Custom Earthen Homes
For a vastly superior structure at a competitive cost!**

       

 








 

 

 



EarthenBuilders
com by Charles Moody Services is the premier custom home builder for the Hill Country & Highland Lakes region for structural insulated rammed earth, & stabilized earth block homes.

This Year's Special: Your new CMS custom structurally insulated rammed earth (sire home) or compressed-stabilized-earth-block (CSEB home) home may qualify for a FREE {basement, or in-ground natural pool, storm/wine cellar or pond} - when built by CMS using our detailed estimate service! Contact us today to get started.

As any child knows, -when the Big Bad Wolf blows;  - Have you considered - how that olde story goes?

FEATURES & BENEFITS:

bullet Fire Proof
bullet Cost Competitive
bullet Super Strong Construction
bullet Truly green, local natural materials
bullet Non Toxic, environmentally friendly
bullet Rammed earth (SIRE) or V-Lock block design (CSEB)
bullet Proven block strengths greater than cement blocks
bullet Extreme Weather Tolerant
bullet Solar/Wind Energy Options
bullet Gray Water Recycling Options
bullet Naturally Mold/Mildew Resistant
bullet Design Solutions
bullet Bullet Proof
bullet Geothermal Utilization Options
bullet Natural Pools Available
bullet Material Analysis & Quality Control
bullet Process Efficiency
bullet Water Collection Tech Options
bullet Custom Home/Commercial Design
bullet Xeriscaping Options
bullet Greenhouses Available
bullet Naturally Insect/Termite Resistant

CMS is a custom design-builder. In designing your home we consider the site – the views, the solar aspects, the prevailing winds … as well as the practical – where utilities are located, proper utilization of spaces, as well as many other details. Building custom homes give us the freedom to design an extra-ordinary home to your own unique and creative specifications. Our finalized designs include a complete set of plans ... I.E: elevations, floor plan, foundation plan, roof framing plan, electrical plan, and a site plan. From these plans we are able to begin the process of completing the specifications for your home. Specifications include everything from utility connections, excavation, house construction, insulation, lighting, plumbing, electrical specs, heating & cooling specs, tile, appliances, interior finishes, flooring selections, etc.

"Because over-marketing dulls people's ears to terms such as 'vastly-superior', -I try to take time to explain to each client precisely how much impact that term actually has when we use it.  You can't generally see the superior quality beneath the modern appearance of our homes' finished exterior; --but our homes will be among the very last standing when disaster hits -whether wind, water, or fire. They cost far less to heat & cool and they're quieter inside.  Mold is a virtual non-issue. They are often much easier to maintain and immune to insects like termites - that would normally destroy traditional structures.  The walls are essentially fire-proof, wind-proof & bullet proof. We became disillusioned with conventional homebuilding and made the move to superior construction methods. It is important that people stop building toxic, perilous & disposable homes. Such practices are short-sighted, unintuitive & wreak havoc on the environment. Building with earthen construction is a sustainable solution that has many, many advantages and no down side. We’re passionate about spreading the word. We have amazing videos of actual tests available. Most people are astonished when they discover what they can have built by us on the exact same budget - sometimes less!" -Charles Moody

We offer many options:

bullet Green Building Techniques & Products
bullet Steel Reinforced Gunite Roof
bullet Custom Metal Fabrication for that Signature Touch
bullet Reclaimed Wood Interior Finishes
bullet A Home Built with a Healthy Indoor Environment
bullet Custom Steel w. Lexan Doors & Egress Windows
bullet Custom Lintels of timber, stone, concrete, or steel
   across the top of a door or window.
bullet Custom Design Services
bullet An Energy Efficient Home
bullet 18"-24″ Monolithic Walls
bullet Passive Solar Designed
bullet Natural Lighting Designs
bullet Metal Roof Options
bullet Artistic Timber Accents
   
 
We're not going to wow you with endless sets of rotating images showcasing luxury homes in all manner of pristine settings.  And we're not going to bombard you with enough blue-print images to paper your den in.  That's what all of those other websites do.  See, we already know: You want a great home, a beautiful home and you probably already know how many bedrooms, baths & maybe even the shape of the pool.  What you want & why you're here is to find a builder who can give you what our European friends refer to as "Je ne sais quoi"... meaning: "that which surpasses mere words".  Let CMS leave you speechless.

