts of CO2 over their lifespan, potentially even more than was used in their production.

 

Our mission is to produce bioceramic domes that are truly “carbon negative”. (Without having to include electricity generated on site and without buying carbon offsets!)

 

Raw materials can be harvested from waste streams. The primary raw minerals used in the bioceramic dome are phosphate, potassium, magnesium, and sand - all are abundant in many locations around the world. But the greatest source of potassium and magnesium is sea water. These minerals are two of the primary byproducts of seawater desalination plants. Phosphates are also starting to be harvested from wastewater treatment plants, algae farms, and the sea floor. These are enormous and untapped material/waste stream sources.

 

Secondary raw materials include basalt rock, hemp fiber, recycled glass, and sand. These are also abundant. Many different aggregates and waste streams can be safely integrated into the bioceramic composite building panel. Bioceramic homes are also well positioned to benefit from the current shift away from phosphate intensive mass agriculture to local organic farming and horticulture. Furthermore, we are not restricted to magnesium phosphate ceramics. Many different geo-polymers may be substituted into the different layers of the panel, depending on what is available and sustainable locally. Today in the US about 28 million tons of phosphate ore is mined annually. (Almost all of it for fertilizer production by companies like Monsanto.) With less than 3% of this current annual production Geoship could meet 100% of the demand for single family housing in the US, with affordable, sustainable, and healthy bioceramic homes that last for many lifetimes and grow local organic produce. (At the end of its life the bioceramic home can also be pulverized and recycled into new bioceramic homes).

 

Our mission is to create the necessary conscious demand for an ecologically restorative bioceramic materials industry.

 

Ultra strong materials and ultra strong geometry. An average bioceramic mortar mix (50% sand + 50% bioceramic) reaches over 5,000 PSI in 3 hours and over 15,000 PSI in 30 days (3-4 times stronger than typical portland concrete). With the addition of basalt/hemp fibers, the flexural strength is over 3,000 PSI (5-6 times stronger than typical portland concrete). The all-ceramic composite panel has some I-beam characteristics. When one skin goes into compression, the stress is distributed through the insulative core to the other skin, which goes into tension. This dance of compression and tension makes the panels remarkably strong. Bioceramic domes are reinforced with basalt rebar, which is about 2-3 times stronger than steel and about 1/10th the weight.

 

According to the American Institute of Architects: “The geodesic dome is the lightest, strongest, most efficient means of enclosing space known to man”. All stresses and strains are distributed with maximum efficiency throughout the entire structure. That same dance of compression and tension (what Bucky called “tensegrity”) is also what makes the geodesic dome so strong.

 

Fire resistant. Extensive research has been done at Argonne National Labs, that demonstrates how chemically bonded phosphate ceramics (bioceramics) are fireproof up to 2,700 degrees fahrenheit. The ceramic materials will not burn or emit any toxic fumes during a fire. Most house fires burn at 1,100 to 2,200 degrees fahrenheit.

 

Flood resistant. Bioceramics are mostly crystalline. When a sample is submerged in water, it only absorbs about 2%-3% of it’s weight (without using chemical additives or sealants). Portland concrete, on the other hand, will absorb about 20% of it’s weight, because it is porous and non-crystalline. In most flooding situations, a conventional house must be immediately stripped of the drywall and insulation so that it can dry out. If this is not done within about 1 week, generally the house becomes infested with mold and must be demolished. Based upon the material properties we expect that bioceramic domes will be able to withstand being submerged in water for very long periods of time then simply dry out with no damage to the shell.

 

Insect resistant. Bugs don’t eat rocks. Termites, wood bees, carpenter ants, spiders, etc will not survive burrowing through bioceramic insulation. Bioceramic insulation is a desiccant, It’s abrasiveness wears away their exoskeleton and dries them up.

 

Hurricane resistant. The physical geometry of a building affects its aerodynamic properties and how well it can withstand a storm. Geodesic domes have low drag coefficients and can withstand very high wind forces. All indications are that bioceramic domes will be incredibly resistant to hurricanes.

 

Earthquake resistant. In an earthquake failures occur at the moment connections of the structure (where columns and beams meet). Bioceramic domes have no moment connections. The mesh and fiber reinforcing also ensure that the panels cannot crumble into pieces. Monolithic domes are considered to be among the most earthquake resistant buildings ever constructed. We consider the bioceramic dome to be “monolithic” because the ceramic seams chemically bond the panels together, making the installed dome practically seamless.

 

Our mission is to build bioceramic domes that last for 500 years and become a gift for future generations of Earthians.

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