Building with Earth by Gernot Minke, , available at Book Depository with free delivery worldwide. Building with Earth Gemot Minke Building with Earth Design and Technology of a Sustainable Architecture Birkhauser – Publishers for Architecture Basel • Berlin. Minke, Gernot Documentation of 30 international earth buildings. The characteristics of the building material earth and its applications in modern architecture.

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With the highly mechanised techniques explained above eartth p. Rich clods of clay need to be kept in water to form slurry, and then mixed into the loam with a mixer see chapter 3. Another method for graphically describing loam composed of particles no larger than 2 mm is shown in 2. Experience shows that this process enhances the binding force of the loam. Optimum grain size distribution It is not commonly known that the com- pressive strength of a mix can be enhanced by merely optimising and varying the pro- portion of wiht, sand and gravel particles, but without increasing the clay content.

A lime mortar cures over several weeks and remains plastic buidling the loam has stopped shrinking; sometimes even the side joint between sections of the course is made with mortar at an incline 5. For instance, a demonstration plant exists in Ruhleben, Berlin, which uses clayey soil to remove phosphates from m 3 of sewage daily.

From this mixture, g are beaten, to compact into a sphere. It is preferable to use a minkw ram with a round head on one side and a square one on the other. The values of the dry and the wet compressive strengths of handmade adobes gerbot varying percentages of cement content are shown in 4. The sides of the formwork were directly mounted on the posts. The belief of many researchers and practitioners that pressing in a soil block press leads to an increase of compressive strength may only be true for limited cases.

In the area of 2 gigahertz frequencies at which most cellular mobile phones are working, a cm-thick mud brick wall creates a reduction of 24 dB decibelswhereas an equal tick wall of a lime-sand stone only absorbs 7 dB.


As can be seen in the same figure, vertical cracks can also occur in such walls. Gednot of loam components After two to four days, a soft mass is obtained which can be easily moulded and mixed by hand, feet or machines, together with aggregates such as sand and gravel.

Clay Clay is a product of the erosion of feldspar and other minerals. At witb BRL, a special test for loam surfaces was developed: If the air is gsrnot down in the walls and reaches its dew point, condensation occurs. Working with earthern blocks 7. Soaking, crushing and mixing There are several methods available for making workable building material out of clods of earth.

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Results of experiments performed at the BRL 4. Certain volcanic ashes exhibit buildihg properties, as do fly ash and ash of rice husk. The right preparation depends on the type of earth, its consistency and its expected application. Plastic limit The plastic limit PL is the water content, expressed as a percentage, at the boundary between plastic and semisolid states.

Increasing rheumatic pains are observed in cold humid air. Other stabilisers that mainly increase the compressive strength are men- tioned in this chapter, p. Impact strength of corners Due to mechanical impacts, corners often break during the handling of mud bricks. Tests have shown that as a rule, lime offers better stabilisation with rich clayey loams, while cement gives better results with leaner loams.

In some countries, Bentonite is available in bags like cement. The phosphates are bound by the clay minerals and extracted from the sewage. While producing mud bricks, for instance, it is important to turn them upright and to shelter them from direct sunlight and wind to guarantee a slow, even drying process.

This “edge impact strength” is very important during grenot tion, when bricks or blocks are being trans- ported, moved or stacked. Interestingly, the silty soil samples gave higher w-values than those of clayey soil.

Effects of vapour 2. Bronze Age discoveries have established that in Germany earth was used as an infill in timber-framed houses or to seal walls made of tree trunks.


Larger blocks, compacted in a formwork by ramming, are called “rammed earth blocks. Another disadvantage of such presses is that the soil mix must be kept at a constant level of moisture and composition. It may have been possible to avoid this had the water- glass been mixed beforehand with water in a proportion of 1: Therefore, the formwork should allow varying lengths of wall to be cast.

Gernot Minke

For lateral stability, the vertical joints are made in a tongue-in-groove pattern. This section explains the various methods by which binding force can be increased. These spacers pierce the wall, causing openings that must grnot filled in after removal fernot formwork.

Here, the mortar is poured through a gernpt funnel onto a plate that is lifted and dropped by a defined type and number of strokes. The stabilising effect is more pronounced if the mixture is com- pressed. If pozzolana is added together with lime, an additional stabilisation effect is achieved and the quantity of lime can be reduced. Mineral and animal products In former times, it was quite common to enhance stabilisation against water by adding lime and manure, or lime and whey.

Building with Earth

In hot dry and temperate climate zones, earth offers numerous advantages over other materials. However, this is relevant only if failure occurs at the joint. According to this standard, samples that disintegrate in less than 45 minutes are unsuitable for earth construction.

Some of the data compiled by the BRL may be seen in 4. Wash test A humid soil sample is rubbed between the hands. As it is also dependent on the water content, the binding force of dif- ferent loams can only be compared if either water content or plasticity are equal.