How to Build an Eco-Friendly Home Using Scrap Tires
Building an eco-friendly home is a great way to reduce your environmental impact. One innovative way to make your home greener is by using scrap tires in the construction process. Tires that would otherwise end up in a landfill can be repurposed for many uses around the home. In this article, I will discuss the benefits of building with scrap tires and provide tips on how to use them to create an environmentally sustainable house.
Benefits of Building with Scrap Tires
There are many advantages to using scrap tires for construction:
- Gives old tires new life instead of taking up space in a landfill. The US generates around 299 million scrap tires per year – using them for building materials reduces waste.
- Shredded rubber from tires is very insulating. It can be used as wall insulation to improve energy efficiency and reduce heating and cooling costs.
- Tires are extremely durable and resistant to weathering, rotting, and insect damage. Homes built incorporating tires stand up well to the elements.
- Scrap tires are often inexpensive or free to acquire. This can help reduce construction costs.
- Rubber blocks sound transmission quite well. Using tire walls and floors helps buffer noise in a home.
- Tires are difficult to burn and do not emit toxic fumes, making them safer fire barriers than many materials.
How to Incorporate Scrap Tires Into Home Construction
There are many ways to use recycled tires when building an eco-friendly home:
- Stacked full tires filled with concrete or rammed earth make a solid, insulating foundation for small buildings like sheds and studios.
Tire Retaining Walls
- Used tires stacked and buried can create strong retaining walls in gardens or along slopes. Backfill with gravel and soil and plant vegetation on them.
Underfloor Thermal Mass
- A layer of shredded tires under the floor slab helps insulate and moderates temperature fluctuations.
- Cut tires laid shingle-style make a durable and weatherproof roof surface. They can be topped with sod or solar panels.
- Gluing shredded tire pieces to the subfloor creates a cushioned, springy surface that also absorbs noise.
- Whole scrap tires work well for compost chambers, planters, and gray water systems. Drill holes for inlet and outlet pipes.
- Stacked tires filled with dirt, concrete, or cob can form insulating exterior or interior walls. Plaster or stucco finishes them smoothly.
Tire Counters and Stools
- Old tires make sturdy kitchen island stools and counters. Cut them to desired height and top with wood or tile.
Sourcing Scrap Tires for Construction
Acquiring enough used tires takes some legwork but many options exist:
Contact automotive shops, auto salvage yards, tire dealers, and retreaders to ask if they want to get rid of old tires. Offer to haul them away for free.
Check online classified ads and community swap groups for people giving away or selling used tires cheaply.
Inquire with your city’s waste management department about tire collection programs or free community drop spots.
Some towns host annual tire amnesty days allowing people to dispose of tires they’ve collected over the year without fees.
Building an eco-friendly home with scrap tires takes creativity and a willingness to work with unconventional materials. But the benefits for the environment, your budget, and your home’s energy efficiency make it a worthwhile endeavor. With smart planning and thorough research, you can construct a unique and sustainable home using society’s scrap tires that would otherwise go to waste. What used to be trash can become your treasure in the form of insulating walls, sturdy roofs, and cost-effective floors that reduce your ecological footprint.