Pumice: Not Just for Your Feet!
Pumice-crete is the new light-weight building block. Photo Credit: Earthen Touch
Our mothers may have showed us how to use pumice stones for our heels, but today’s builders have something else entirely in mind. Pumice is being used to make lightweight concrete for durable, efficient and sustainable building projects.
What is Pumice-Crete?
Pumice is actually a lightweight volcanic rock. It can be mixed with Portland cement and water to make a concrete-like product called Pumice-Crete. It has many characteristics of traditional concrete, but offers a few distinct advantages.
So Why is Pumice-CreteSo Light?
It’s because the pumice stone actually has a significant amount of air trapped within it. Although this means it’s not as strong as concrete, Pumice-Crete is substantial enough for use in load-bearing walls with little to no steel reinforcement. And the trapped air makes Pumice-Crete uniquely insulating. A 14-inch-thick wall needs no additional layers of insulation; the wall itself keeps the home at a fairly constant temperature.
A Pumice-Crete home can also do without traditional finishes like drywall on the interior or siding, brick and stone on the outside. Generally, a home made with this sustainable material is simply finished with a stucco or plaster layer that can be painted whatever style and taste you prefer.
It Just Gets Better and Better…
- Sound-resistant and fireproof
- Pumice-Crete lends itself to a wide variety of architectural styles and is even used to form domes atop structures that require very little support.
- The material is ideal for on-site pouring and casting into various custom designs.
- For forms that are cast off-site, Pumice-Crete is a much easier product to ship to job sites and lift into place than forms made of traditional concrete.
Although Pumice-Crete is not a new product, it’s been getting much more attention with the recent shift toward green building and sustainability.
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