The following characteristics of EcoShells are sustainable:
- Sand, crushed, stone, and cement – major components of EcoShells – come from plentiful resources throughout the world. According to the Portland Cement Association, concrete is 6% air, 41% gravel or crushed rock, 26% sand, 11% cement, and 16% water.
- The concrete can be mixed on site from locally extracted materials to reduce the transportation of construction materials over long distance.
- Normally concrete construction consumes large amount of other materials – metal, wood, top soil – as false works or formworks. By employing a reusable thin vinyl air form, the EcoShell prevents such waste.
- Thin shell concrete dome structures are long-lived and easily repurposed. When a concrete structure is destroyed, the concrete can be crushed and sorted to be used as aggregate for other concrete buildings.
EcoShells require significantly less concrete and rebar than a conventional concrete building.
- Metal rebar is almost always made from steel scrap, mainly junked automobiles. However, we recommend that the EcoShell be build using basalt rebar (from plentiful volcanic rock), because this material is three times stronger than steel, and does not corrode when exposed to water.
With either basalt or fiberglass rebar, the EchoShell may need a partial concrete re-coating every few decades; however, with this simple maintenance, they can last for well over a century. Wooden window sills and doors in the EcoShell can rot and will provide the same performance in an EcoShell that they provide in a more typical structure.