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Thread: Natural Homes: techniques, solutions and beautiful images

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    Default Re: Natural Homes: techniques, solutions and beautiful images

    Quote Posted by Lost N Found (here)
    All of the above structures built with the natural materials have been around for 1000's of years and there are many of these types of structures still standing today.
    A shout out here to all my beloved Iranian friends

    Take this ancient refridgerator in Yakhchāl (Yakhchāl means ice pit) in Iran for example

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    Or this ancient Windmill in Nashtifan Iran. The windmills at Nashtifan are believed to have been built during the Safavid dynasty (1501–1736) and are among the oldest in the world.

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    Default Re: Natural Homes: techniques, solutions and beautiful images

    Thanks for sharing Bubu

    By the way, I really liked your thread on Nature

    After having mixed a few hundred batches of clay, I can certainly appreciate how an electric mixer might be welcome!

    I have to admit, I tried using an electric mixer at the beginning of the build but in the end, I actually found it more effortless to mix the cob in the traditional way? It just seemed more intuitive and I could get a real feeling for how well the cob mix was coming together?

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    Default Re: Natural Homes: techniques, solutions and beautiful images

    One more natural building technique before I introduce the next section, Foundations, Frames, Floors and Roofs.

    This is a Mud and Stud home. Mud & Stud is a construction technique found almost exclusively in Lincolnshire, UK where the timber frame has nailed, vertical laths between the studs. The mud of earth mixed with chopped straw and water is applied in layers and lime wash containing fat or oil seals the exterior.


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    Last edited by Constance; 4th February 2019 at 07:05.

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    Default Re: Natural Homes: techniques, solutions and beautiful images

    [QUOTE=Constance;1272778]
    Quote Posted by Bubu (here)

    I have to admit, I tried using an electric mixer at the beginning of the build but in the end, I actually found it more effortless to mix the cob in the traditional way? It just seemed more intuitive and I could get a real feeling for how well the cob mix was coming together?
    Yep if I want some exercise of the body and relaxation of the mind I would do it manually. But it almost instantly hit me that if I can create an easy way to make the cob, earth house can be mass produce. I have played the cob in concrete mixer in my mind and I must agree with one of the vids. Its not good for cob making. The creation of a much better one specifically for cob is underway (inside my head). I want this cob house to be exploited it will help lots of people.

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    Default Re: Natural Homes: techniques, solutions and beautiful images

    Quote Posted by Constance (here)
    lime wash containing fat or oil seals the exterior.


    Attachment 39816
    I'm curious how this is created. Is it for waterproofing so the rain wont wash off the earth/mud? Water proofing is my real concern? have I missed it?
    Last edited by Bubu; 2nd February 2019 at 07:25.

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    Default Re: Natural Homes: techniques, solutions and beautiful images

    Quote Posted by Bubu (here)

    But it almost instantly hit me that if I can create an easy way to make the cob, earth house can be mass produce.
    I've been following this with great interest. WASP, based in Italy, have produced the first ever 3D printed Cob home. Their aim is to eventually provide mass produced Cob homes around the world.




    Quote The creation of a much better one specifically for cob is underway (inside my head). I want this cob house to be exploited it will help lots of people.
    That is wonderful Bubu! If you feel like you can share here, I am sure that a great many would be interested in your thoughts and ideas.

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    Default Re: Natural Homes: techniques, solutions and beautiful images

    Quote Posted by Bubu (here)
    Quote Posted by Constance (here)
    lime wash containing fat or oil seals the exterior.


    Attachment 39816
    I'm curious how this is created. Is it for waterproofing so the rain wont wash off the earth/mud? Water proofing is my real concern? have I missed it?
    The exterior is painted with lime-wash which would have been given an animal fat or linseed oil additive for weatherproofing, so in essence, yes, it is for waterproofing to prevent pitting and deterioration of the cob.

    If you are really concerned about waterproofing, it is highly essential to have a good top hat (roof). A roof that has extended eaves like this

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    can mitigate any issues of rain falling directly upon the cob, combined with a high foundation to protect the bottom of the wall.

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    Default Re: Natural Homes: techniques, solutions and beautiful images

    Quote Posted by Constance (here)
    Quote Posted by

    [QUOTE

    The creation of a much better one specifically for cob is underway (inside my head). I want this cob house to be exploited it will help lots of people.
    That is wonderful Bubu! If you feel like you can share here, I am sure that a great many would be interested in your thoughts and ideas.
    Yes I definitely will post here a working prototype. I included this to my priority list of devices to create. Aside from being a builder I also make customize equipment for a living. So this is pretty under my line.
    One question that lingers in my mind, How do they take care of shrinkage since mud tends to shrink a lot during drying.
    Last edited by Bubu; 3rd February 2019 at 16:22.

