Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Mud house - 3

This part of the Mud house series focuses on the following :
1. The Site
The site is selected and then cleaned. Construction work begins with digging a 30cm deep trench as per the required circular plan. This layout is marked at site by placing a pole in timber at a point which may be the centre of the circle. This is fixed temporarily. A thread tied to it, the other end of it holds an iron rod. This end is moved around to mark the circle on the ground. A 45cm wide trench is dug. The earth excavated is thrown into the circle and this becomes the filling for the required 30cm high plinth of the house. The trench is only 30cm deep since here at Haripuram village, the soil is rocky. The number of persons required for this task are four and the duration of work is one day.

2. The Walls
The walls are built in mud by the cob wall technique i.e. earth is mixed with water thoroughly with hands and also feet to form the right consistency. Next, balls of mud are placed into the trench to build up the wall. At a time i.e. in one day, only 60cm height of wall may be erected. It is allowed to dry, before the next 60cm of wall is built on the following day.

Since no further construction takes place that day, the time is utilised for the mixing of the earth and water to be used for subsequent construction. The soil mix must be sufficiently clayey. In case of difficulty in obtaining clayey soil, it is carted from the neighbouring areas. However, such a need occurs rarely.


mv said...

I have been wanting to build a small mud house personally in my land close the coast. Can you please give a step by step do's to held me build it? I live about 70 kms away from this land and can work during weekends.

Can you also please give me the links of plans of chettinad house and agraharam house? Thank you

Kiran Keswani said...

It would be good to know where you plan to build - which part of the country. I assume it is in India? The first check is to know what kind of soil is locally available.

Plans of Chettinad house and Agraharam house are available in Documentation reports prepared by Dakshinachitra - the Heritage Museum near Chennai. They have an excellent library. Their website address and contact details :
East Coast Road
Muttukadu, Chennai, Tamil nadu
ph : 044 2747 2603

mv said...

Thank you. My land is 40 Kms away from Mahabalipuram, a place called Mudaliarkuppam, close to the sea. The soil is largely sand. I will check if clay and/or other soil are available.