I just dropped the price of
the permaculture playing cards
for a wee bit.



uses include:
- infecting brains with permaculture
- convincing folks that you are not crazy
- gift giving obligations
- stocking stuffer
- gambling distraction
- an hour or two of reading
- find the needle
- find the 26 hidden names


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Form Blocks from Australia  RSS feed

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I found these guys for a while, then "lost" them while their site was undergoing some restructuring.  This is pretty fascinating to me.  They use a mixture of earth and up to 10% concrete.  Here is some information from their website

     FORMBLOCK is a wall building system in which stabilized earth,  or concrete blocks are cast in-situ to produce a solid load bearing wall. In use now for over 15 years in a range of conditions throughout Australia and New Zealand, it has been thoroughly tested by professionals, architects and owner builders.

The FORMBLOCK method significantly reduces the labour required  to produce an earth wall to only fraction of that compared to adobe (mud brick) or pisé (rammed earth) methods of earth building. As the handling of the earth material is minimised, by the in-situ nature of block making. Once the blocks are poured, the wall is effectively complete, with no further need of on going maintenance.

Making the FORMBLOCK system a cost effective and affordable method of masonry wall construction.

The FORMBLOCK Wall Kit  requires no expert skill, it is easy to use and simple to understand and is ideally suited to tradespersons, owner builders, and handypersons, alike.

This is a completed house made using formblocks

Their website is at http://www.formblock.com.au/

I have been fascinated by earth building for a long time, since I first heard of Rammed Earth.  I am a long way from building my own place right now, and plans continue to percolate in my head.  I am now considering a mixture of PSP and Formblock.

One thing interesting to me is they have been making a mixture of up to 10% concrete work for casting their blocks.  I had understood that was not very workable, but they have been doing this for a while, and it seems to be working fine for up to 15 years for some structures.  Sure, there are rammed earth structures hundreds of years old, but I think they'd know by now if their system wasn't working.

Stop by their website and check it out.


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It seems neat..my only thought is why use blocks.  Wouldn't custom forms that span the length of the walls be less work.  Blocks are good if you moving them, i just don't see the point.  Why make mortar weakness in the wall for no apparent benefit?

I don't know , just posing a question.
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Location: Edge of the World - PNW
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I realize this is a dormant thread, but thought I'd chime in anyway. I too followed the FORMBLOCK stuff for a while but concluded that their mold system was too expensive, unless you plan on building a number of structures.

Instead I looked at homebuilt molds that would give similar characteristics. What I came up with is very similar to what the guy in this blog used:


Scroll down to where he is building the garage to see block details. The molds are inexpensive and easy to build from wood and provide key-ways at the ends to interlock blocks as they are cast.

Reasons for not casting too-big blocks - avoids cracks from shrinkage and it keeps the mix size manageable. It also produces the esthetically pleasing and familiar appearance of block construction.
It is an experimental device that will make my mind that most powerful force on earth! More powerful than this tiny ad!
The Earth Sheltered Solar Greenhouse Book by Mike Oehler - digital download
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