AVANI and Gandhi for Children Update 2014

Posted by on Dec 30, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

Originally Posted on the GWEI website:  AVANI Eco-Dome Development Update 2014

AVANI is one of the stops on the Gandhi Legacy Tour of India

For the Holiday and New Year we have a composite of images & notes relating to the AVANI Domes progress…

Just in time for the monsoon rains last September, the exterior of the main dome structure at the five acre site was completed. The rains actually assisted in the curing and hardening process of the mud based plaster finish.*

Aruna and Mehndi at Gandhi CenterRegistering for College 
Aruna and Mehndi glance at a copy of the college admissions paperwork for the school of science and math. Aruna will be the first AVANI student to continue with her education past the 10th grade. She is determined to become a doctor.

Super Adobe Dome
The super adobe technique of sustainable construction has been around for hundreds of years. The method has been refined throughout the past 40 years to utilize simplified assembly so non-architects and non-engineers can build their own domes.

Slideshow notes from Scott Kafora –

Long or short poly bags are filled with on-site earth and arranged in layers of long coils. Strands of barbed wire between them act as both mortar and reinforcement. PVC pipes are added between courses to provide year round ventilation.

Buttressing Openings
Metal formwork is put in place to support the buttressing of the main door opening.

Completed Bagwork
Stabilizers such as cement, lime, asphalt emulsion may be added. The waterproof exterior finish is applied last. The mud inside the bags must be allowed to dry and cure for three additional months before the next processes can be executed.

Exterior Plastering
For the exterior plaster to properly adhere to such an intricate and curved surface, several techniques were experimented with. The most effective method entailed applying an eco-friendly, breathable adhesive to the entire dome and allow it to cure.

Scratch Coat
Once the breathable adhesive had properly cured, a medium to light grade combination of sand and grit are lightly dusted into place. This will allow for the first layer of exterior plaster something to hold on to.

Special combinations of natural fibers are added to the sand-based exterior plaster. These fibers serve both to increase the overall strength of the plaster while prevent future cracking.

First Layer of Plaster
After the initial grit layer has cured, the first thin layer of plaster can be applied to the surface.

Plastic Mesh
Next, a strong plastic mesh is laid on top of the wet plaster. The mesh will allow the second, thicker layer of plaster an additional surface to adhere to. With the curved shape, this is one of the most important steps.

Curing Process
After experimenting with several different techniques of layering the plaster, the final process is determined upon with the desired results.

Complex Geometry
Two master masons were hired to ensure proper techniques would be consistently followed. Despite their combined knowledge and skills, the domes still proved to be challenging.

Ready for Monsoon
The dome will be fitted with a wooden door reminiscent of the ones used in the nearby villages. The next months will subject the dome to rain, cold and then the heat of summer.

Larger Dome
After the experiments with plastering the smaller dome, the larger dome is prepared for the same process.

Monolithic Structure
Just as the weaving of the plastic poly- bags served to strengthen and stabilize the overall structure, the plaster should have a similar effect of sealing all the connection points.

Interior Finish out
Once the wooden exterior doors and windows are fitted on the larger dome, the electrical, plumbing, and tile work will be added.


Previous Updates:

The Amazing Cal-Earth SuperAdobe Building Method

Cal-Earth Apprentices Arrive in Kolhapur India 

SuperAdobe Live in Kolhapur!

lynnea2 The Board

Lynnea Bylund is managing director of Gandhi Legacy Tours, Director of Gandhi Worldwide Education Institute, founder of Catalyst House and has nearly three decades of experience in administration, marketing and business development. She was a nationally recognized spokeswoman for the emerging alternative video and information delivery industries. She has a degree in holistic health-nutrition from the legendary and controversial health educator and activist Dr. Kurt Donsbach, she is the founder of two not-for-profit small business-based wireless trade associations and has lobbied on Capitol Hill and at the FCC where she has spoken out strongly against the cable TV monopoly, illegal spectrum warehousing and ill-conceived congressional schemes to auction our nation’s precious airwaves to the highest bidder.

Ms. Bylund is a founder and former CEO of a Washington DC telecommunications consulting and management company with holdings in several operating and developmental wireless communications systems and companies. In 1995 Lynnea became the first female in the world to be awarded a Broadband PCS operating permit – she was one of only 18 winners, along with Sprint, AT&T, and Verizon in the biggest cash auction in world history, raising a whopping $7.7 billion. Lynnea also spear-headed the successful effort to launch the first cable TV network in the South Pacific islands.

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