Sau-less house (no skeleton)

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Sau-less house (no skeleton)

Postby Klondyke » Mon May 01, 2017 1:44 pm

Sau-less house?

"Sau" - in Thai a pylon, column. In the country of the "golden teak" the house was always started by erecting massive columns, mostly by a fat teak. The fatter "sau", the better image for the owner in the village.

When the availability of (a legal) teak had been substantially reduced some 30 - 40 years ago (and its affordability as well) another material has been quickly found - the concrete. And the concrete in Thailand has been quite affordable, cement production has been developed very fast, all the input materials are easily available.

So, the traditional style of construction has been further easily continued, first the "saus" (now by concrete), then hurry up with the roof to get a good shade, the walls come later, they are not so important. They had been always also by a wood, no problem with insulation, the wood does not accumulate the heat anyway.

However, the new modern materials create certain constrains for the construction: the erection of the "saus" does not go so fast as with the teak, neither the horizontal beams. It needs a lot of wood for a formwork and its support and steel bars. And moreover, the material for the walls is really the least suitable for the local climate. The walls are mostly made by single blocks or bricks 7 cm thick, with the cement rendering the wall width comes to some 10 cm. A material that easily accumulates the heat from outside during the day and later in turn, gives the heat away inside the house up to late night when the outside air is already quite pleasantly cool.

Image

I am not a construction expert, however, I do not remember seeing such concrete skeletons for a family house (1 - 2 story) in Europe or in America. The house construction starts mostly by erecting walls (by various techniques). And the walls serve also as a support for horizontal beams - made by a reinforced concrete ring to which the roof construction is fixed.

If there is no big problem with flooding the walls here can be erected on a foundation ring 30x30 or 40x40 cm in the ground - depending on the ground quality - with reinforce bars risen in corners for connecting with vertical reinforcement. Thus representing a larger foundation surface than the number of the "saus".

This style (no skeleton) if applied in Thailand (rarely seen) enable to make the wall heat resistant, with insulation that does not transfer inside the heat of the outside cladding. And when the walls are made by a double layer of blocks or bricks with a distance in-between, it represents two advantages:
- having a "Cool Thai House"
-eliminating time for erecting the "saus" and beams, normally some 2 months
- reducing substantially the cost

In order to be assured about strength of the construction, reasonable steel wires can be laid horizontally under the block layers for reinforcement. And in the corners and/or in middle of long walls vertical reinforced bars with a concrete fill imitating such skeleton structure. In fact, with the inner room partition walls for the rooms interlocked with the outer walls in 90 deg. the whole construction represents very sturdy structure.

No need to be concerned about an earthquake, the quakes occurred in the North in the recent few years - even quite exceptional for Thailand - did not cause here any damages even on poor constructions in villages. During these two cases I observed a water wave running over the edge of my swimming pool (made by double cinder blocks with a normal cement). Nor any damages to my extensive rusty raw water system tanks made by single blocks reinforced by steel wire 3mm. Nor to my 3 pcs of drying kiln chambers each 12x12m, made by double blocks with minimum reinforcement.

Another advantage: a layout of such house can be freely created with any openings for doors and windows whenever the owner (or his wife) get an idea - no 4x4 m or similar module to be followed. And the construction can be proceeded with few village bricklayers ("ChaangPun"), no special company hired from Bkk that will require certified drawings, etc. The space in-between of the two layers can be used for electrical installation and for water pipes.

In 2 months such "sau-less" house can be fully completed for a much less cost than the houses with "saus". I have made a rough budget for a complete house 10x10m with 2- 3 bedrooms and WC for 400,000 Baht. Of course, all material carefully self buying and all the construction daily supervized. At the beginning, the "sau-less" style will not be so easy for the ChaangPun.
Klondyke
 
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Re: Sau-less house (no skeleton)

Postby Andyfteeze » Tue May 16, 2017 10:48 am

I think you are thinking about the construction which is a good start. However, you need to pare back a bit on your conclusions because they are based on assumptions you make. This is thailand, thais like to build their own way. You have to plan a bit more on the material side and compromise on what can be done and what is totally beyond them. I passed up on many builders who had no clue. The young architect i have commissioned also has very little experience with farang building techniques. I spent quite some time explaining how i wanted things and alternative materials. He was quite open but also told me what was possible or beyond them. I am learning on the job, what can i let go and what do i stick up for. Concrete " frames" are not a total waste. Extra deep foundations worried me initially ( i have 2m deep, 2x2m pads)
but hey, if they want to do it that way, i wasnt going to fight it. Over kill is better in my books. Walls, Qcon blocks are great. I have used double skin with 50mm foam sheet sandwich downstairs. Up stairs i am using Qcon block inside skin and 100mm foam cladding outside. But normal render doesnt stick to foam. I experimented quite a bit and will use crocodile red swimming pool tile adhesive as a base render with fiberglass mess inbedded.
so you can get the best of both worlds if you think about it a bit more.
Foam was purchased from Lanna packaging. 0.6 x 1.2m sheets, 6 per bag of 100mm at 600bt a bag. 0.6 x 1.2m sheets, 10 per bag of 50mm at 500bt a bag. In the Bangkok factories, where they make the s**t, they quoted 4 times the price, WTF was expleeted many times, lol.
Do your research before you engage a builder. Try to sus out what is difficult for them.
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Re: Sau-less house (no skeleton)

Postby Sometimewoodworker » Tue May 16, 2017 11:49 am

Andyfteeze wrote:but hey, if they want to do it that way, i wasnt going to fight it. Over kill is better in my books. Walls, Qcon blocks are great. I have used double skin with 50mm foam sheet sandwich downstairs. Up stairs i am using Qcon block inside skin and 100mm foam cladding outside. But normal render doesnt stick to foam. I experimented quite a bit and will use crocodile red swimming pool tile adhesive as a base render with fiberglass mess inbedded.
so you can get the best of both worlds if you think about it a bit more.
Foam was purchased from Lanna packaging. 0.6 x 1.2m sheets, 6 per bag of 100mm at 600bt a bag. 0.6 x 1.2m sheets, 10 per bag of 50mm at 500bt a bag. In the Bangkok factories, where they make the s**t, they quoted 4 times the price, WTF was expleeted many times, lol.
.

You mentioned using foam insulation sheet. I hope that you have found polyurethane foam sheet (PU) not expanded polystyrene.
As if you have used expanded polystyrene you will have to be lucky not to get rodents having fun with it, they don't bother with polyurethane foam.
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Re: Sau-less house (no skeleton)

Postby Andyfteeze » Tue May 16, 2017 3:05 pm

The foam is hermetically sealed into the walls. I am being fussy about the detail work.
Andyfteeze
 
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