[Homestead] Tropical concrete construction
don.bowen at earthlink.net
Thu Sep 9 22:00:26 EDT 2004
At 9/9/2004, you wrote:
>Have always been mildly interested in coconuts in the northern hemisphere
>ever since I flew a Grumman Widgeon into a small Bahama Island I was
>interested in buying---one time quite a palatial residence with automatic
>diesel generator. Unfortunately the salt air got to the rebar in the
>house walls and the resultant rust swelled and cracked all the concrete.
Mention was made earlier of using concrete construction to weather
hurricanes. I was on the Island of Saipan last June for the 60th
anniversary of the invasion. There most houses are built of concrete block
using Chinese cement and local coral limestone as aggregate. Last year I
was on Rota and watched an automated block plant in operation.
Due to a quirk in the laws and human nature that says something is never
truly finished, most buildings have exposed rebar on the tops of the outer
walls. This means the building is unfinished for tax purposes and allows
the homeowner to add on in the future if needed.
Saipan is a small tropical island and very humid. Cars do not last more
than about 10 years and it is the rare one that does. Most Toyota pickups
more than about 5 years old have the tops rusting off. I saw a 10 year
Toyota car with the passenger side window falling out the bottom of the
door. About the only things that last more than about 10 years are Nissan
pickups. That rust attacks rebar and many houses have large chunks of the
walls falling off as those oxygen atoms combine with iron and increase the
size of the rebar. My brothers house has leaks where rebar in the ceiling
is popping the concrete apart.
He just went through a typhoon that almost lifted the roof off the
carport. A woman who he works with had her kitchen roof blown off. Many
houses there have the kitchen outdoors. The lowest low is 70. The girl
from FSM did not know what a coat was.
Awl Knotted Up Woodworking
Valley Center, CA http://www.braingarage.com
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