By Philippine News Agency
A team of mostly architects and engineers are currently in this city holding a workshop on building low-cost, high-quality, eco-friendly do-it-yourself dome homes called “AirCrete.”
Headed by Hajjar Gibran, the founder and chief executive officer of DomeGaia, the team is composed of 26 individuals from 16 countries, who are mostly seasoned engineers and architects.
They arrived in Palawan early November to hold a 10-day workshop on the fine arts of AirCrete Architecture, an inexpensive, lightweight cementitious material that contains stable air cells uniformly distributed throughout the mixture, described Gibran on Monday afternoon.
“It is a concrete that employs a stable air cell rather than traditional aggregate. It is also called cellular concrete, foam concrete, light weight concrete, aerated concrete, etcetera,” he said.
The DomeGaia team is conducting the workshop and building the first AirCrete home in Puerto Princesa at Sitio Sabang, Barangay Cabayugan, hosted by Carlo Ausan Morente of Dabdab Resort.
Gibran said one AirCrete home would be built during the workshop, “and six more to follow with space to build.”
Sabang was chosen to be the first site of AirCrete home in the city and province of Palawan as it is protected and not overly developed, and Dabdab Resort was selected as host because of collaboration efforts with the owners since it is a healing and arts center in the famous Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park (PPSRNP).
“As it is protected, the area is not overly developed or touristic. Yet it has the world famous underground river, a short walk to Sabang Falls, which is a freshwater waterfalls that run to a beautiful and clean beach,” explained Gibran.
Palaweños won’t have difficulty building their own AirCrete homes since all materials needed are available in Palawan.
The cost of each AirCrete depends on several factors. The density, the cost of cement, the additives, and others.
“To calculate the approximate cost of AirCrete for a dome structure, including subfloor slab – multiply the square feet X (multiplied by) the inches of thickness. For example a 1,000 square foot dome four inches thick will cost about USD4,000 (PHP201,542.48). The one we are building costs less than USD1,000 (PHP50,387.25) in materials. With USD10,000 (PHP503,893.98), it can include all finishes, like toilet, sink, and finishing,” he said.
Gibran also said AirCrete is the “home of the future” not only because it is economical but because it had “all the amazing of concrete, the building material of civilization,” and owners could build themselves.
“You can make AirCrete yourself with materials that are available everywhere in the world. Cement, dish detergent, milk, water… it’s very easy to work with. You can cut and shape it, and even work it with a spoon into any shape. Along with the fabric reinforcement, the Dome has high tensile strength,” he added.
The DomeGaia CEO also stated that AirCrete is exceptionally resilient under extreme weather conditions.
“They’re exceptionally resilient. So, they are aerodynamic, which makes them really effective structures in high winds like typhoons and hurricanes and tornadoes. They’re completely waterproof, they won’t be damaged by floods or heavy rains, they’re insect proof, fireproof insulating, and rot proof. Being a structurally reinforced Dome, they’re strong against earthquakes. Super duper strong,” he stressed