Edition #1, January 2004

ECOSouth consultants take pleasure in sharing knowledge

EcoSouth consultants have their feet on the ground and their hands on daily tasks, whether directing projects, managing organizations, research and development or tutoring students. In other words they are in touch and actively involved in their fields, building and producing. Thus, they can provide expertise from a constantly renewable base of real experiences.

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A few thoughts on “Compressed Earth Blocks” (CEB)

Kurt Rhyner P. (Architect, PhD, Professor)   

Earth is one of my preferred construction materials, and for centuries it has been the best option for millions of people in most countries around the globe. Latin America, Africa, Asia and even Europe once were built largely with clay structures and dozens of different techniques exist to build with raw clay as well as with burnt clay.

In recent decades, clay has been relegated to minor roles, due to many different causes, but mainly because of aggressive marketing of Portland cement and elements made of cement. However, a sizeable part of humanity will not likely have a decent dwelling in this century, unless they build with clay, several scientific analysis point to as much as 50%!

Read more: A few thoughts on “Compressed Earth Blocks” (CEB)

EcoMaterials in Bolivia

Kurt Rhyner   

The distribution policy and market opening for natural gas recently has caused much instability in Bolivia and led the government to resign. Its specially this natural gas that has allowed burnt clay products to over the market. Large manufacturers are producing high quality industrial clay goods, and really attractive bricks and clay roofing tiles at affordable prices. In growing areas like “El Alto” near the Capital of La Paz a high number of two and three stories houses are visible with an overwhelming intense red color. An interesting aspect is that they are not built with a lot of concrete columns, they use buttresses. This creates a lively and interesting architecture. It also increases security aspects during a earthquake, something very important considering the really thin walls they build.

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Frames for tevi moulds

Kurt Rhyner   

When visiting MCR workshops we are usually confronted with wooden frames for moulds that are of deficient quality. Depending on the wood quality and the skills of the carpenter they lose their quality more or less quickly. This is a serious danger for the moulds.

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Brainstorming in Ecuador

 Peter Arndt from the Clay House Project in Namibia, visited Ecuador in December 2003, where he met with John Vargas, who builds the ECUAtevi tile-making machines. One of the results of this brainstorming was a new mechanism to lock the frame, which locks in place automatically and saves time and effort for the user. It will be tested under intense production conditions for six months at the Ecomaterials factory in Riobamba. Later, this improvement will be available to MCR producers and workshops around the world.
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Consultants

Peter Dunckley
Architect
South African, English, Afrikaans
Housing delivery services, project proposals, budgeting

Videos

Molino de lodo: testimonio
Earth mill for fired clay bricks - Testimony (spanish only)
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