Micro Manuals for 4 Earth Building Techniques

Forwarded to me by Dhruv Chandra Sud—thanks Dhruv!

Self help construction booklets from barefoot architect Sourabh Phadke are the best way to get started on your love affair with mud building. Although based in Pune (where he also teaches ecology at the AmanSetu school), Sourabh has been advocating natural building & self help construction in several parts of India. Best of all these delightful and informative primers can be downloaded FREE!

From Sourabh:

“This series of five booklets intends to introduce you to four earth construction techniques that have been instrumental in shaping the world that we live in.

These tiny booklets are designed to deliver just about enough information to give you a flavour of the subject matter, but to keep you hungry for more! And although not strictly necessary, this mucky matter could be consumed with the natural additive provided (for better digestion).”

Click on the images below to download the PDF’s (2.9–3.6 MB each):

You can also find these micro-manuals and more on Sourabh’s website.  Happy building!

Nubian Vault Building Technique – Association la Voûte Nubienne (AVN)

I was recently contacted by Antoine Horellou and made aware of Association la Voûte Nubienne (AVN). The following is an introduction to the technique and the organization based on information provided on AVN’s website (which is also available in French). Thanks, Antoine, for letting us know.

Nubian vault technique - Association la Voute Nubienne

The Nubian Vault is “an affordable, sustainable, African building technique.” It uses mud bricks and earth mortar, assembling them into arched, vaulted ceilings without the need for timber. Water- and weatherproofing is incorporated into design with plastic sheeting and an additional layer of enriched mud mortar covering the roof and optional additional concrete, lime or tar finishes, depending on need based on local conditions.

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Peter Haas: Haiti’s disaster of engineering

“‘Haiti was not a natural disaster,’ says TED Fellow Peter Haas, ‘It was a disaster of engineering.’ As the country rebuilds after January’s deadly quake, are bad old building practices creating another ticking time bomb? Haas’s group, AIDG, is helping Haiti’s builders learn modern building and engineering practices, to assemble a strong country brick by brick.

“Inveterate tinkerer Peter Haas is the co-founder of AIDG, the Appropriate Infrastructure Development Group, which connect people to electricity, sanitation and clean water through a combination of business incubation, education, and outreach.” (TED)