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Biocasas biohomes

FAQS

WHAT DOES IT COST TO BUILD GREEN MAGIC HOMES?

For pricing of our technology, please go to the CONTACT button, fill out the form and you will get your answer in few minutes with the prices of all our models, technical data sheet, catalog and much more.

ARE CITY PERMITS REQUIRED TO BUILD A GREEN MAGIC HOME?

Not everywhere, but most of the times, yes, permits are needed. For this, Green Magic Homes provides with each order a complete set of floor plans, with all the details of the technology, structural calculation reports, foundation design, technical installations (hydraulic, electrical and water sewing floor plans) and everything required by the Building Department in your city. Our technology is an innovative construction system that meets all standards of earthquake resistance and wind loads, to be approved in any country in the world.

HOW DO THE TECHNICAL INSTALLATIONS, SUCH AS PLUMBING, ELECTRICAL AND SEWAGE, WORK WITH THIS TECHNOLOGY?

All technical pipeline connections are, as in any standard house, included within the slab foundation. With our technology, the components include ducts and electrical wiring boxes. All plumbing, sewage and gas facilities are directly connected through the foundation.

ARE TECHNICAL INSTALLATIONS AND THE FOUNDATION INCLUDED WITH THE GREEN MAGIC HOMES PACKAGE?

No, we provide the exterior shell, which, when covered with soil, grass and natural gardens, allows you to live in harmony with the environment. We include exterior windows and doors but, if you wish, you can order our technology without doors and windows, and we will provide you with the plans to be able to order from a local supplier who can build and install your windows and doors according to the design specifications.

DOES THE COST OF THESE HOMES INCLUDE ASSEMBLY?

No. We are the manufacturers of the technology. We recommend you work with an Authorized Green Magic Homes Distributor in your area who can help with the building and assembly of the structure at an additional cost. Or, with the assistance of a General Contractor, Architect or Engineer, you can build your own Green Magic Home. We will provide you with all the necessary manuals and instructions to do so.

DOES THE COST OF THESE HOMES INCLUDE THE SOIL AND VEGETATION?

No. To blend with your environment, you will want to use the soil and plants native to your area. We provide a construction manual which includes everything you need to know to cover your Green Magic Home with soil, grass and beautiful natural gardens.

CAN THESE HOMES BE INSTALLED IN EXTREME COLD WEATHER WITH SNOW, SUCH AS CANADA OR ALASKA?

Yes. For cold weather environments we recommend applying a thick layer of insulating foam approximately 60 cm (2 feet) coating the exterior of the shell – See: FOAM - and then cover it with 20 cm (7.5 inches) of soil, grass and plants.

CAN THESE HOMES WITHSTAND A HEAVY SNOW LOAD?

Yes, in general terms. Because the design of the Green Magic Homes is dome-shaped, snow load accumulation tends to spread out and down towards the base of the structure. This curved design reduces the possibility of over load. For additional structural support, consider an interior design with internal walls for reinforcement.

WHAT IS THE MAXIMUM LOAD CAPACITY THAT A GREEN MAGIC HOME CAN SUPPORT?

DEAD loads (above deck):
Layer of soil 20 cm (7.5”) thick: 400 Kg/m2 (9,492 lbs/sq ft)
Vegetation Layer: 200 Kg/m2 (4,746 lbs/sq ft)

Live loads (above deck):
180 Kg/m2 (4,271.5 lbs/sq ft) if used as terraces.

CAN THE STRUCTURE OF THE GREEN MAGIC HOMES BE COATED WITH REINFORCED CONCRETE FOR GREATER RESISTANCE?

Yes, the structure can be externally coated with concrete reinforced with steel rods to achieve higher resistance to load and withstand a thicker soil and vegetation cover. We will review each individual case and recommend the engineering specifications to accord with the desired thickness of the layer of soil covering.

DO INTERIOR WALLS GO UP TO THE CEILING?

Yes, full size walls can be included in the design, as in any standard house. We do not provide the interior walls, nor any of the internal furnishing or fixtures, just the exterior shell.

