A highlight of my trip to Nepal has been the traditional Newari brick. Beautiful examples of this architectural terra cotta clay brick abound in Kathmandu. Terra cotta brick and tiles are very affordable because they’re made with low fired clay.
It occurred to me that these bricks and tiles could easily be incorporated into earthbag buildings, CEB buildings and other types of buildings. This fits in with my goal of spreading sustainable building in Nepal. An earthbag building, for example, with traditional brick and tile trim would be popular with Nepalis. A few different brick designs combined can greatly enhance the appearance. The terra cotta bricks and tiles could be added around doors, windows, as base trim, etc. One option is to embed the bricks between courses of bags. Temporary wood boards could be placed between courses to create a squared recess for the bricks. Remove the boards when the wall is complete and mortar the bricks into place. The same process of using local decorative brick could be used in other countries to create many interesting designs.
Image source: The Longest Way Home