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 ... read more

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 ... read more

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 ... read more

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 ... read more

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 ... read more

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 ... read more

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 ... read more

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 ... read more

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 ... read more

Floors at Ground Level It was only about a week later when I next saw the 'job' and it was exciting to behold. The whole building site had been levelled to a tolerance of 1" to an adequate distance outside the walls in all directions. The footings had been ... read more

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