Using Vetiver as a Replacement for Straw in Mud Bricks and Mortar
Vetiver Grass leaf can be used as a replacement for straw, hay, or other grass materials for application in cob, adobe, or mud-related building.
Grass is cut to length and dried. In this application, long cut grass is used for strengthening mudbricks and mortar and short cut is used for finishing and plaster. This is mixed with local mud and rough-crushed bamboo biochar.
The material is mixed using a tarp (can be a hole in the ground), placed into forms, and then dried for a month.
The mud mix takes on a dark brown look from the char when contrasted with the original lowish clay content of the soil.
A fine leaf mortar is pictured here plastering the sides of an oven base. Above the plaster, the bricks and mortar can be seen using long cut leaf.