How to Build an Adobe House – my experience in Budapest in September 2017
The first step is to even the ground and to remove the earth to make space for a foundation.
The walls of the adobe house should stand on a basis of stones, bricks or if nothing else is available on concrete. The adobe walls should not stand directly on the earth in the wet ground, but on dry stones, because adobe bricks do not “like” water. If you build the adobe house on a rock, which is in the dry desert not much foundation is needed :-).
But if you start to build it at the Danube river you need really a lot! Be prepared for heavy work.
stones: recycled bricks and natural stones in the foundation. They are joined deep in the earth with water-resistant concrete and above the earth – where it is not so wet – with mud. SInce the ground-water level is very high near the Danube, and floods happen often, I dare not use only mud and sones for the basis under the earth, but stones and concrete.
stone for the basis
Stone basis and adobe bricks on the top
I used recycled bricks. for the foundation, the foundation is appr. 60 cm deep in the ground and 50 cm wide.
To glue the adobe bricks together you need a lot of earth. This we mixed with water and a hand mixer.
This is done in plastic bowls. This type of plastic bowls, which you can buy in OBI or Baumarkst are cheap, but they have after a few days crack if you work intensive. Try to get special bowls to mix
straw absorbs unnecessary water – so we put it on the top of the wall in the evenings
the entrance is made of terracotta bricks, but it can be also wood.
This is the point where I stopped building and hoped to continue in spring
adobe, stones , air bubble concrete: heavy and light materials piled as improvisation in form of a dome- there was no mortal or any glue added, a mere play with statics and added and the structure was removed a few days after the opening
The form was based on my earlier work : “The”Gate”: 2015 – also made of adobe and tong
Tools you need:
Please note: you need also a lot of TIME! Earth is not concrete. Earth needs time to dry, shrink, sink compress the lower layers and to find the final form.