Edition #11, March 2005

Waste recycling for housing construction

The Best Practices Hub in Vienna recently highlighted CIDEM´s “From Waste to Houses” project in their on-line Best Practices Newsletter No. 18 that focused upon ecological construction. Following are excerpts from that article. CIDEMis a university research institute at  the Universidad de las Villas and is a major player in the EcoSouth Network as well as host to the third EcoMaterials conference to be held in Santa Clara in November.

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Three decades of disaster prevention that works

Prevención de desastresIt is a long hard road until construction projects integrate disaster prevention into their project planning. It is the dream of EcoSouth to influence development projects in this direction, prior to the onslaught of catastrophes.To build dwellings that withstand local climatic conditions has been a guiding principle in the housing projects of EcoSouth partners over the past three decades. From Columbia, to the  Dominican Republic, to Nicaragua, Jamaica, Cuba, houses have withstood recurring hurricanes or earthquakes. This has given EcoSouth the confidence to continue this path.

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Adobe houses in El Salvador

A recent article in the Salvadorian College of Architects magazine focused upon an adobe project where the women´s organization "Las Mélidas" and the School of Architecture of the University of El Salvador worked together with the community of Planta Nueva to build 23 houses. An important achievement of the project is that the architectural design and the system of construction (foundations of stone & concrete, adobe walls with interlinked corners, concrete ring beam and a metal roof structure with MCR) have become a model that the School of Architecture is proposing for other interested communities and organizations involved in humanitarian projects. EcoSouth wishes to draw attention to the fact that this system of construction resists earthquakes, a system similar to that used successfully in Guatemala after its great earthquake in 1976.

EcoTec - 15 years under a MCR roof

15 añosMany activities have taken place under the immense roof that houses EcoTec in Jinotepe since the building was finished in 1989. The roof itself is 600 square meters (40 x 15) and, at the time, was the largest known  MCR roof. Today it is a deposit and outlet for recycled bicycles, as well as provides office facilities for EcoTec as it welcomes those interested in buying bicycles, as well as clients of its "Affordable Housing" program.

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A Ghanian follows the path of MCR

William Pitcher who emigrated to the United States but now intends to return to Ghana, looked for a occupation that will allow him to live while, at the same time, improve the quality of life of his fellow Ghanaians. During this search, he came across MicroConcrete Roofing tiles through the EcoSouth website, something that led to his visit to Nicaragua en February for training at the EcoMaterials enterprise in Diriamba.
This is but another example of South-South technology transfer.

William Pitcher

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


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