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    Default Re: Natural Homes: techniques, solutions and beautiful images

    Foundations

    The “7th generation” principle taught by Native Americans says that in every decision, be it personal or in community, we must consider how it will affect our descendents seven generations into the future.

    When we are building a home, not only do we need to consider what is essential to us, we also need to consider the environment and future generations. One of the most fundamental structures of your home is the foundation upon which it stands on.

    The purpose of any foundation is to support and distribute the loads (weight) of the building to the ground in a stable manner so that there is no uneven settling and to extend your building stucture to stable earth.

    It is always worth consulting with a local structural engineer to get the foundation design right. It will be money worth spent and you will be sure of having a home that will stand for many centuries to come.

    Many factors can influence what type of foundation you build your home upon. Soil type, climate variations, topography, weather, cost, tree roots, flooding, bushfires.

    There are many foundation options to accomplish this.


    Rubble trench foundations

    The main benefits of a Rubble trench foundation is that it acts like a drain, so it takes all water away. Water freezing is what causes foundations to heave/move and the site disturbance is limited to just below the building footprint. What this means is that there is no overdigging and no backfill. You can also greatly reduce or eliminate the need for any concrete.

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    In conjunction with a rubble trench foundation, natural owner builders will often lay French drains. French drains are a trench filled with gravel or rock or containing a perforated pipe that redirects surface water and groundwater away from an area. A French drain can have perforated hollow pipes along the bottom to quickly vent water that seeps down through the upper gravel or rock.

    French drains are primarily used to prevent ground and surface water from penetrating or damaging building foundations.





    Stone (dry or lime mortared)

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    Posts/Pillars/Stumps

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    Pouring hotlime on a post

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    Bamboo Poles/Stilts

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    Last edited by Constance; 5th February 2019 at 08:16.

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    Default Re: Natural Homes: techniques, solutions and beautiful images

    Quote Posted by Bubu (here)

    Yes I definitely will post here a working prototype. I included this to my priority list of devices to create. Aside from being a builder I also make customize equipment for a living. So this is pretty under my line.
    I'm very excited to hear this Bubu! I will look forward to seeing your working prototype!

    Quote One question that lingers in my mind, How do they take care of shrinkage since mud tends to shrink a lot during drying.
    There are always variabilities in timing a build and especially when building with cob. Cob homes are what I call "slow homes". They take time to build but they are worth it. Many of the natural builders that I know have taken at least a couple of years before they have finished their homes.

    The type of soil you use, any aggregates or binders you use will also influence shrinkage. I have read somewhere that adding aggregates reduces the amount of shrinkage but I could be wrong there?

    Hopefully this article will answer your question.
    "...Well, the fact that it is mixed wet means in a thick wall it will take some months (depending on site conditions usually 6-9 months) after building, for the walls to finish shrinking. Most of the shrinkage will occur in the height of the wall, this means in practice waiting around a week of good weather between each lift (a lift being two feet or so in height) before it is sufficiently dry and strong to take the next lift. Therefore three months is ample time, allowing for a typical English summer to build a two-story building. Although the roof structure can go on a week after the wall plate height is reached it’s best to wait about six months before fitting windows and door frames, otherwise there is a danger of the reveals either side of the opening shrinking and then the lintel crushing the window frame. This means it is usually fifteen months from start to finishing a cob house.

    Over the last twelve years I have built over fifteen buildings of one sort or another and all of them except two rather complex split-level part-retaining walled buildings have been finished well within this time frame. Although this is longer than a typical new estate house, it’s not actually especially long for any bespoke one off design building. It’s also worth noting if any green oak is used in the structure for lintels or roof structure then this will continue to shrink for much longer than the cob (about one year per inch thickness of timber)."
    This article is intended for those who live in the UK, so for the Phillipines, drying times may be shorter or longer, depending on what time of the year you build? I assume you have rainy seasons that may prevent you from actively building with cob during those periods?

    It is a good idea to cover unfinished cob homes during rainy periods with tarps although I have seen builders who haven't bothered to cover their cob with mixed results.


