Laying the foundation is the most important thing in building any house whether it's mud or concrete or wood.
Ofcourse before doing your foundation we have to choose the location of the Mud House itself. We tried hard to ensure that it is a location with the least amount of trees and very few small trees had to be cut down. By Thai tradition the house is supposed to face Southwest and that is what we followed.
Because we get lots of rain, we used concrete as a base. Our choice to use concrete as a base was also due to the lack of expertise when it comes to other forms of foundation. It is also possible in fact to build the foundation out of rock, this would mean that there would have to be a person who knows how to lay the rock correctly. So eventually after much discussion with our local workers we decided to go for concrete, as we really didn't want to get the foundation wrong, as it would directly impact how long the house would last.
The foundation of the house is basically underground level of hard material like concrete that will take the weight of the walls. One of the unique things about Mud House construction is that the walls itself are load-bearing, unlike traditional concrete houses in which only the main pillars are load-bearing and the walls are usually just in between the pillars. This is due to the weight of the mud bricks and their ability to take more weight. In our case, we have gone 1 concrete brick deep for the foundation while it is also possible to go two bricks deep to ensure a stronger Foundation.
The primary design for this mud house is one big room which is four meters by four meters and a sitting area outside and a 2 meters by 2 meters bathroom. We initially laid out the concrete bricks and we'll fill them up with rocks and sand and some concrete .
The metal wires in the brick will get filled up in concrete right and that would give us a very strong base foundation on which we can build a mud house and not worry about rain from the surrounding area. The picture shows how much foundation we had to lay, which helps us roughly calculate how much bricks and metal mesh was required to complete the foundation.
Did you know? One of the highest carbon dioxide-producing activities in the building of this house is concrete bricks and production of more concrete so that we can pour down the base of the house.
This is what we need to fix next time we build a mud house - a less carbon producing method to ensure the base of the house is strong. Once this basic foundation is done all over, we will then start putting up the mud bricks.