The Home Builder's Manual of Mud Brick Design and Construction

Author: Alistair Knox

The How, When, What, and Why of Designing and Building in Mud Brick

Introduction
The worldwide mud brick revival began in Australia at the conclusion of the Second World War. The movement occurred partly because of the shortage of normal building materials such as structural timbers, baked clay bricks. all forms of

The Beginning
Australia's isolation caused it to be less affected than almost any other country at that time and the spirit of renaissance that moved the nation as it became aware of a new sense of destiny demanded that greater freedom of choice and

The Problem
The majority of 'Do It Yourself' books concerning building mud brick homes are so general in nature that they often do little to bridge the gap between the desire to build and the ability to satisfactorily complete the projected structure

The Solution
It should be realized at the outset that we can be totally honest in our aims and quite misguided in our approach. In all mud brick buildings I have designed, or designed and built, I have aimed to maintain a few infallible principles

Post and Infill or Load Bearing Walls
At the beginning of the mud Brick Revival in the 1940's, post and infill structures were virtually unknown. Sonia and Matcham Skipper built a beautiful stable at Montsalvat, the Artist's Colony to Eltham, around 1946 in post and infill

The Rural House
There is no better type of building in the wide rural landscape than a sensible mud brick construction for several reasons. It lends itself to being entirely compatible with its environment in a manner no other type of dwelling can emulate

The Soil
Every publication on the making of mud brick building spends considerable time and space discussing the qualities of earth best suited to the purpose of making mud bricks. When the mud brick 'novitiate' starts studying these pros and cons

Brickmaking
The methods of moulding the building blocks varies from forming them in individual moulds employing a wide variety of pressing machines. such as Singa Rams, to the use of big mobile tumblers that can mix tons of soil and water into a

Rendering
There are many diversified opinions as to how mud brick rendering should best be finished. The traditional approach of the mud brick revival has to my mind been by far the best method. It first involves pointing up the raw brickwork. The

Scraps
31 Donald Longfield's car drove in and he stepped out like a modern General Wellington to confirm the Iron Duke's famous remark on the day of the 'glorious' victory: "It was a damned neat thing!" It was only about a week later when I

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