0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
If you wish to try something glue-free,
you might try something like a dovetail joint.I.E. Make your individual member segments somewhat like this.[diagram=677_0]
I I II I II I I
And, if it is for kids, and doesn't just pop apart, then it has to be made fairly rugged.
Whew, freehand, it didn't come out too bad when you stacked them together 
The angled corners would give you a fair amount of rigidity for the whole wall.
And, you could certainly use the same technology to make 90° corner pieces (or any other angle for that matter, or even hinged.
I'm trying to imagine what it would mean to cross-link the elements, or if one could truly build a 3-D wall of a similar structure, or even why one would want to do it.
One can, of course, make thick and thin elements.
One could probably make a similar, 3-D element which would allow some cross linking, or attaching an internal wall, but probably not for every element. Consider the element with the middle narrow like a column, but the top or bottom either having a T or + profile.
I am surprised that traditional bricklaying still goes on I would have thought that bricks could be assembled into say one meter square sections by machine before being incorporated into a wall.
For construction purposes if the blocks were sufficiently large it may be possible to use dowels (through the top/ bottom) of the crossbars of the I ‘s to hold a temporary wall type structure together (without cement) or bolts This would resist tension (as the dovetails would) and also the deformation of the structure (kicking it in).
It would also allow changes in wall angle.
An interesting proposition,Other than the aesthetics, I am not sure that what advantage the tessellation adds – I cannot see that it is more load bearing than an individual cuboid brick/ block? It also strikes me that individual blocks having more potential to fail.
Wikipedia: Brick - Limitations [nofollow]Starting in the twentieth century, the use of brickwork declined in many areas due to earthquakes. The San Francisco earthquake of 1906 revealed the weaknesses of brick buildings in earthquake-prone areas. Most buildings in San Francisco collapsed during the earthquake, due to the cement-based mortar used to hold the bricks together. During seismic events, the mortar cracks and crumbles, and the bricks are no longer held together.
I see an opportunity with this to use expanded polystyrene instead of metal and to make extremely inexpensive bungalows with good insulation. 90 degree corners would be easy to build, and it would be easy to leave gaps for windows and doors. The roof would be the next challenge (perhaps a dome - the design of "I-bricks" could be shaped to make the walls circular), but again it could be extremely light. The whole structure could then be coated in something to keep the water out and to make it more robust (both inside and out), as well as stopping it catching fire. Ideal for earthquake zones, not only as temporary housing but also capable of housing people safely and comfortably for decades.
Wikipedia: Polystyrene - Fire hazard [nofollow]sLike other organic compounds, polystyrene is flammable. Polystyrene is classified according to DIN4102 as a "B3" product, meaning highly flammable or "Easily Ignited." As a consequence, although it is an efficient insulator at low temperatures, its use is prohibited in any exposed installations in building construction if the material is not flame-retardant. It must be concealed behind drywall, sheet metal, or concrete. Foamed polystyrene plastic materials have been accidentally ignited and caused huge fires and losses, for example at the Düsseldorf International Airport, the Channel tunnel (where polystyrene was inside a railcar that caught fire), and the Browns Ferry Nuclear Power Plant (where fire breached a fire retardant and reached the foamed plastic underneath, inside a firestop that had not been tested and certified in accordance with the final installation).
How well does expanded polystyrene burn if it's nitrogen filled instead of using air?
I suspect the main reason it burns so badly normally is that it contains its own oxygen supply.
Polystyrene burns because it is a hydrocarbon, and the large surface area of the bubbles along with the low melting point makes it burn easily.
No way other than covering with an insulation like thick concrete to make it fireproof.
however if you build a frame of polystyrene and coat it with chicken wire or steel mesh you can gunite it to make a very strong lightweight concrete structure. Do both sides with gunite and it will be strong, quick to make and well insulated. You do need to mask for doors and windows though unless you are willing to cut them afterwards and compromise the structure.You do get a polystyrene filled concrete that is used where you want a lighter mass and are willing to lose a little strength in exchange for a much lighter floor panel.
