Did you know one of the most important things in building a house is considering toxicity. So how do you decrease toxicity, not just for the environment but also for yourself and for the people who are working on the mud house itself ? Well then you have come to the right place! Lets begin!
In today's post , we are going to talk about how we made our mud bricks at the Our Land Wildlife Reserve !
First Step : Making the perfect Mud Bricks
The first step in making our mud house is to make the perfect mud bricks ! This is the most important thing in building a beautiful mud house .
So to begin with ,we have to soak the mud overnight in water
Next would be to add the key ingredient to making these mud bricks which are rice husks. Rice husks are what's left over after you take the rice out of it. It helps in adding structure and some fiber. So it's two things that go into the mix - the soil and the rice husks.
IMPORTANT - the ratio of rice husk to mud is 1:1. Which means 1 sack of mud, 1 sack of rice husk. Once you mix this you will see that it's got the perfect moist shape and texture.
What we’re looking for is a consistency that isn't too liquid but also not too viscous. Too liquid would mean that once it goes into the mold, and the mold is lifted, the bricks would not hold their shape. Too viscous means you would have a tough time getting the mixture into the mold.
We then transport it in these buckets to a wheelbarrow where we then move it to the next spot where we actually build the mud bricks.
We place the mud mix into a ladder model where we shovel mud into the molds of the ladder making 7 bricks at a time .
The dimensions of the mudbrick are 40cmx20cmx10cm. Mud should be compressed , flat and smooth. We need to get this really compressed to get rid of any air pockets that are here and we also need the surface to be completely smooth so that it dries properly and we get a nice compact brick.
At the end of this will be a nice flat surface that you can actually stack and build upon .You don't want ragged bricks, instead you want nice smooth perfectly uniform bricks which is why we use this ladder model here to get the exact same shape perfect replication for all of these nice organic bricks.
Although we say smooth, this is at the end of the day, mud and rick husk. It can never be super smooth, and it is completely okay if it is not super smooth. The main reason is that the mortar that we will use between the mud bricks, is the same material as the bricks itself, which is mud and rice husk. With the brick surface being a little uneven, it actually allows the bricks to stick to the mortar as there is more friction.
Ok, now back to the brick building...
Third step is to dry out the bricks in the sun until they completely dry out. They are going to stay in the sun for about a week and about halfway through we flip them over so that they're drying completely on all sides.
We have to make sure these cook properly in the sun, they have to cook completely throughout and be completely dry. If not, when you pick up the brick and move it around, it is possible that the brick will break.
Since you need the sun to make the bricks, making a mud house in the rainy season might not be easy. Best to keep mud house construction to the drier seasons.