DO WINDOWS HAVE DOUBLE GLAZING?

No, we supply single pane glass for windows and doors, but for projects that require double-glazing, we will exclude the glass and will provide design plans for the windows and doors so double pane glass can be ordered from a local supplier.

HOW LONG WILL THE PRODUCTION OF A GREEN MAGIC HOME TAKE ONCE THE CONTRACT IS SIGNED AND THE RETAINER FEE IS PAID?

A 100 square meter (1,076 sq ft) house takes about 10 days to manufacture, but the exact delivery time will be determined at the time the contract is submited, since it will depend on various factors such as the production queue and the requirements of the customer with regard to optional items. Normally the process from payment of the retainer fee to delivery will take approximately 30 to 60 days.

HOW MUCH TIME IS REQUIRED FOR THE ASSEMBLY AND SEALING OF A GREEN MAGIC HOME?

It depends on the size and complexity of the individual Green Magic Home. A 1 bedroom cabin can take 3 people 3 days to assemble and seal, while a 3 bedroom house may take 5 or 6 days.

WHAT IS THE APPROXIMATE WEIGHT OF THE MODULES THAT MAKE UP A GREEN MAGIC HOME?

The individual modules have an average weight of 40 kilograms per square meter (949.2 lbs/sq ft), if one takes into account the area of the house as per the floor plan. For example, a 100 square meter house (1,076 sq ft) will have a total weight of approx. 4000 kilos (8,818.7 lbs) of composite material. From another point of view, the weight of the modules per surface area of composite material varies from 10 to 15 kilograms per square meter (237.3 – 355.9 lbs/sq ft) depending on the type of module.

IS THE GREEN MAGIC HOME SYSTEM CALCULATED STRUCTURALLY BY ENGINEERS TO WITHSTAND THE WEIGHT OF SOIL AND VEGETATION? HOW MUCH MORE CAN IT SUPPORT?

Yes. The system is designed and calculated structurally by our engineers, using the latest simulation software, in compliance with national and international standards, the IBC, and international building codes. These calculations are additionally supported by actual tests of materials and structures already completed. Green Magic Homes are designed to withstand the weight of 20 centimeters (7.5”) of soil and plants at the highest point of the structure, which is the most critical.

WHAT LEVEL OF SEISMIC MOVEMENTS (EARTHQUAKES) CAN GREEN MAGIC HOMES WITHSTAND?

The specific conditions of each place and the relative location of each Green Magic Home will influence the amplification or moderation of the wave that causes an earthquake, and this must be taken into account in any simulation of seismic resistance. However, considering that Green Magic Homes are low structures, completely integrated with the surrounding terrain and with an ideal geometry based on curves and vaults, as well as a structural shell made of a flexible and strong material that can adapt to any movement of the Earth, they are perhaps the strongest structures imaginable. Under normal conditions, they can easily withstand an earthquake with a magnitude of 8.5 on the Richter scale.

CAN GREEN MAGIC HOMES BE BUILT IN HURRICANE PRONE AREAS, OR AREAS WITH VERY STRONG WINDS?

Yes, and better if they are in relatively high places that are not prone to flooding. The design of the Green Magic Homes system has several characteristics that are ideal for wind resistance: on one hand the high load of the earth and it structuring with geo-textiles, and the way the modules are anchored to the foundation beams, guarantee optimum resistance to the suction and buffeting produced by strong winds. Also, the rounded shapes of the earth covering, its low height, the way it integrates and literally becomes a part of the surrounding terrain, presents a profile with the lowest possible resistance to the passage of the wind. Logically, the design of doors and windows in these areas must be equal in strength to the conditions that may arise.

WHAT IS THE EXPECTED DURABILITY OF A GREEN MAGIC HOME?

