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Building With Compressed Earth Blocks

Discussion in 'DIY - Do-It-Yourself Projects, Construction, Etc.' started by Flying J, Aug 2, 2014.

  1. Aug 7, 2014
    Flying J

    Flying J Power Conserver

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    That is what they call Coyote Fencing around here. Normally these are all lined up side by side, close together and makes a sturdy fence. But I didn't have enough to do this. So it works as a nice decoration and it keeps the deer out.
     
  2. Aug 9, 2014
    sumi

    sumi Sustainability Master Administrator

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    I'm so glad to see someone explaining earth blocks. It used to be THE building block around here and more than half the town we live at and all the old, surrounding farm houses were built with "mud bricks". And many if not most of those buildings are over 100 years old. What I find ironic though, is that the banks are reluctant to give bonds on properties with mud brick dwellings? These houses are sturdier than the new builds! Our farm house is build half-half, the older section with mud bricks and the additions with modern bricks and cement. We had some MAJOR roadworks nearby a few years ago that literally shook the house. Guess which walls cracked? ;)

    An added bonus is they are as environment friendly as you get. When we go out later I will try and take some pics of our earth houses and see if there is anything left of the ruin I discovered outside town one day. The roof and plaster got removed, so the rain got into the walls and they literally melted away. Huge improvement on a pile of building rubble?
     
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  3. Aug 10, 2014
    sumi

    sumi Sustainability Master Administrator

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    O.K. here goes. I've taken pics of 3 different earth/mud houses, ranging from needing some fixing up, to desperately needing some fixing up, to beyond help. These are all quite old and have been abandoned years ago, hence the disrepair. I've taken some close-ups to show how they were build and what the weather and elements did to the blocks once the plaster got damaged.

    What I really love about these is how the walls melts away when exposed to rain over time. You don't get much more environment friendly than that!

    First house:

    The mesh is used to keep the cement plaster mix in place.

    IMG_0003.jpeg

    Here you can see how the blocks literally melted away in the rain, over time.

    IMG_0008.jpeg

    Interesting difference between older and newer walls.

    IMG_0010.jpeg
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2014
  4. Aug 10, 2014
    sumi

    sumi Sustainability Master Administrator

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    Second house. This one lost it's roof and got left to melt away over the years:

    Chunks of the wall can be seen in front here.

    IMG_0012.jpeg

    IMG_0015.jpeg IMG_0018.jpeg
     

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  5. Aug 10, 2014
    sumi

    sumi Sustainability Master Administrator

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    Third house:

    IMG_0024.jpeg IMG_0026.jpeg IMG_0029.jpeg IMG_0036.jpeg
     
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  6. Aug 10, 2014
    Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Almost Self-Reliant

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    I love it and could live there. You did a great job on it, a Homesteaders dream home.

    can you imagine someone passing through back in the 1800's they would think that was a castle. :thumbsup
     
  7. Aug 10, 2014
    Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Almost Self-Reliant

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    Wow sumi alot of work went into building those homes.
     
  8. Aug 10, 2014
    Flying J

    Flying J Power Conserver

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    Great pictures Sumi. Thanks for sharing! It is amazing how strikingly similar the building style and the terrain of your area is to the Southwestern parts of the U.S. I always wanted some old ruins on my property but this place didn't come with any. Hence, I had to build my own! Here are some similar looking pics of adobe ruins around the southwest...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  9. Aug 10, 2014
    TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Lovin' The Homestead

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    Wow Sumi! Great job on the pics!! I love old ruins. And yes, your area does look a lot like the southwest here. Southern New Mexico looks very similar! Lots of work goes into building these houses out of blocks. And once the outer adobe covering falls off, the bricks are exposed to the elements and crumble.

    Buildings like these definitely tell a story, that is for sure. It is fun to walk around or through them and imagine who lived there, how they survived and why these building were eventually abandoned. We love to tour the local abandoned adobes around here.

    Thanks for sharing Sumi!!
     
  10. Aug 11, 2014
    baymule

    baymule Sustainability Master

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    Those melted earthen houses will give future archeologists fits trying to figure it all out!

    Love the pics from BOTH continents, how similar they are!
     

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