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Re: GSBN:re: Exterior cladding question

Hi Bruce
I attended the EarthBuild Conference in Sydney last month. Some good
resources for you will be:-
- Hugh Morris, Engineer, Auckland University, New Zealand
h.morris@...copies for sale of the standard David mentioned.
Helped write these.
- Horst Schroeder, Architecture, Weimar University, Germany
I loved Horst, he told me later that all the Australian presenters who were
reinforcing their earth walls in Aust would have been thrown out if they
presented such papers in Germany.
- Reddy Venkatarama, Engineer, Indian University (forgot which one). Lovely
man, presented a paper on 'stabilised mud brick  problems'.
I have a copy of the Houben and Guillaud's 'Earth Construction- A
comprehensive guide'. This is filed under my well used, essential reference
books (sub category - do not lend out). ISBN 1 85339 193 X. It discussed
soils, identifications, natural binding forces, stabilizations ( natural and
additives), tests, construction methods, production methods, design,
disaster resistant construction etc.


Chris Newton
Earth-n-Straw Pty Ltd
phone: 041 319 5585
web: www.newtonhouse.info/straw.htm

----- Original Message -----
From: "Bruce King" ecobruce@...
To: "GSBN" GSBN@...
Sent: Tuesday, February 15, 2005 2:47 AM
Subject: GSBN:re: Exterior cladding question

On Feb 10, 2005, at 8:44 PM, Catherine Wanek wrote:

Hi Chris & all--

One thing that has not been mentioned..... I understand that there is
usually about 9% cement added to compressed earth blocks, which makes
more durable to the weather and would also affect their permeability.

But how much, I wonder?

Bruce King here, and so do I.  I'm about to start two different design
and research projects, ie houses with experiments and monitoring on the
side, using compressed earth blocks.

In both cases, the owner also wants to start selling blocks, and both
are in high seismic areas (Portland, Oregon and Nevada City, California
(Sierra foothills).

A recent visit with Tom Morton, a Scottish architect working with earth
blocks, really convinced me that adding cement is not only sometimes
unnecessary, but even detrimental to performance by several measures.
Can anyone refer me to field experience and/or testing information
(strength and durability, mainly) for compressed earth blocks without


Bruce King, PE
Director, Ecological Building Network
209 Caledonia St.
Sausalito, CA 94965  USA
(415) 331-7630
fax 332-4072
bruce@ ecobuildnetwork.org

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