Mix Design Guidance and Testing for Stabilized Compressed Earth Block (SCEB) Units

Jul 03, 2022

This study is about reimagining one of the oldest materials for building – earthen, or unfired soils-based material sources. Earthen building systems, such as adobe, rammed earth, and compressed earth blocks (CEBs), offer a low-carbon, and thermally resilient alternative to conventional building systems. However, a lack of tested standards for quality assurance and no commercially available mixes specific to earthen construction present barriers to wider adoption of the materials. This study seeks to advance the practice of earthen materials selection and design by developing a Mix Design Guide for reliably and repeatedly fabricating stabilized CEBs using commercially available machinery and appropriate testing methods. This Guide is geared toward streamlining unit fabrication to facilitate wider adoption of earthen construction.

Earthen Construction Initiative
Lauran Drown, AIA (Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates)
Michael Donoghue, PE (Maritech Engineering)
Celia Mendoza, RA (Arquitecta)
Ron Evans (De la Tierra Rammed Earth Structures)
Jim Hallock (Earth Block Texas)
Published & professionally reviewed by: 
The American Institute of Architects (AIA)

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