Even though the world is buzzing with news concerning climate change and health threats, pollution and efficient recycling remains one of the main global concerns of this age. We live in a society where “zero waste life” and “ecofriendly” are phrases commonly used in everyone’s vocabulary. Therefore, it’s only natural we stick to this phrasing when thinking about our future homes. Turns out, the search for alternative building materials and housing solutions is so advanced, there are available options even for DIYers.

More info: SteveAreen

Image credits: steveareen

As it’s like with the rest of the world, construction has its trends as well. It all started with foamcrete, then the world got obsessed with papercrete. Hempcrete was an even bigger hit and now it seems like finally, it’s the time to shine for aircrete. Turns out, aircrete is a mixture of air bubbles and cement that is really cheap to make but is waterproof, fireproof and very DIY-friendly.

Image credits: steveareen

Image credits: steveareen

The key to making aircrete is in the foaming agent that suspends tiny air bubbles in the cement mixture, as well as a continuous foam generator which disperses a mix of the foaming agent into the cement mixture. Good news for all the eco-friendly guys out here, the foaming agent can be something as simple and easy to obtain as an all-natural “high foaming” dish detergent.

Image credits: steveareen

Image credits: steveareen

Just like regular concrete, aircrete has good compressive strength but it can also double as an insulator. Its low cost is probably the most attractive thing for DIYers since it can help to save up a lot in construction, maintenance and furthermore, helps you stay cool in summer and warm in the winter.

Image credits: steveareen

Image credits: steveareen

But the quality that draws the most attention to aircrete is the ecological factor. It has a special appeal to those concerned about ecology since it gained international recognition as an ecological building material because of its resource efficiency.

Image credits: steveareen

Image credits: steveareen

Furthermore, the material is easily applied in creating elegant shapes which is crucial to building dome homes. You have to admit that just seeing a dome home is somehow freeing and uplifting. All those graceful arches, round windows, and oval doorways just make you feel like you’re living in a fairytale or as if you suddenly woke up as a hobbit in one of Tolkien’s books.

Image credits: steveareen

Image credits: steveareen

A keen traveler, photographer, and musician Steve Areen was able to build his dome home for as little as $9000. “In 2011, I had a wonderful visit with my friend Hajjar Gibran. For years, he has inspired me with his creative ideas. This time, he was building domes at his retreat center in northeast Thailand. He and his wife offered me a spot on their mango farm to build my own dome. With Hajjar’s guidance and design ideas, along with my own, and his son-in-law Tao’s masonry skills, I had my dome home up and painted in six weeks.”

Image credits: steveareen

Image credits: steveareen

“The cost for the basic structure was under $6000. It took a few more weeks to add the details such as doors, screens, pond, upstairs structure, stonework, and landscaping. All this, including furnishings and plumbing to the well, was under $3000… Bringing my total cost to about $9,000. Please keep in mind this is in cost-friendly Thailand,” he said.

You can watch a video on tiny dome homes below.