Building materials used in the D.R.

sightseeing

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Does anyone know about the materials used in building private homes and condos in the D.R. ? Are they using asbestos ?
 

HUG

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If you ask one of the magicians (mods) to use the magic search words you will find ample info on materials and costs.
 

zoomzx11

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lets all hope they are not using asbestos. I saw DDT sold in Villa A. a couple of years back. If you are thinking of building the cement and rebar costs fluctuate. Waiting until they are down will save you a lot of money. If you can wait of course.
 

Dolores1

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May 3, 2000
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No, asbestos was manufactured here in the past, but the factory closed and think it's been about 20 years since it is not sold here. Many roofs were refitted with Aluzinc. You will find asbestos primarily in houses built in the 80s or before. Doubt anyone uses it today.

Otherwise, lots of modern imported materials used for construction. Where cement was used in the past, am seeing now low weight materials that result in cooler houses. Not so sure they will be as resistant to hurricanes. Since we have not had a hurricane since 1998 in Santo Domingo (17 years), glass has replaced many other materials in the city.
 

Norberto61

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It is an awesome building material. It is often used in roofing materials and tiles in a lot of countries. Dunno about the DR but it's pretty popular elsewhere in Latin America. Given the electrical system I'd say your increased chance of lung cancer is more than offset by the reduced chance of being killed in some conflagration
 

Cdn_Gringo

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Apr 29, 2014
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Not hardly considering the pain and suffering it can cause. It's best if not used anywhere, especially in a country with poor access to health care.
Unfortunately economic interests usually trump common sense or social responsibility. Despite the clear health risks, there are still active mines taking asbestos out of the ground. There is a big one in Quebec. Their only markets are developing countries, as asbestos use has been banned everywhere else.

It's the old adage, it's not good enough for me to use but what do I care if they use it in Togo, as long as I get paid...
 

Norberto61

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I would not recommend anyone work with asbestos but if it is already in place it is harmless unless it is getting disturbed so don't get freaked out if you figure out there's asbestos in an existing building. Unless it is somewhere where the surface can get worn and the dust will be breathed in. Pipe insulation can be a problem
 

Kipling333

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It is an awesome building material. It is often used in roofing materials and tiles in a lot of countries. Dunno about the DR but it's pretty popular elsewhere in Latin America. Given the electrical system I'd say your increased chance of lung cancer is more than offset by the reduced chance of being killed in some conflagration
You are correct that it is not being manufactured here but it is still being used as a roofing material..do not know where it comes from but in Higuey , my friends and I saw it being sawn by a man without a mask and put on a roof ,,It is lethal stuff when being cut or broken easily giving cancer of the lungs .
 

ctrob

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Nov 9, 2006
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if it is already in place it is harmless unless it is getting disturbed so don't get freaked out if you figure out there's asbestos in an existing building.
The average homeowner can't determine if their asbestos is harmless. If you have, or think you might have, asbestos in your home get it inspected by someone knowledgeable. Even if it's only roof panels. If it's friable or can become friable it should be encapsulated or removed. And that takes someone looking at it that knows what their doing. Don't take chances with it.
 

Cdn_Gringo

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OP, with respect to your original question:

Concrete, blocks and poured. Rebar obviously, wood, terracotta/clay, parging, tile, stone.

Everything is available at a cost and importable. You don't see any buildings with siding, because one of the big considerations here is the need to withstand hurricane force winds from time to time.

Unlike Florida where insurance companies rebuild homes constructed with inappropriate materials, such is not the case here. Most people who can afford to build or rent a modern home would prefer if their dwelling stays standing during a storm. Many have insurance. Locals on the other hand have nothing to fall back on if it does not hold up to a storm or the passage of time.

Wood should be used sparingly. Usually found in roof trusses. Insects, wood peckers, mold, humidity, sea air take their toll on wood over the long term. New roof supports while a pain and costly, is doable without destroying the whole structure.

Those with not so much money prefer concrete block. Those with no money in the campo use wood or whatever they can find. Roofs range from thatching, to sheet metal to tile to concrete. Affluent individuals usually construct the quintessential colonial villa using concrete, wood and tile.

Concrete under the tropical sun does absorb and retain a significant amount of heat. Many villas lack glass windows or employ an open wall concept to help dissipate this heat overnight.

You could build the typical NA home here using the same materials, but it makes little sense to do so. Cost, maintenance and repairs would be expensive. Glass facades abound but provide little strength and reinforcement. If these blow out in the wind lots of little class shards blowing around. Having lots of glass facing the sun most of the day, not a particularly good idea. Use non-laminated glass at one's own peril. Drywall would be a disaster without continuous internal climate control. Vapour barriers are not needed and a bad idea as would be fiber insulation. Styrofoam insulation on the other hand can be of benefit in offsetting internal temperature fluctuations.
 

Criss Colon

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Not to mention, termites eat wood, not steel bars and concrete blocks.
Maids would make short work of "dry wall".
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