    Two books here that might be helpful to you Bubu

    1. "Building Green, A Complete How-To Guide to Alternative Building Methods", Earth Plaster, Straw Bale, Cord-wood, Cob, Living Roofs by Clarke Snell & Tim Gallant (Lark Books, 2005). 2. "The Natural Building Companion. A Comprehensive Guide To Integrative Design And Construction" (with instructional DVD) by Jacob Deva Racusin and Ace McArleton (Chelsea Green Publishing 2012).

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    Default Re: Natural Homes: techniques, solutions and beautiful images

    Yes it is correct to say that adding aggregates will lessen shrinkage. Maybe a cross between ram earth and cob will be better. I mean less water equals less shrinkage. Geeee I think this is gonna keep my coconuts busy This is gonna really require for a specials cob mixer. I am looking into roller type mixer like the dough roller but with some form of teeth and a form of enclosure that continuously recirculate the cob. I will try to post a drawing when I get back.

    Keep it coming please. Perhaps I could start somewhere from where it ends rather than reinvent the wheel altogether.

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    Default Re: Natural Homes: techniques, solutions and beautiful images

    Quote Posted by Bubu (here)

    Keep it coming please.
    I'll do my best!

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    Default Re: Natural Homes: techniques, solutions and beautiful images

    Quote Posted by Bubu (here)
    Yes it is correct to say that adding aggregates will lessen shrinkage. Maybe a cross between ram earth and cob will be better. I mean less water equals less shrinkage. Geeee I think this is gonna keep my coconuts busy This is gonna really require for a specials cob mixer. I am looking into roller type mixer like the dough roller but with some form of teeth and a form of enclosure that continuously recirculate the cob. I will try to post a drawing when I get back.

    Keep it coming please. Perhaps I could start somewhere from where it ends rather than reinvent the wheel altogether.
    Back. I realize that I'm doing it incorrectly. Normally I try the existing system first before I try to come up with an improvement. So I will try my 2 dirty feet first. I dont want to waste your time on something that is not worthwhile. So I will put off the drawing for now.

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    Default Re: Natural Homes: techniques, solutions and beautiful images

    Ancient natural airconditioners of Iran

    “...I have water air conditioning too, but I prefer sitting under my natural air conditioning. Reminds me of old times,” Mr Saberi said, gesturing to the badgir (wind catcher) that we were sitting under. “More chai?”

    In the 40C summer heat of Yazd, a desert city in the heart of Iran, a hot cup of chai would normally have been the last thing on my mind. However, a glance out from the breezy shaded patio where I sat onto the central courtyard, ablaze in the glaring evening sun, and all thoughts of bidding my host goodbye immediately evaporated. I leaned back and gazed up along the length of this remarkable technology that’s believed to be thousands of years old.

    Wind catchers are tall, chimney-like structures that protrude from the rooftops of older houses in many of Iran’s desert cities. In their simplest form, wind catchers harness the cool breezes and redirect them downwards either into the home or into underground storage rooms to refrigerate perishable foods. Studies have shown that wind catchers can reduce indoor temperatures by around 10 degrees...."


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    Wind catchers harness cooler breezes and funnel them down into homes (Credit: Shervin Abdolhamidi)


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    For centuries, badgirs (wind catchers) have helped Yazd residents stay cool despite desert temperatures that can reach 40C in summertime (Credit: Shervin Abdolhamidi)

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    Default Re: Natural Homes: techniques, solutions and beautiful images

    Frames

    The frame of a building is what creates the walls and supports the roof. Frames must be designed and built to accommodate all the different loads a house has to bear. The load a house has to bear can vary depending on the type of roof you build, wall requirements, and the climate it is situated in.
    While some natural building wall materials can be load-bearing (stone, cob, adobe, and strawbale for example), many natural buildings utilise a wooden frame. Many of the oldest structures in the world are timber framed buildings.

    Forbidden City, Beijing circa 1406
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    As you might already be aware, old growth forests depend on us to do the right thing when choosing timber for our homes. There is a very large question mark that hangs over the true sustainability of plantation timber. I am personally very concerned about the "greenwashing" of plantation timber by corporations and government. Storm damaged and salvaged wood, bamboo and rattan - these are some of the friendlier choices that have little to no impact on our local environments.

    Stick Framing

    Also known as conventional framing, stick framing relies on a repetitive number of light framing members, or "sticks". With insulation systems such as straw-clay and woodchip-clay, The sticks can be joined together with gusset plates to make a truss. This framework can, when designed correctly, serve the double purpose of supporting the loads in a structure, as well as providing the formwork for the wall infill of straw-clay or woodchip-clay. Stick framing can also work well with straw bale construction; the framing can be designed specific to bale sizing to allow the frame to be embedded in the bale wall, or left proud of the bales to receive siding.