Every part of the world has a climate that makes it better suited for one style of housing over another. Here in the southern United States, -homes need to be built to deal with our own varieties of environmental hurdles. People want to harness the sun, collect rain water, harness the wind, conserve energy, keep out pests, keep out noise, feel comfortable, feel secure; -And they want to do it all safely, beautifully & at a price they can revel in.  And principally, - we strongly promote what we call: Earthen construction - re-envisioned.  CMS Earth Architecture provides building services & construction using vastly superior building techniques beneath aesthetically stunning surfacing materials. CMS takes a unique "core-out" approach to the earthen building process that can utilize materials from the very land the house is built on.   This approach allows us to integrate additional structures into the design - created by selective excavation of the site.  The benefit to the qualifying customer is often the addition of a basic, core, in-ground hollow created by the process that can be modified to suit a particular function - such as a storm cellar (tornado alley residents take note).  And when you can use the material from the very land the house is built on - as well as the voids created by planned excavation -- it's like your land purchase begins to doubly pay you back!  CMS sources Earth Blocks if your special project requires them.

CMS SOIL ANALYSIS MOBILE LAB

Rammed earth is a time proven building process of moistened earthen mix of aggregate sand, clay, silt & cement is placed into forms and compacted or "rammed" in layers. We know how to test your soils and understand what makes a good rammed earth & CSEB home. That is why we utilize a specialized mobile soils testing lab with well established procedures that take us step by step through soils analysis, mix design, and testing. We bring modern science to the art of earthen production and construction to make it straight-forward and intuitive. Regular soil composition testing throughout this phase of the project is essential to maintain homogenous building material composition. This strict sampling approach is vastly superior to intermittent sampling practices of sending material off to a lab. The latter causes delays and the reduced sampling often results in flaws in material composition that ultimately adversely affect the quality of the finished structure.

Depending on how a rammed earth wall is built, these factors can dramatically affect overall strength and durability:

  • Mixing – 75% difference
  • Curing – 50% difference
  • Control of lift depth – 50% difference
  • Material management – 30% difference
  • Consistency of soils used – 25% difference
    • Too much or little moisture – 40% difference
    • Improper hand tamping – 50% difference
    • Improper pneumatic tamping  – 25% difference
    • Sampling frequency – Affects everything
    • Weather conditions – Affect everything

      So, we literally start with a solid, superior foundation process - that eventually goes all the way to the roof. At the core, we make use of tightly-monitored, structurally-formed rammed-earth. After removing the forms you are left with a free standing monolithic earthen wall.  These walls have a minimum compressive strength that easily meets and exceeds industry standards, and that strength eliminates anxiety and perpetual maintenance, – while giving superior durability, as well as the ability to build massive structures. The natural appearance requires no additional sealants, siding or drywall with distinctive, visual/tactile connection to the earth that surrounds us. CMS also offers compressed-stabilized-earth-block (CSEB), & other site-appropriate methods of earthen construction.

      CMS is trained & certified in V Lock Block design with Vermeer’s BP714 – cutting edge technology in the evolution of compressed earth block construction by globally renown Dwell Earth LLC.  As a certified Dwell Earth builder, -CMS utilizes the most current sustainable technologies to produce vastly superior structures often at a lower or comparable cost! CMS has taken compressed stabilized earth block (CSEB) building technology to the next level:

      By implementing modern construction techniques combining sustainable & green technologies, -earthen core construction is being used to create some of the most modern, beautiful, safest, ecological & structurally sound construction in the history of civilization. Some of the oldest extant buildings on the planet were made with earth construction techniques, -while modern structures incorporating earth construction into their design are some of the most resistant to the perils of extreme weather. CMS combines earth-construction with modern finishing processes to create structures that are vastly superior in every important detail - from convenience, performance, equity, insurability, efficiency & durability. Each of our structures is an art form with special touches and attention to aesthetic detail. However, CMS puts it over the top with solar panels, wind-power and water storage: All options! Let efficient LED lighting add perfect nuances to the atmosphere and even in color! 


      Frequently Asked Questions
      Compressed Earth Block Construction & the Basics

      What is a Compressed Earth Block?

      Compressed Earth Block, Earth Block, or CEB is a construction material made from the dirt beneath your feet to build a wide variety of structures including homes, schools, churches, clinics, stores, barricades and fortifications.

      Compressed Earth Blocks are made by compressing a soil and 4 -8 % Portland cement (used as a stabilizer) in a hydraulic press. These blocks can be used to build with after curing for 7 days. They reach full strength and become water resistant after a 28-day cure period.

       

      Compressed Earth Block Construction

      What can I build with Compressed Earth Block? CEB’s can be used in place of conventional masonry products in many types of applications including:

      • Dwellings – from low cost to upscale

      • Public buildings, including schools, churches, clinics, etc.

      • Commercial and industrial buildings

      • Military applications such as barricades, fortifications, and security walls

      • Walls and linings for canals, dams, drains, and erosion protection

      • Storage facilities for waste and toxic materials

      • Mining applications

      • Disaster relief

      Is it difficult to build with CEB’s?

