How to make soil or sand that can be used for buildings Overview Soil is a universal building material and is the oldest known to mankind. The simple soil (without additives), improved soil or by adding stabilizing materials as asphalt or cement is suitable for homes, schools, roads and other construction. For purposes of construction, the soil is usually formed into blocks. Two general types of blocks are described here: adobe block and stabilized block. The adobe blocks are made of moistened soil that can be mixed with straw or other stabilizers. The tabilized block is made of soil mixed with stabilizing material such as Portland cement, formed into blocks under high pressure, and cured in the shade. The low cost is a key advantage of building block of soil. A total cost reduction of approximately 50 percent over conventional construction can be realized. Other advantages are the building materials are usually readily available and the little skill and training required for their use. The area is culturally acceptable in almost all countries, including the United States. Components of soil The composition of soil varies from one region to another, and with soil depth. In a region, it may be better to mix the soil from several locations and depths to obtain a composition more suitable for construction. The basic components of soil that is important in construction are sand clay and silt. (Organic materials are also found in the soil surface. They reduce the quality of the blocks.) The fraction of clay in the soil is important because it acts to bind the larger soil particles together but the clay content should not exceed one third. Above that, deep cracks and weakening of the dried block may occur. Envases which is usually found mixed with sand should not exceed one third because the silt is vulnerable to erosion from wind and rain. The proportions of sand, silt and clay vary widely. A good mixture for most blocks can be: sablent .... 65 percent Clay .... 20 percent silt .... 15 percent Ensure that the composition be used is suitable for construction, several, blocks for the test should be produced using various mixtures. After curing, the test blocks should be hard to resist a scratch or prick of a knife. In beating the two blocks together should produce a sound of click. Blocks must support a drop of two feet (.6 meters) without breaking. If the block crumbles or breaks, sand or organic content is too high, and probably clay should be added to the mixture. However, if large cracks appear during cured, the clay content is probably too high and the sand should be added to the mixture. TESTING GROUND Soil tests should be made before any production of the block began. If the test is not made then a lot of time and money can be wasted in the production of block . The agricultural departments of most countries can provide Laboratory tests at modest costs. If field tests should be made instead, simple methods to determine the suitability of the soil can be tested.