The Advantages of Mud Bricks in Construction

Mud brick, known more commonly as adobe, is a construction material using mostly a mud or clay mixture from the earth.

Cost of Supplies

Entire homes can be constructed nearly entirely of the earth upon which they stand.Entire homes can be constructed nearly entirely of the earth upon which they stand.
In southwest regions of the United States, some Native American tribes commonly used mud bricks for dwelling construction. Today, although not as common as other construction materials, mud brick is still used as a home-building material because of its advantages.

Mud bricks are relatively large, usually featuring a width of roughly 10 inches, with the height measuring 5 inches, and length close to 15 inches. The majority of mud bricks used professionally in construction consist of a mixture of low-cost supplies, including clay, silt and sand. As most construction projects generally require thousands of bricks, this can be extremely cost-effective when compared to homes built with traditional brick.

Insulated

Compared with most homes, mud bricks also offer a lot of insulation. Wood homes leak air easily into and out of the environment. Although traditional brick is better, these homes still have a relatively limited capacity when it comes to insulation. Mud bricks insulate extremely well, helping to keep energy bills lower, subsequently lowering homeowner costs over the long term.

Environmentally Friendly

The first manner in which mud bricks contribute to the environment is through insulation, which prevents them from using more electricity than what would otherwise be necessary. Alternatively, the material used for construction comes from the earth. However, unlike wood derived from trees, there is no requirement to use up valuable natural resources. Bricks are made through a process requiring the burning of fuel, also making them less environmentally friendly.

Do-It-Yourself

Although a home might be a bit ambitious, mud bricks can be used as a do-it-yourself project to create a small dwelling or building. Usually all that is needed is a casing created of wood to make bricks the required size. Regular mud, or a mixture of soil and water, can be used. Often, these ingredients can be combined with gravel or straw to make the brick stronger. The project also has a few downsides -- it is labor intensive because each brick must dry prior to having subsequent bricks placed on top of it; it also requires consistent access to water.

About the Author

Steve Johnson is an avid and passionate writer with more than five years of experience. He's written for several industries, including health, dating and Internet marketing, as well as for various websites. He holds a bachelor's degree from the University of Texas.