EcoSouth Certificate Quality for MCR workshops

EcoSouth has developed a system and criteria to assess MCR workshops, in order to grant a Certificate of Quality. Preliminary tests were carried out in selected workshops in Guatemala, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Cuba. Since then Certificates of Quality have been granted to more than 100 workshops throughout Latin America.



Autosustainability of MCR businesses
One of the steps necessary to achieve sustainability of workshops is the quality of the workshop itself and its products. But, what is quality of a workshop? How do we compare one workshop with another?
In a seminar of the EcoSouth Network, it was agreed to develop an evaluative procedure that would serve as a basis to grant a certificate to the MCR workshops that have good tiles, a good production process, clean moulds, etc.
The proposal is based upon the “Method of an Elemental Qualitative Evaluation of Sustainable Construction Materials for Housing”. (author Ruben Bancrofft and coauthors, CECAT, 1993), and adapted to evaluate MCR workshops by Martín Melëndez for his master´s thesis in civil engineering.

Three levels of analysis
The method is based upon an analytical procedure that can be realized at three levels:

  • A rapid preliminary analysis by the evaluator
  • An more profound analysis with field tests carried out in the workshop under analysis
  • A more rigorous scientific analysis, that considers all the details

This potentially can fulfill the requirements for an efficient evaluation of an MCR workshop and can decide whether the same has a good or acceptable quality. It is also able to define the workshops that have an exceptionally high level of quality, as candidates as “Best Practice Workshops”.

Six indicators
The method is based upon six indicators:

  • Workshop: cleanliness, storage of raw materials, curing tanks, total work area, production area, administration, control of production, quality control equipment
  • Moulds: quality and cleanliness
  • Vibrating table: quality and cleanliness
  • Curing: 24 hours, tank and shaded area
  • Raw material: sand, cement, ratio of water-cement, compactness, ratio of sand-cement
  • Tiles: flexure, impact, form, etc.

Scale of points
For each of these indicators there are attributes to which a scale of values from zero to five have been assigned. In the final analysis, each indicator has a certain weight of importance. Of course, the quality of the tiles itself is the area that receives the greatest weight in the assessment.
As a result of application of this methodology in the three above-mentioned levels of analysis, an accumulation of points is achieved that allows a quantitative determination of the quality of a workshop. On this basis, we propose the following classification:

  • Best Practice Workshop 90-100 points
  • Certificate of Quality 70-100 points
  • Workshop with potential for improvement 50-70 points
  • Inadequate Workshop less than 50 points

EcoSouth is currently conducting a program, together with its experts and consultants, to assess MCR workshops. This is an important step to guarantee quality and ultimately client satisfaction. Workshops receiving the Certificate can use it as a marketing tool, indicating to the public that their product conforms to standards.

All MCR producers take note of the following areas in your tile production so that you too will be able to receive a Certificate of Quality. When you think your workshop qualifies, please contact EcoSouth


  • General impression of workshop
    Storage of raw material
    Curing tanks
    Workshop area
    Curing area
    Production control
    Quality of equipment
  • Moulds
    Material of the moulds
    Cleanliness of the moulds
    Mould frames
    Interface plastic sheets
  • Vibrating tables
    Durability of vibrating unit
    Energy for the vibration
    Noise level of the vibrating unit
    Cleanliness of the vibrating unit
  • Curing
    24 hour curing
    Curing in tank
    Curing in shade
  • Raw Material
    Quality of cement
    Quality of sand
    Ratio of sand/cement
    Ration of water/cement
  • Tiles
    Dimension and form
    Porosity and cracking
    Flexure test
    Weight test
    Impact test
You are here: Home Past editions November 2002 EcoSouth Certificate Quality for MCR workshops


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


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.