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Issue 7.1

Fabric Formed Unstabilized Poured Earth: Four-Dimensional Wall Systems

This paper presents prototype design research into the drying, shrinkage, and cracking of unstabilized fabric-formed poured earth. An unstabilized poured earth mix became self-supporting in fabric formwork and hardened to the touch after 11 days. The same poured earth mix in conventional concrete planar impermeable formwork was wet and pliable after 22 days. Fabric formwork hung by expandable elastics also reduced cracking, allowing material shrinkage at form ties. Poured earth without Portland cement stabilization can create non-structural wall forms with less transportation of material to the site and less overall use of Portland cement. The mix tested here would match a site soil with a 29–30% illite or kaolinite clay content found by the authors in the southwestern United States.

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