RUBINA NOOR SHAIKH and RAID HANNA University of Glasgow/Mackintosh School of Architecture

Earth is one of the earliest construction materials for human shelters. In its original form it does not meet the basic requirements for construction material, such as strength and water resistance but it can be stabilised in various ways for example, compaction. The strength, durability and thermal performance of stabilised soil blocks are sufficient for use as a construction material for low-cost housing. There are many types of moulding machines for production of blocks which can be made and laid in the place for approximately half the cost of the next cheapest construction material (hollow concrete block). The compressed earth blocks can be used as structural blocks, are easy to lay, and can be moisture sealed with Portland cement or other adhesive materials. The following factors of soil stabilised block, are considered: strength and durability; masonry principles for stabilised soil blocks; bonding patterns.