You can buy spray foam for use as a fire-stop, but I wasn't impressed that it seems to burn quite readily.Your normal fiberglass as used in roofing, or bathtubs will also burn, releasing a nasty black smoke... don't ask how I know! The resin burns out, leaving the glass fibers behind.
I don't think I'd be too keen on a "floating house" in most flood prone areas.
It would need a lot of excess buoyancy to hold up the appliances and etc, and not flood the floor. Like building a house boat on land.Many floods like tsunamis, and some river associated floods have a strong current associated with them, so a floating house would tend to float away, or if tethered, it would be subjected to extreme stress.There may be some places, such as in the Amazon where it floods annually, and one might choose to build a type of house designed like a houseboat that could raise and lower with the water level.Now, I'm not saying that there would not be some need for temporary shelter.
Foam blocks might be unwieldy to ship.
However, I could imagine a house in a 50 gallon drum (or two).One drum might contain a double walled tent. The second drum might contain a spray foam.Unpack and inflate your tent. Then, spray in the foam. Let it dry overnight, and you would have a good "temporary" structure the next day. Add a durable outer layer (metal sheeting, or concrete/stucco), and it might actually last fairly well. Could you reinforce it with fiberglass?
There are also a number of manufactures of foam concrete forms (or insulated concrete forms) which can provide the insulation properties of foam, and mass and durability of concrete and rebar.
If a hole is punched in the outer covering and fire gets in through it, the gas inside the polystyrene could make a substantial difference to the rate of spread of the fire within the wall. If it burns more slowly due to a lack of oxygen other than the little that can get in through the hole, that will give people more time to take action, though it could also go unnoticed for a long time and release lots of carbon monoxide.
For floods, if you live in a hut and occasionally have to take to the roof when it floods and hope that the water won't go higher than that, a lightweight top floor which can detatch and float on a tether would be useful - there aren't always strong currents. There may be other issues with strong winds though.
I see the main benefit as being with emergency housing in earthquake zones, though they'd need to be kept small enough that it's easy to clear snow off the roof as it may not be able to support more than a few inches of the stuff.
Tents are freezing, but these could be kept warm much more easily and could be lived in relatively comfortably for long enough to span the gap while proper houses are rebuilt.
Sorry, I didn't make a comparison of different spray foams. But, I didn't find the firestop very fireproof. This was a burn test I did a couple of years ago. It was easy to light.[attachment=17406]I think the idea is that if you fill a crack, it will slow down the progression of flames and smoke through the crack, but it will certainly burn quite nicely.
Wikipedia: Polyurethane - Health and Safety [nofollow]Polyurethane polymer is a combustible solid and can be ignited if exposed to an open flame. Decomposition from fire can produce mainly carbon monoxide, and trace nitrogen oxides and hydrogen cyanide. Firefighters should wear self-contained breathing apparatus in enclosed areas.
There are many different types of floods.In the Northwest USA, the floods are characterized by fast moving water, capable of ripping houses from their foundations, and certainly not safe to casually walk in. The 1964 Rogue River flood had a depth of about 10x the normal river depth, 68 feet at Agness, 50 feet above flood stage, or about 4x what is considered flood stage, and flows exceeding 100x the summer flow rates. And, no dam failures.Mississippi River floods may be slower moving. Although, there still may be periods of rapid inundation as dikes fail, followed by slow moving water once a basin fills up.I presume that during flood periods, most people simply move away from the water. I'm surprised of the number of people walking around in the Bangladesh flood above.
The problems with shelter comes as people return to their homes.A simple concrete structure may be able to withstand the flooding, although one of the issues noted in New Orleans was that mold became a significant issue, and much of the insides of the houses needed to be gutted and rebuilt, or even the whole houses torn down after the flood.It may be more intense building, but some houses may be built on stilts, or in rural areas, perhaps building a small hill for the homesite which then remains as a small island.For slow moving flood prone areas, It would be easy enough to build a house with wood, or hollow skids underneath it, and chained down to prevent it from floating away. Of course, being careful of boyancy/weight of construction materials. For a high flow area, a floating house may still sustain significant damage.