1. Will the tires leak toxins into the home?
Melody chose to use recycled tires to build dignified homes because she has personally lived in a tire constructed home for 14+ years. No, there is no smell or toxic chemicals inside her home. It is her understanding a tire must be in direct sun light to release substances that could be harmful to life.
2. Tires are very flammable. Won’t they burn forever if they catch fire?
One may assume that homes made of tires, which are highly flammable, would pose serious fire risks. Because the tires are packed with clay-based dirt and are sealed within concrete stucco, they are not reacting with oxygen. Fire needs oxygen to breath. According to Earth 911.com, tire constructed buildings meet and often exceed fire requirements.
3. How well insulated are the homes?
Rammed-earth homes are designed to maximize energy-efficiency, remaining relatively warm in winter months and cool in summer months. Their dense design is ideal for thermal mass storage.
4. How do you build with tires?
Tires are packed with earth, then stacked in a brick-like fashion. The primary material besides tires is compacted clay-based dirt. Recycled automotive tires filled with compacted earth form what are called rammed-earth bricks and are used in place of traditional wood framing. Soil is tightly packed into the frame of the tire. Small gaps in the frames, due to the tires being round, are filled with recycled materials, typically aluminum cans, bottles or old cement sacks.
5. Are there enough old tires to build these homes?
Every year, nearly 300 million tires are disposed of in the U.S. alone. The EPA estimates that markets exist for approximately 80 percent of those tires, leaving an estimated 60 million scrap tires to be stockpiled or land filled. According to my research in 2006, there were over 10 million old tires in Mexicali alone. How many do you think there are now?
We estimate we will use approximately 80,000 recycled tires to build this community.
6. Isn’t Tire construction very labor intensive?
Yes, tire construction is very hard work! We employee the unemployed to help the single families and vulnerable families in the community to build their own home. We cannot expect them to do it alone. Thankfully, with your generous donations, we are able to pay hardworking locals to help.
7. Are any of the officers on the Board of Directors at Casa Digna paid for their work?
Absolutely Not! Our Board of Directors believe in this incredible project and generously volunteer their time. They are not financially compensate for the time they invest in Casa Digna Inc.