December 2002

Coloring MCR tiles

by Kurt Rhyner   

The theme comes up at all workshops and with most clients. Many people have made their experience and I will try to resume them.
The easiest way is painting the tiles after producing them. It is usually done with water based paint as is commonly used for painting cement surfaces. If the paint is good, and if two layers are being applied, the results are good, the tiles keep their vibrant color for several years and then slowly fade, at an even pace. As the paint usually contains some fungicide, they are not easily invaded by fungus. Painting is not cheap if well done, but usually less expensive than produce tiles with an integrated color. In the Dominican Republic people have taken to paint the tiles with glossy oil paint. It looks good when new, but we are somewhat careful about recommending it.

Read more: Coloring MCR tiles

Visit to housing developments in Colombia and Ecuador

Cuban and Nicaraguan technicians visited different housing projects in Colombia and Ecuador, in order to exchange experiences about building issues and design norms, and to learn about the management processes used by FENAVIP and the Construction Company, El Cuspide.
Simultaneously they participated in the Housing Congress organized by EcoSouth Colombian partner FENAVIP (National Federation of Popular Housing), where they contributed with their experiences in the manufacture and installation of roofs with micro-concrete tiles.

Read more: Visit to housing developments in Colombia and Ecuador

Networking in Zimbabwe

by Peter Dunckley   

Leading tile workshop in Southern Africa
Despite the extremely difficult economic conditions facing Zimbabwe's small enterprises, which include rampant inflation and cement shortages, the Harare based MCR workshop Tovlen Tile Manufacturing going from strength to strength, developing an expanding market niche in Harare's upper middle class housing market. Clearly this workshop is the 'leading commercial MCR workshop' in Southern Africa.

Read more: Networking in Zimbabwe

A creative solution for water catchment

The team in charge of agricultural projects at Grupo Sofonias in Nicaragua has developed an ecological and economical solution for water catchments in seasonal rivers.

Read more: A creative solution for water catchment

News - December 2002

Outpouring of questions to the EcoSouth WebSite
Since the EcoSouth WebSite has been reformed, we receive mail daily from people all over the world asking for information on subjects ranging from bicycle transport to lime production. However, most questions are about the production of Micro Concrete Roofing (MCR) and earth construction. We rely on the different experts of the Network to respond, namely Dr. Pons from San Salvador who is busy tutoring students (and professors) all over Latin America on adobe construction.

[ top - back ]

New book by EcoSouth caricaturist Martirena
Humor in Vitro, the new book by Alfredo Martirena (Cuban humorist in charge of the humor section of our WebSite), was published in November by the Spanish publisher El Batracio Amarillo. The caricatures span a spectrum of black, white and yellow humor, as well as political and erotic humor.
Alfredo Martirena Hernández (Santa Clara, 1965) has worked for more than a decade on the humor supplement Melaíto of the newspaper, Vanguardia, in Villa Clara, and has received numerous prizes in national and international. In addition, his work has appeared in humor pages in Cuba, México, Chile, Spain and Portugal.
As well, he produced the creative illustrations for the book “From Disaster to Dignity”, that reveals the history of the first twenty years of Grupo Sofonias, and keeps up the humor content for periodical of the EcoSouth Network.

[ top - back ]

Microconcrete technologies used in hotel in the Dominican Republic
A builder and hotel owner from the Dominican Republic bought a tevi equipment two years ago. His interest was not only tiles, but specifically to produce vaulted formwork for concrete slabs, an application he had seen in a hotel built by EcoTec in Nicaragua. Concrete beams are prefabricated on site, and after fixing them in position the 12mm thick tevi-vaults are placed as formwork, and provide an attractive finish. He is now using both applications of vibrated micro concrete in the construction of a new hotel in Constanza.

[ top - back ]

You are here: Home Past editions December 2002

Consultants

Orlando Espinosa
Cuban
Civil Engineer
Spanish, Russian, some English.
Equipment development, MCR workshop installation, operative project implementation

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.