The families of San Felipe are in desperate need of our help.
Will you help us, help them?
Call: 805-704-5547 for information.

Frequently Asked Questions

Got Questions?

1. Will the tires leak toxins into the home?

I have personally lived in a tire constructed home for 14 years and “no” there is no smell or toxic chemicals inside my home.  It is my understanding that 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?

Building with tires 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, 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?

Each 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.  In 2006, my research in Mexicali showed me there were over 10 million old tires there alone.  How many are there now is the question.

We estimate that we will use approximately 80,000 recycled tires to build this community.

6. Isn’t Tire construction very labor intensive?

Yes, Tire construction is incredibly hard work!  Therefore, we employee the unemployed to help these mostly women and children build their own home. We cannot expect them to do it alone. Fortunately, we are able, with your donations, to pay these hard-working men to help. The cost of labor runs about $9000.00 per home. We believe with more experience and training the cost of labor per home will be reduced from $9000.00 to around $6500.00 per home

7.What about the materials to build these tire homes?

Again, we depend on your donations of the Exact materials we need or cash donation to purchase these items We do very much appreciate your contribution of whatever it is, but if it’s an old window or door it may not fit into our plans. We cannot build a home and make allowances for a different size item every single time we build. This would require a costly new architect drawing for each home built. In our office I Mexico, we have an EXACT LIST of the materials it takes to build one home according to the design. Please consult the office in Mexico for this list. The materials needed to build one home runs about $11,300.00 US dollars.

8. Are any of the officers of Casa Digna getting paid to do this project?

Absolutely Not!  No officer will ever be paid from the contributions made to Casa Digna. We make available our time and labor FREE of charge.