      What size is a V Lock Block?

      • A V Lock Block (VLB) is 17cm X 35 cm X 10 cm (7” X 14” X 4”)

      • (1 V Lock Block = .39 sq ft (or) .036 sq M)

      • (1 sq ft of wall requires 2.2 Blocks)

      • (1 sq M of wall requires 27.7 Blocks)

      • A wall 2.4 meters (8 feet) high and 9.1 meters (30 feet) long would take approximately 619 V Lock Earth Blocks.

      What type of foundation is required?

      How tall can an Earth Block building be?

      Multiple story Earth Block structures can be made but design considerations need to be taken to accommodate local building requirements and variations.

      How much soil is required?

      A V Lock Block weighs approximately 22 – 25 lbs. A cubic yard of soil weighs approximately 2,600 lbs. So you can make approximately 118 – 104 V Lock Blocks per yard of soil. A 30 square meter structure would require approximately 12 yards of soil to construct.

      The voids in the V Lock Blocks reduce the required soil by 30% compared to other solid Compressed Earth Blocks.

      How do I finish the surface of an Earth Block wall?

      Compressed Earth Block walls can be painted using cementious paint or clear coat. Both inner and outer walls can also be covered with plaster, using a wire lathe which has the additional benefit of adding strength to the wall system. There are also several natural plastering methods that can be applied.

      Can a Compressed Earth Block wall stand up to seismic activity?

      Shake table tests have shown Compressed Earth Block walls built with steel reinforcements offer superior seismic performance. Additionally, V Lock Blocks were designed so vertical and horizontal reinforcement can be integrated into the wall system design essentially creating a steel basket within the wall system.

      Is a Compressed Earth Block wall expensive to build?

      No. The Compressed Earth Block designed by Dwell Earth that is produced by the BP 714 is called the V Lock Block. The V Lock Block is uniform in all three dimensions. It has a unique interlocking design which allows it to be dry stacked or mortared and does not require traditional labor intensive skill associated with masonry construction. We recommend, the blocks may be bound together with a thin slurry made from same material as the blocks.

      These features make for a much more economical wall system. Walls can be built, much faster than conventional masonry, with unskilled labor while under the supervision of someone who is familiar with basic construction techniques.

       
       

      EARTH BLOX BP714 Earth Block Machine

      Is the BP714 reliable?

      Yes. Dwell Earth teamed up with Vermeer to bring the BP714 to market. It is built to Vermeer’s manufacturing standards and designed for use even in the most remote parts of the globe. The machine is built with simple yet reliable hydraulic controls. It does not have any complicated electronic circuitry and has a hand crank start diesel engine. The EARTH BLOX BP714 is still made in Pella, IA but is no longer manufactured by Vermeer. Midwest Engineering Works has now taken on the manufacturing rights and has greatly improved the manufacturing process for the BP714.

      What makes the BP714 unique?

      The BP714 Compressed Earth Block Machine was designed designed in partnership with Vermeer. We created an exclusive compression manifold that delivers consistent compression across all surface areas. This results in the production of blocks that are both uniform in dimension and density. Testing results have proven the V Block Block exhibit superior strengths and durability when compared to conventional Compressed Earth Blocks and can exceed US cement block strength standards.

      The BP714 has hydraulic rams that perform two purposes. First they compress the Earth Block to uniform dimension. Second they create cavities that allow area for seismic reinforcement, roof tie-downs, electrical conduit, and other utilities. The second compression provides for uniform density of each block.

      Is the BP714 complicated to operate?

      No. The machine has three simple controls that only require a few hours of instruction to master and maximize production.

      What is the production capacity of the BP714?

      Provided there is a continuous supply of material the BP714 will produce +/- 200 blocks per hour (78 sq ft (or) 7.2 sq M) The machine and crew can produce up to 1,600 in an eight hour work day (624 sq ft (or) 57.6 sq M)

      Is a Compressed Earth Block wall expensive to build?

      No. You can save up to 30% compared to traditional masonry construction. This is achieved by using readily available materials (soil) and reduced labor costs for wall construction. You also have the benefit of a superior quality structure with far less environmental impact.


      *Free construction contingency does not include hardware, finishing, plumbing, electrical, nor landscaping unless otherwise specified in contract. Certain limitations apply. Offer void where ordinance, terrain or subterranean impediments would hinder such construction.  Ground moving/explosive work is an option where needed, but not included within the scope of "FREE".

      Charles Moody Services | 1107 FM 1431 # 301 | Marble Falls | TX | 78654 | Toll Free: 877.562.4897 | Direct: 512.234.2864