News - February 2003

MCR Standards in Zimbabwe
”I am proud to confirm that Zimbabwe now has MCR National Standards,” wrote Dr. Kuchena, director of the Building Technology Institute of SIRDC. After a series of committee meetings where drafts, drawings, etc. were discussed, the process begun by the BTI in September of 2001 came to a successful close by the end of 2002. Backup support was provided by Harare MCR producer Maytee Campos and EcoSouth consultant Peter Dunckley. Congratulations to the entire team!



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Guatemala – investigation about plaster underway
Construyendo con Adobe In Guatemala field work for the investigation about plastering clay walls is underway and in December clay houses were visited and the plastering analyzed and samples taken from 76 different sites. At the university laboratory 76 corresponding test patches were made on a clay wall. In five spots on the wall, they will attempt to pull a piece of the plaster off each sample. This is but one of several tests that will be performed by the group of students and their tutors at the University of San Carlos.
The students are discussing the need to deepen their understanding about traditional rural architecture and construction technologies and they are hoping to broaden this investigation.

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Consultants

Martín Meléndez
Dominican
Civil Engineer
Spanish and English
Microconcrete roofing tiles (MCR), CP 40 (alternative cement), adobe, tapial, burnt clay bricks, social organization, workshop planning for MCR and alternative cement, setup and implementation of housing projects, disaster prevention in construction

Videos

In 2005, SofoNic has started a dual education program for masons in Nicaragua, using its house-building programs as a base. Teaming up with the local technical school in Jinotepe they are graduating about ten masons every year since. Most f them have found jobs in construction or have started a business on their own. SofoNic has contracted several of them as master masons in the reconstruction programs in Haiti.