En Espaņol

PRESSED EARTH BLOCK:  

A NEW TAKE ON AN OLD TRADITION

    "Sundried Blocks" or "Adobes" were the building blocks of the first civilizations and rammed earth has a history thousands of years old in the Middle East. "Pressed Earth Block" is the first significant change to occur in earth building since that time, and really is a combination of the two techniques. It combines the block mold with the compacting of lightly moistened earth into a hardened mass. There are a number of machines available, from hand-operated to fully automated, making a large range of sizes and rates of production. The industry is relatively young and is lacking an objective evaluation of the machines based on block quality and machine longevity.

    The blocks can be made "stabilized" or "unstabilized". The "unstabilized" blocks are susceptible to erosion unless protected immediately from the rain. the most effective means of protection is the combination of an overhanging roof and stucco coating. The advantage of "unstabilized" block is the ability to make blocks without importing materials. Stabilized blocks are more costly to produce and also require the importation of dry cement. Some means of mixing the cement evenly into the soil must be provided and where unstabilized blocks can usually be made without adding water, the drying action of the cement requires some additional moisture. A good mix can be easily obtained by using a loader to repeatedly turn over a dirt pile with the cement on top, while a person with a hose sprays water until the desired moisture is obtained, and the cement is mixed evenly in. 

Finished blocks

    The advantage of stabilizing the block is in the additional strength and resistance to moisture under even the wettest conditions, such as a complete submersion in water. These qualities allow the block to be stockpiled indefinitely, and to be used in a variety of building methods and styles not open to "unstabilized" blocks.  

    The advantage of "pressed block" over traditional adobe is in it's greater strength, portability, the low water requirement (the moisture requirement for cement stabilized pressed block being 1/5th the moisture required for traditional unstabilized block), and relatively small working area required (again, compared to that of traditional sundried block method). Also, the blocks are hard enough to use immediately, and it's easy to see the usefulness of pressed earth block. For more information on pressed earth block and block making machines, contact:

Dave Moshel - Owner: 

EARTH UPRISING ADOBE BLOCK & MACHINE CO.,

(520) 490-3537 

P.O. Box 122
Arivaca AZ 85601 USA 

or

Email: Contact Dave Moshel - Owner