Energy & Sustainability
Papercrete and aluminum can wall
papercretecan.jpg

Here’s a basic, introductory papercrete project: save some newspaper and soda cans from the garbage / recycling, add a bit of cement, and end up with a funky cool wall! I’ve also seen walls of this style with glass bottles instead of aluminum cans. I believe there’s less of a recycling market for glass than aluminum, but you’d have to go a few inches thicker on the wall to match the bottle’s height…

8 thoughts on “Papercrete and aluminum can wall

  1. um, aluminum is a pretty good conductor, so this wall probably has a pretty poor R value, no? especially compared to glass bottles.

  2. I took a papercrete workshop about 7 years ago in AZ, and it’s a great material capable of being load bearing with a huge R value and wiht thermal mass. . .but you need to use really good footings to prevent the wall form coming into contact with water.

    The substance really, really, wicks water.

    This is bad.

    Again good footings, plaster, and stucco are all really required.

    Also, in the class I took we used a pretty monster shredder, on my own for small projects I used a garbage disposal to shred the paper and it worked OK.

  3. Normal sand and gravel concrete has an R value of about 0.8 per inch. Compare this with ordinary Styrofoam insulation at about R5 / inch.

    Out here in New Mexico, “pumicecrete” is gaining popularity. It’s basically pumice spheres held together with a small amount of cement, just enough to coat and hold together. This weighs in at about R1 to R2 per inch, depending on the mix. Walls are typically 12 to 14 inches thick.

  4. The mixture of water, cement, and metal will result in rapid corrosion of the metal leaving behind a pile of rubble with sharp bits of corroded metal sticking out. It doesn’t sound like a good idea. Better stick with bottles.

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Luke Iseman

Luke Iseman makes stuff, some of which works. He invites you to drive a bike for a living (dirtnailpedicab.com), stop killing your garden (growerbot.com), and live in an off-grid shipping container (boxouse.com).

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