Taking PISE to the Mainstream?

I’d like to clarify some of the statements made in your construction detail “Using Air to Build Rammed Earth Walls” (Vol. 5, No. 5).

The promise inherent in TERRA Group and David Easton’s PISE™ wall-building system is the ability to go beyond the limited volume market of custom homes and owner-builders, and to become a feasible alternative to wood-frame construction in the mainstream residential and light commercial construction industry. To achieve this promise in its entirety requires continued development of the PISE system to the point that the process, quality, code compliance and cost of PISE make it truly competitive with wood frame for both builders and home buyers.

TERRA Group was formed in 1993 for just this purpose. The plan is to develop and license the PISE technology, on which U.S. and international patents are pending, to the mainstream construction industry. The substantial investment required for this undertaking is being funded by investors who believe in the promise and benefits of PISE. Attracting such investment entails appropriate patent and trademark protections.

The purpose of protecting the PISE technology is not to restrict the use of PISE or restrict builders from using it. On the contrary, the effect of a licensing structure will be to make PISE more available and easier to use in terms of methods, code approvals and performance so that more builders will be able to use it, and to develop the necessary technology, know-how, and tools to make that happen.

The benefits of making PISE a mainstream building product include resource efficiency, energy efficiency, elimination of the use of toxic materials, increased occupant safety and increased building durability. PISE decreases pressure on forests by eliminating the need to use wood in construction; PISE walls designed with passive solar principles can take advantage of their inherent thermal mass, resulting in energy reductions of 80% or more; air conditioning equipment can be eliminated in most climates, and materials such as CFC-containing insulation are not needed. PISE walls are fireproof and termite resistant without the use of toxic chemical treatments. And since the useful life of PISE walls is measured in hundreds of years with minimal maintenance, PISE eliminates construction waste and results in lower embodied energy than wood when considered over its life cycle.

While PISE may be the construction material of the future, it is still under development and will require the effort of many dedicated individuals before it can fulfill its promise. TERRA Group is dedicated to making PISE a reality in the very near future.

George B. Brewster


Belvedere, California

Editors’ note:

Our apologies for failing to mention the TERRA Group initiative in connection with the construction detail on PISE. TERRA Group has financed the application process for patents in David Easton’s name with the understanding that, once issued, the patents will be turned over to the group. According to Easton, the patent approvals process has been slower than anticipated, and the group’s members do not always see eye-to-eye on how to move the initiative forward.

Published November 1, 1996

(1996, November 1). Taking PISE to the Mainstream?. Retrieved from https://www.buildinggreen.com/op-ed/taking-pise-mainstream

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