Earth Notes: Turning Mud into Wildfire-Resistant Homes
Dr. Michele Barbato, of the Climate Adaptation Research Center, was recently interviewed by KNAU Arizona Public Radio to discuss his research and ongoing work on earth block construction.
Scientists at the Climate Adaptation Research Center made earth blocks out of soil gathered from the town of Paradise, which burned in the disastrous Camp Fire of 2018. They added water and a little cement, and tested the blocks in a furnace at temperatures as high as 1,000 degrees Celsius. Early results suggest the material can not only resist fire, but actually becomes stronger when it’s burned. The blocks also don’t release toxic pollution when exposed to fire, saving lives in more than one way.
Photo by Karin Higgins, UC Davis
Photo Information: PhD candidate Nitin Kumar burns wood and a fire resistant brick demonstration at Bainer Hall on June 11, 2021.