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Description Of Wall

During the summer of 2000, personnel from Foxfire Associates brought their patented, portable hydraulic GreenMachine ™ and TerraBuilt ™ earth block building technology to the Buildings Technology Center (BTC) for a collaborative effort to build a rammed earth block wall for testing in the Rotatable Guarded Hot Box (RGHB). The BTC research team, along with Foxfire personnel and a group of teachers from the 2000 Appalachian Regional Commission’s two week Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) summer program joined in an effort to fabricate rammed earth blocks, using soil obtained locally, and construct a wall using these blocks into a RGHB test frame. The wall was constructed over a three day period and was allowed to dry for approximately four months at the BTC before testing in the RGHB.

The blocks manufactured and used for this test were 8-in. × 4-in. × 10-in and weighed 20 pounds. The specimen wall built for this test measured approximately 120-in. × 112-in. × 8-in. thick. Because cracks between the joints of the individual bricks were large enough to see through the wall in several locations, a thin coat of mud was troweled onto the warm side of the 8-ft. × 8-ft. metering area of the wall in a manner similar to applying stucco. With the exception of the crack sealing, the wall was tested as built. Initial setpoints for the test wall were 80°F on the meter/guard side and 20°F on the climate side. However, because this wall was tested without the addition of insulating materials on either side of the wall, the net heat flow out of the guard chamber exceeded the capacity of the guard heaters. Consequently, it was necessary to reduce the heat flow by lowering the warm and increasing cold side air temperatures to 75°F and 35°F, respectively.


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