Adobe Mud Brick Print E-mail

Background:

  • This method has been used for thousands of years with parts of the Great Wall of China as well as some of the pyramids in Egypt being made of adobe brick.
  • Most of South Africa’s oldest National Building Monuments are made with adobe bricks.
  • Adobe bricks are still widely used in many rural parts of the country, i.e. Eastern Cape, Transkei, Zululand, Mpumalanga etc. However their use without proper masonry foundations or damp proofing and the practice of cement plastering, typically compromises their durability.

Benefits:

  • This method can be used to increase the job creation and community skills development on site.
  • The raw materials are normally readily available and simple tools are needed.
  • These walls offer much better thermal comfort performance. The combination of the high thermal mass of the material which offers great thermal stability to structures together with the ability of clay to moderate humidity levels to indoor climates creates a greatly improved level of thermal comfort when compared to standard concrete & brick buildings.
  • Unlike cob for instance the adobe brick making process allows for the division of labour, such that one can create additional work with brick production being separate to the actual project construction itself.

Technical information:

  • Strengths are typically good for double storey construction.
  • This method can be very durable provided good detailing
  • with proper damp proofing as well as natural plasters
  • (earth and lime) and paints that breath are used.
  • The Adobe brick mix is carefully prepared by mixing clay-rich soil/ sand/ straw with the correct proportions.
  • The adobe mix is placed in the moulds and the bricks are left out to dry in the sun for one month. The longer it dries the stronger it gets.
  • Earth brick building codes have been established in many parts of Central, South and North America. many countries, as well as in New Zealand.

Company track record and examples of work:

  • OR Tambo Narrative & Enviro Centre – Leeupan, Johannesburg, 2010 – 2012
  • House Eglin, 2009 – 2011, Gqnube Green Eco Village,
  • East London
  • Mamre Heritage Revitalization Project, Mamre Tourism Information Centre, Mamre Western Cape,, 2009-2010.
  • Seven Fountains Primary school for Oprah’s Angels Network -  Kokstad, 2006 - 2007
  • House Alblas -  McGreggor, Western Cape, 2007
 

We offer a number of construction & info manuals on our website on natural building technologies which specifically refer to the South African context. The info manual "A LIME DUNG PLASTER RECIPE" has recently been added to the collection.   Click here for more information.

All our manuals are also now available as E-Book downloads. Click here for the E-Books.