Learn to build with mud
....a home, a shed, a garden room, a wall, a community building.
Mud Brick Construction aims to develop an understanding of how to approach building with mud bricks. Mud brick building is also known by the alternative name 'adobe'. There are other ways of building with mud brick apart from 'adobe'. These will be covered briefly in this course. For the novice, there is not a lot which can go wrong if you choose to build with mud brick.
There are 10 lessons in this course:
- Scope of Mud Brick - Covers history and types of earth building and construction. Also involves analysis of your soil with respect to suitability for mud bricks.
- How to make a mud brick - You will get to make a mud brick mould; test your soil, classify it, and check it for ability to withstand compression. You will also be expected to assess other soil types and their suitability for mud bricks.
- Planning and Site Works - Selecting a home site, designing a house to maximise energy efficiency. Introduction to building biology (ie. healthy buildings).
- Legal Considerations - Permits, specifications etc
- Foundations - Strip foundations, slabs, earth floors.
- Laying Bricks - Step by step procedure, strengthening/reinforcing walls, load bearing compared with non load bearing walls, rendering finished surfaces.
- Doors, Windows, and Roofs - Roofing methods, fixing doors & windows, general fixing, joinery, plugs etc.
- Finishes - Alternative wall and floor finishes.
- Services - Electricity, gas, water etc. Designing & costing a small building (eg. store or workshop).
- Other types of Earth Building - Wattle & daub, rammed earth, cob.
Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.
- Discuss the nature and scope of Mud Brick construction
- Identify the legal considerations which need to be met when building in mud.
- Determine the requirement for foundations for a mud construction.
- Determine options for building doors, windows and roofs into a mud building
- Analyze options for coating or finishing the surface of a mud wall or other mud construction.
- Compare options for providing water, electricity or any other required services in a mud building.
- Describe a variety of mud construction techniques other than mud brick.
WHAT YOU WILL DO
- Get together a sample of earth which you might like to use to make mud bricks. This earth might be on a property where you wish to build a mud brick house, or it might be from a friend's property. Collect earth from at least a few inches below the soil.
- Find different types of soil. Give your assessment on the suitability of each for making mud bricks. Send a sample of each soil type along with your assessment of it's suitability for making mud bricks.
- Using different types of soil make test mud bricks. One mud brick should be made with each type of soil plus straw. Make another brick out of each type of soil without straw.
- Visit or contact your local council's building department. Find out from them where you can obtain a copy of `Standard Specifications' from.
- Explain step by step how you would go about putting down a concrete strip foundation for a small single story mud brick workshop.
- Lots more (These are just some examples of what you may do)