The materials used in the modules are of the highest quality, and as long as the instructions of the technical manual are strictly adhered to, and all additional materials (sealants, fasteners, waterproofing, geo-textiles) are used according to specifications, you can expect a lifetime of use with very little maintenance. With the passage of time, the necessary maintenance or repairs required are minimal and simple address. The soil, grass and plant covering protects the structure from UV rays from the sun and adverse weather conditions.

ARE THE GREEN MAGIC HOMES SUSCEPTIBLE TO HUMIDITY PROBLEMS AND WATER FILTRATION, BEING COVERED WITH SOIL AND VEGETATION?

Not when installed correctly per the instruction manual and when recommended techniques and materials are used. The Green Magic Homes structure consists of modules, which are assembled using stainless steel screws, epoxy and polyurethane adhesives and sealants, ensuring complete tightness. This is very important, since the material used in the modules that make up 95% of the structure is completely waterproof, and the only possibility of filtration occurs in the joints. Following instructions and carefully assembling the modules ensures a perfectly watertight environment over time.

WHAT TYPE OF MAINTENANCE DOES THE GARDEN COVERING THE GREEN MAGIC HOME NEED, ONCE CONSTRUCTION IS FINISHED?

The type of vegetation used is always dependent on the climate conditions of the area where the structure is installed. As in any garden, if you use plants native to the region, in many cases you can have zero or very low maintenance. What must be taken into account is that when you build an earth-sheltered house, the surface of the earth tends to revert back to its natural state eventually. You can decide to modify or improve these conditions with, for example, improved soils, watering systems, and ornamental plants, or anything else that is feasible in your area.

CAN YOU HANG THINGS LIKE PAINTINGS, CABINETS, OR TV’S FROM THE WALLS?

Yes, for this purpose, use fixing elements glued to the interior walls, like dual lock from 3M. Following the product instructions, lightly sand the surface of the module where you will attach the element with 80 grit sandpaper to ensure a secure bond. In the case of very heavy elements that exceed the capacity of the glue, (as in the case of a projecting arm for a 50" TV), it is possible to connect the fixture to the wall with screws, then sealing the exterior and adding the soil according to instructions provided as appropriate.

WHAT IS THE PROCESS OF STRUCTURING THE EARTH WALLS AND ROOF OF A GREEN MAGIC HOME? CAN SOIL FROM THE EXCAVATION BE USED?

The Green Magic Homes system is well suited to building on land with diverse topography, and often on sites that would hardly be suitable for other types of buildings. In sloped terrain, for example, the system presents solutions that in many cases eliminate the need for costly retaining walls to form flat areas where to build, since the House itself becomes part of the land. In most conventional systems it is necessary to excavate and remove the top layers of soil, and then replace with filling materials suitable for this purpose. In the Green Magic Homes system you can save the topsoil which then can be place over the house, as well as any other underlying soils, which can be easily modified and used to form the earth walls and berms. The various treatments that can be used to structure the ground around the structure depend on several factors that include the topography of the terrain and the types of soil contained in the necessary excavations for the foundations of the Green Magic Home. In general terms the land cover is structured by means of geo-textiles (landscape fabric) where necessary to strengthen it, for example in berms with steep slopes on level ground.

CAN YOU PLANT TREES ON TOP OF A GREEN MAGIC HOME?

Yes, you can plant trees species of moderate size with non-invasive roots in parts of the house with a suitable depth of soil. For example between connecting spaces, as well as on the earth berms around the house. Directly on top of the spaces where there is little thickness of Earth, it is preferable to plant smaller species. However, even in these areas the depth of Earth is approximately 20 centimeters, enough to plant large shrubs if you wish. It is important to get advice on local plants and planting techniques from professionals in the area.

CAN YOU GROW CROPS ON THE GREEN MAGIC HOME?

Yes, it is possible. The type of crops you can grow will always depend on the climate and conditions of your area.

WHAT TYPE OF FOUNDATIONS IS REQUIRED BY THE GREEN MAGIC HOME SYSTEM?

The typical foundation system, applicable in most of cases, is a simple reinforced concrete beam 30 x 30 centimeters (1X1 foot) in sections, that goes under all the modules and which also serves to anchor them. However, a soil study is important (as for any construction), to determine the soil’s load bearing capacity and other characteristics which may affect the foundations.

