Edition #4, June 2004

Building houses in Adobe

The earthquakes of January and February 2001 destroyed thousands of homes in the small nation of El Salvador . There have been strong discussions concerning the appropriate technologies and materials for “quake-resistant” building and people are insecure. In two villages of the municipality of Tamanique , 30 families have taken the initiative and are building their houses with an ancient technology. However, they are using today's knowledge to make sure that their houses won´t fall apart during the next earthquake.

Read more: Building houses in Adobe

Fenavip in Colombia – Impacts in housing

Jorge Acevedo   

During the past decade Fenavip in Colombia has built more than 13,000 houses and keeps up a daily production of 2,500 micro concrete tiles (MCR), which are done by women at a average of 300 tiles a day.

These are results of a collaboration that began in 1995 when a Fenavip delegation visited CECAT in Cuba and hosted a course on alternative technologies, and CECAT got to know about the construction program “Columbia 21th Century”.

As a result of this visit a Cuban delegation composed of three professionals from CECAT and one from CIDEM, elaborated a feasibility study about production of alternative materials in Bogotá. Fenavip then invested in tevi equipment to produce MCR. Tile production began in 1997 and shortly afterwards the first houses in the neighborhood of “ La Esperanza ” in Bosa were fully covered with MCR. Since then Fenavip has built more than 13,000 houses in different regions of Colombia, some of which are presented below.

Urb. Santa Marta, Líbano 2000
Houses: 678
Basic unit: 36 m2
House price: $12'000.000
Project total: $8.136'000.000
Year: 2000-2002
Bogotá La Esperanza , Bosa
Houses: 1 720
Basic Unit: 42 m
House price: $2'500.000
Project total: $21'500.000.00
Year: 1997- 2002
Fontanar del Río, Suba
Houses: 616
Basic unit: 32 m2
House price: $16.800.000
Project total: $10'348.000.000
Year: 1998-2002
Hogar del Sol, Soacha
Houses: 751
Basic unit: 42 m2
House price: $18'000.000
Project total: $13.518'.000.000
Year: 1999-2002
Llanitos de Gualará, Calarcá
Houses: 1051
Basic unit
Relocation: 44.6 m2
Rent: 24.15 m2
House price
Relocation: 12'039.000
Rent: 9'900.00
Total project: 11.174'940.00
Year: 2000-2001
Balcones de la Villa, Calarcá
Houses: 505
Basic unit: 27.5 m2
House price: $9'900.00
Project total: $4.999'500.00
Year: 2001

Ciudadela Simón Bolívar, Armenia
Houses: 1.030
Basic unit: 26.55 m2
House price: $9'900.00
Project total: $10.197'000.000
Year: 2001
Barranqulla, Prado Soledad
Houses: 1.150
Basic unit:72 m2
House price: $10'500.00
Project total: $12.75'000.000
Year: 1999-2001

Academic upgrading at Clay House Project

At a recent six-week course for Clay House Project staff in Orwetoveni, nine men and women, average age thirty, got together each morning with senior volunteer Wolfgang Christian from Offenbach, Germany, to learn more mathematics, geometry and history. Everyone worked hard to catch up on past educational deficiencies. “At the end of the course I was impressed by the good learning capacity and curiosity of the students,” said Dr. Christian, a retired school teacher

New services in ECOSouth portal

In order to increase the information potential in the ECOSouth Website, new services and sections have been added for our users on-line. One of the new sections is our FAQs. In the past month it has been the most visited section in our portal. In this section, answers to the most frequenlty asqued questions have been posted: about MCR tiles, CP40, and products and services in general. Also, a section of "Events" has been uploaded where new events like seminars and conferences from the EcoSouth network will be posted. Besides, you can post an event you think may be relevant to the Network's activities and themes. Our editiorial team will check your post and publish it.These new services and sections are implemented as a response to the many questions and contributions of the users of our portal.

Orlando Espinosa enroute through Switzerland

On his way to Cuba from Mozambique, key multi-lingual workshop consultant, Orlando Espinosa from Cecat, took advantage of the stopover at Grupo Sofonias contact office in Switzerland. Recently EcoSouth has been searching through old documents to digitalize information about MCR workshops in Latin America, a Herculean task, and Orlando´s inputs helped sort out some questions. This research will be extended to include workshops on other continents.
You are here: Home Past editions Edition #4, June 2004


Paul Moreno A.
Spanish, English, German
Quality assurance, processes standarization
Chemical / food processes
Communications Officer - EcoSur webmaster
Customer service representative


Brickmakers mixing the clay in the traditional way
Read more ...