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Styrofoam Houses in Afghanistan

This story has been picked up in the usual places in the blogosphere, but it's worth noting here, too: the Federation of American Scientists is promoting the use of expanded polystyrene foam as functional, efficient, and low-cost building material in Afghanistan and throughout the world. It turns out that styrofoam given a thin cement shell makes an excellent buildng material: very easy to work with (can be cut with a hot wire), inexpensive, long-lasting, has terrific thermal properties and is shock absorbant in earthquakes. The New Harmony House (in New Harmony, Indiana) was built using this material as a demonstration, with impressive results (including the house using 50-70 percent less energy than a conventionally-constructed home).


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