Clifton Schooley is a green building professional specializing in insulated rammed earth construction and architectural design in Canada and worldwide. His vision is to create environments that are beautiful, artistic, sustainable and have a positive social impact. Clifton believes that both design and construction of a building must be intimately connected to bring maximum benefit to both people and the environment. Beyond rammed earth his ambition is to become an eco-developer and influence society on a larger scale. For more information, visit: www.rammedearth.info
Q: I am a Spanish woman making my Ph D Thesis about earth construction regulations. I am very interested in knowing which are existing nowadays USA normative documents about adobe, rammed earth, compressed blocks... And It would be very helpful if you could tell me something about other countries too.
A: Here is a great website to track down current earthen building codes & practices: fawebster.com .
Q: I am considering putting a chimney in the back of my house which was added on and only one level with a roof that slopes approximately 10 degrees. The added section includes a kitchen about 10 feet wide and a small workroom on the end with a concrete floor. I would like to build a chimney on that floor running up through the roof, probably around ten feet high with enough extension above the roof to meet code. I think rammed earth with about 10 inch thick walls would be excellent for the chimney and either a pre-made clay liner or perhaps make my own liner with clay. Do you have any information on using rammed earth for chimneys? I am thinking adding extra cement to the mix might be a good idea to give it a little extra compressive strength and minimize the chance of it possibly falling apart from being bumped or hit (the location is in my workshop so I do a lot of work in there)
A (Quentin Wilson) NM only allows firebrick built fireboxes and factory clay flue liners. These days, I favor metal insulated or double walled flues. They do not cool down the flue gasses and there is far less build up of creosote in the chimney. Aside from that, a clay tile flue with RE surrounding it would be a great way to extract and store heat that is otherwise lost up the chimney. Just plan to be more vigilant, proactive and preventive maintenance minded regarding the flue.