Understanding earth III: Plaster and mortars mixes

(Please note that in order to understand what is written here you will need to have read my previous posts on understanding earth and testing earth) Plasters and mortars are by far the process that I get asked about the most, and for good reason as plasters are what...

Owner-builder journey ~ Building ‘home’

In the first edition of the Owner-builder journey, Laurie Simpson writes about the challenges of building with mud in on the edge of Hwange National park, Zimbabwe. Seven years ago, after years of travelling, looking for the next adventure and never feeling like I...

Reflections and observations on a recent visit to the former Transkei

I had the pleasure of recently visiting a really magical place, Mdumbi in the former Transkei. Mdumbi is about 30km north of Coffee Bay in the typical rolling green landscape. Travelling with fellow architects Carl Morkel and Wim Els at a slowish pace, either walking...

Understanding Earth II: Testing earth

By Peter McIntosh (Please note that in order to understand what is written here you will need to have read my previous post on understanding earth)   Earth requires two properties to make it strong enough for building, compressive and tensile strength. In much the...