HOW IS THE GREEN MAGIC HOME ANCHORED TO THE FOUNDATION?

Green Magic Homes modules are easily anchored to the foundation beam using expansion bolts placed in holes drilled into the beam.

CAN GREEN MAGIC HOME WALLS BE PAINTED?

Yes. Green Magic Homes delivers modules finished in white sandable gelcoat, which can be painted after a light sanding with 150 grit sand paper. We recommend exterior-grade acrylic paint or other similar quality paint.

CAN NEW SPACES AND ROOMS BE ADDED ON TO A GREEN MAGIC HOME AFTER IT IS FINISHED?

Yes. The system supports the connection of additional modules, but future growth should be planned from the beginning so the appropriate parts can be left in place.

WHAT HAPPENS IF A CRACK IS ACCIDENTALLY MADE IN ONE OF THE WALLS… CAN I FIX IT?

The force required to crack a module of the GREEN MAGIC HOME system is very high and is not likely to happen accidentally, since it would require a strong blow with a steel cutting element or something similar. However, if this were to happen the repair work is relatively simple with elements, which may be obtained in a hardware or construction materials outlet.

ARE GREEN MAGIC HOMES GOOD FOR VERY HOT OR VERY COLD CLIMATES?

Yes. The environmental properties study contains an extensive chapter on the climatic properties of the Green Magic Homes system, with figures, graphs, and tests of the system under various conditions. In addition, it contains an annex with design recommendations for different climates.

WHAT IS THE - R - FACTOR OF THE GREEN MAGIC HOMES STRUCTURE?

The R factor, or resistance to the transfer of temperature factor, is approximately 1 for every 10 cm (3.93 inch) of soil. A typical Green Magic Home has an average of 60 cm (23.62 inch) between walls and cover, which gives an R factor of 6. But it can be increased up to a R factor of 50 by first applying a layer of 7.5 inches of closed-cell polyurethane foam, whose R factor is 6 per inch - see SPRAY FOAM - and then covering it with 20 cm (7.5 inch) of soil, grass and natural gardens.

WHAT IS THE RESPONSE OF THESE MATERIALS TO FIRE?

Technology components are constructed with materials of low combustibility G1 GOST 30244-94 (inflammable in SNIP 21/01/97), fast cooling technology that does not spread fire.

WHAT IS THE MELTING POINT OF THE POLYMER COMPOSITES?

The ignition temperature, typically is 650 °F or higher for FRP components.

IS IT POSSIBLE TO HAVE SKYLIGHTS IN THE SYSTEM?

Yes, skylights are designed for some components in the system.

CAN AIR CONDITIONING OR HEATING SYSTEMS BE INSTALLED IN A GREEN MAGIC HOME?

Yes, easily. in general terms, air conditioning and heating systems are supremely efficient in the Green Magic Home system, due to its thermal qualities.

CAN VENTILATION OR AIR EXTRACTION DUCTS BE INSTALLED WHEREVER NEEDED?

Yes, small diameter ventilation ducts with or without extraction fans can be installed in most areas as long as they are specified in the initial design so that they can be incorporated into the production of the modules.

DO THESE HOMES PRODUCE GAS EMISSIONS THAT MAY BE TOXIC TO HEALTH?

No, gas emissions occur only during the manufacture of components in our plant, but once finished, they are completely inert and are no longer producing emissions or outgassing, making them suitable for permanent housing.

HOW DO I BECOME A DISTRIBUTOR?

To become Distributor, you must be linked with the building industry and have on your team an Architect, Engineer and/or General Contractor, and be involved in the building projects from beginning to end. An understanding of how to apply for construction licenses and permits and to prepare estimates for customers is also required. If you meet these minimum requirements, then you are welcome to apply as Distributor
Please fill out the attached form and send it to us.
Click to download: APPLICATION FOR DISTRIBUTORS

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