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    Post and Beam

    Post and beam structures are made up of vertical and horizontal heavy timbers. The floor and roof loads are carried by these posts and beams. Timber is connected by via the mortise and tenon - pegged wood-on-wood joinery or butted together. Because there are no repetitive framing members as in stick framing, post and beam structures must be carefully designed and built to handle the loads of walls and roofs. Many of the oldest structures in the world are timber framed buildings.

    A subset of post and beam framing is traditional timber framing. In post and beam frames, the timbers are often joined with lag screws and metal plates, which is easier, thereby requiring less labour.

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    Round Pole Framing

    This frame utilises poles, as the vertical posts and dimensional or sawn beams for the horizontal connection between the posts, or poles. Poles are directly buried into the ground. It should be noted that for wood to be buried in the ground, it must be treated to resist rot and decay. One of the most common forms of naturally treating a piece of wood is for the wood to be charred at its base.

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    Default Re: Natural Homes: techniques, solutions and beautiful images

    this is cool. natural air conditioner. Utilizing the simple laws of nature. I have once constructed a drying system by collecting the hot air at the roof apex and directing it to a drying cabinet. Perhaps a combination of both will be more efficient.

    "Downward airflow due to direct wind entry
    One of the most common uses of the windcatcher is to cool the inside of the dwelling; it is often used in combination with courtyards and domes as an overall ventilation and heat-management strategy. It is essentially a tall, capped tower with one face open at the top. This open side faces the prevailing wind, thus "catching" it, and brings it down the tower into the heart of the building to maintain air flow, thus cooling the building interior. It does not necessarily cool the air itself, but rather relies on the rate of airflow to provide a cooling effect. Windcatchers have been employed in this manner for thousands of years.[8]


    A windcatcher and qanat used for cooling
    Upward airflow due to temperature gradient
    Wind-assisted temperature gradient
    Windcatchers are also used in combination with a qanat, or underground canal. In this method, the open side of the tower faces away from the direction of the prevailing wind (the tower's orientation can be adjusted by directional ports at the top). By keeping only this tower open, air is drawn upwards using the Coandă effect.

    The pressure differential on one side of the building causes air to be drawn down into the passage on the other side. The hot air is brought down into the qanat tunnel and is cooled by coming into contact with the cool earth[Note 1] and cold water running through the qanat. The cooled air is drawn up through the windcatcher, again by the Coandă effect. On the whole, the cool air flows through the building, decreasing the structure's overall temperature. The effect is magnified by the evaporative cooling of water vapor when the air passes through the qanat water canal, as the water that evaporates in the canal has a large enthalpy of vaporization and, besides, the dry air is humidified by the evaporated water from the canal before entering the building.

    Solar-produced temperature gradient
    In a windless environment or waterless house, a windcatcher functions as a solar chimney It creates a pressure gradient which allows hot air, which is less dense, to travel upwards and escape out the top. This is also compounded significantly by the diurnal cycle, trapping cool air below. The temperature in such an environment cannot drop below the nightly low temperature.

    When coupled with thick adobe that exhibits good resistance against heat transmission, the windcatcher is able to chill lower-level spaces in mosques and houses (e.g. shabestans) in the middle of the day to frigid temperatures.

    Directing airflow upwards using wind-assisted or solar-produced temperature gradients has gained some ground in Western architecture, and there are several commercial products using the name windcatcher."

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    Default Re: Natural Homes: techniques, solutions and beautiful images

    Thanks everyone here for the interesting info and vids. I’m amused that Russia now appears to be the new haven for creative-natural-raw-material construction, for housing, whereas the USA has taken a very stern attitude towards such construction. Curiously, my take is that this is due to the possible outcomes of the globalist mandates, (hidden agendas), which attempt to moderate population growth, by setting limits per each nation, and Russia might be below that threshold, in the man to land ratio. Whereas most industrialized nations might be above that threshold and are thereby obligated by these secret agendas, to find means to reduce population levels, by all the crazy instigations we have long discussed on this forum.


    Here are some of my building concepts, primarily dedicated to my climate, where freeze-thaw cycles demand water proofing and considerable insulation is needed. At least we have plenty of fresh water here. Some of my pictures date back to the 1980s and most pictures were compressed to a low resolution, for bandwidth limits, of the early internet. Many of the links have “gone dead”. Many details deserve attention, but are instead just offered as-is, for the structural/ visual content only.

