Monday, September 06, 2004

Building the Walls

We are constructing our home using earth as the building material. There are several ways of doing this but in the end poured earth was the method that we chose. The main reason being the small environmental footprint(initial and ongoing).
When building with poured earth the blocks are made in-situ. To be able to do this you need a set of molds to put your earth in. We purchased a poured earth construction kit from Formblock, an Australian company.

In the picture above we have assembled our 'formblocks' (a standard block measures 600x300x300mm), checked our levels, and are ready to proceed. The white conduit(pipe) is to allow electrical wiring within the walls. This particular one is a power point but the same principle applies for light switches, telephones, network cabling, etc.

The earth mix is 8 parts soil, 1 part white cement, and approximately one part water. The molds are filled with this mix, tamped down, and left to set. We usually leave them to set overnight.

Then we dismantle the molds, clean them up, and are ready to repeat the process. The construction you can see is on the garage with the house's slab visible in the background. We thought it prudent to build the garage first so as to learn from any mistakes and then to not make them on the house.

Earth construction has quite a history.


  1. Anonymous8:23 pm

    Hi Colin, those Formblock window sills look great! I was wondering how you lifted the soil mix for the higher courses. By my calculations each block has a dry weight of about 92kg. You must be very fit by now.
    kind regards, Alan.

  2. Hi Alan

    See this picture

    - Colin

    PS: Forgive the lateness of my reply

  3. Anonymous7:19 pm

    Hi Colin, thanks for the feedback.
    The hoist is a great idea, where did you get it?
    I shall be building with Formblock in the Snowy Mountains (NSW) later this year.
    kind regards, Alan
    lenona at


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