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RE: GSBN:re: Exterior cladding question



Hi Bruce et al
There is a very good publication In Australia with the title "The
Australian earth building handbook" (HB195) published by Standards
Australia (2001). The author was Dr. Peter Walker (an engineer with a
very good international reputation) - this is the book that explains
everything you ever wanted to know about earth building in all its
myriad forms. I have designed one compressed earth block house that used
a 5% (by volume) cement content. For our soils (in the Sydney basin)
that seems to be about the right combination and accepted wisdom. The
good news is that the house is still standing (now about 15 years old).
Cheers Mike

Mike Faine - Lecturer UWS + sometime architect
School of Construction Property & Planning
Locked Bag 1797
Penrith South DC NSW 1797
Uni Office phone (02) 98524318 Uni fax (02) 9852 4300
Mobile 0427406521 


-----Original Message-----
From: GSBN [<a  target="_blank" href="mailto:GSBN@...";>mailto:GSBN@...] On Behalf Of Bruce King
Sent: Tuesday, February 15, 2005 3:48 AM
To: GSBN
Subject: GSBN:re: Exterior cladding question


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

> Hi Chris &amp; all--
>
> One thing that has not been mentioned..... I understand that there is
> usually about 9% cement added to compressed earth blocks, which makes
> them
> 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
cement?

Thanks!

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





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