    I should confess my work has always been stoically stressed and while I learn better ideas from difficulties, to improve the arts, I rarely could afford preferred tools and materials to do better. I am grateful for life as it has been. This life style keeps me healthy and agile to continue. The advent of digital cameras with moderated resolutions, (and some photoshopping as well), all hides most of the flaws and the sore points.

    http://harmoniouspalette.com/CostFre...cientHVAC.html
    http://harmoniouspalette.com/TranslucentDome.html
    http://harmoniouspalette.com/BuildGreen.html
    http://harmoniouspalette.com/IntersectingJoists.html
    Last edited by wavydome; 5th February 2019 at 13:43. Reason: typos

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    Default Re: Natural Homes: techniques, solutions and beautiful images

    Floors

    Earthern floors

    http://www.buildnaturally.blogspot.c...uild-dirt.html


    'An adobe floor, or earthen floor, relies on the sticky binding properties of clay...one of the most versatile building materials I know of. Clay expands when wet, creating sticky platelet particles, like a bunch of suction cups. Add to the clay ample course sand, to increase compressive strength and control shrinkage as the clay dries. Finally add fiber, to increase tensile strength and knit everything together, like reinforcing bar in concrete. The finish mix is essentially the same as adobe or cob. And the installation is similar to a concrete slab, only without the environmental impacts or cold nature of cement....'

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    laying an earthern floor
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    Stone

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    Wood

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    Part 1

    part 2

    Compressed earth bricks

    Compressed earth bricks are a building material made primarily from damp soil compressed at high pressure to form blocks. Compressed earth blocks use a mechanical press to form blocks out of an appropriate mix of fairly dry inorganic subsoil, non-expansive clay and aggregate.

    Click image for larger version

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    Here is how to make compressed earth bricks.
    https://makezine.com/projects/cheap-...-block-floors/

    An open source compressed block machine
    https://offgridworld.com/open-source...block-machine/

  35. The Following User Says Thank You to Constance For This Post:

    Bubu (6th February 2019)

  36. Link to Post #39
    Philippines Avalon Member
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    Default Re: Natural Homes: techniques, solutions and beautiful images

    Quote Posted by Constance (here)
    Floors

    Earthern floors

    http://www.buildnaturally.blogspot.c...uild-dirt.html


    'An adobe floor, or earthen floor, relies on the sticky binding properties of clay...one of the most versatile building materials I know of. Clay expands when wet, creating sticky platelet particles, like a bunch of suction cups. Add to the clay ample course sand, to increase compressive strength and control shrinkage as the clay dries. Finally add fiber, to increase tensile strength and knit everything together, like reinforcing bar in concrete. The finish mix is essentially the same as adobe or cob. And the installation is similar to a concrete slab, only without the environmental impacts or cold nature of cement....'

    Attachment 39861

    laying an earthern floor
    Attachment 39866

    Stone

    Attachment 39862

    Wood

    Attachment 39863

    Part 1

    part 2

    Compressed earth bricks

    Compressed earth bricks are a building material made primarily from damp soil compressed at high pressure to form blocks. Compressed earth blocks use a mechanical press to form blocks out of an appropriate mix of fairly dry inorganic subsoil, non-expansive clay and aggregate.

    Attachment 39864




    Here is how to make compressed earth bricks.
    https://makezine.com/projects/cheap-...-block-floors/

    An open source compressed block machine
    https://offgridworld.com/open-source...block-machine/
    I was imagining cob blocks when I wrote post 31. less water less shrinkage. easier to file, more durable. This earth block machine can be use for that purpose. You are good at reading minds.

  37. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Bubu For This Post:

    Constance (6th February 2019), Hym (7th February 2019)

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    Australia Avalon Member Constance's Avatar
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    Default Re: Natural Homes: techniques, solutions and beautiful images

    Quote Posted by Bubu (here)
    I was imagining cob blocks when I wrote post 31.

    less water less shrinkage. easier to file, more durable. This earth block machine can be use for that purpose. You are good at reading minds.
    Awesome on your imaginings! I completely agree with you there Bubu about there being less effort with the cob blocks. Although, I personally love the earthern floors.

    I think that maybe you read my mind!!!

  39. The Following User Says Thank You to Constance For This Post:

    Hym (7th February 2019)

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