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The ultimate earth-friendly building material: mud

When homebuilder Graeme Ellis decided to build a home for himself and his family 30 years ago, he looked to his property for material.

The rich soil on his plot near Melbourne, Australia was ideal for making mudbricks and so he- and a dozen friends- made bricks, 6000 of them, and he built his home using his own land. Earth building- mudbrick, adobe, cob, PISE, rammed earth- is perhaps one of the most renewable and sustainable ways to build.

With low embodied energy (the petroleum and resources needed to make the materials) if locally-sourced, earth is also an ideal insulator and naturally non toxic, non allergenic and fire, rot and termite resistant. In this video, Graeme and his daughter, Katrina, show us how they made the bricks and two of the family’s homes- Graeme’s and his son’s- they’ve made from earth.

We also have a video on a home with PISE walls and a Melbourne remodel to capture the sun and rain.