Edition #12, April 2005

EcoMaterials 2005: Connecting science with the grassroots

Preparations are well underway for the upcoming third edition of the EcoMaterials Conferences, to be held in Santa Clara, Cuba in November. The article broadens the already existing information, including the accompanying events such as a Seminar on Earth Construction and a Workshop on Architecture, as well as the tour options within the program conference program.

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Getting to know Nicaragua

Conociendo NicaraguaEcoSouth member Paul Moreno from Ecuador recently undertook a study visit to Nicaragua to get to know the network partner first hand. His time at SofoNic became an enrichment that brought life to the images and material he received for the website. His lively account of his experiences and impressions is covered in the accompany article.

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Building Advisory Service extends in Namibia

ImageThe idea of a Building Advisory Service has grown out of the Architect of the Community concept introduced by the Argentinean architect Rodolfo Livingston. The Clay House Project has been providing advice to a few private clients over the years. However, the high visibility of its squatter upgrading program has attracted many organizations and local governments and they have expressed interest in building with clay. Thus, the CHP is extending the advisory service to other parts of Namibia.

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After the tsunami disaster in Asia the world has become more aware of this natural phenomena. It is not a new theme for those in the research field in areas where tsunamis can occur, and Livan Hernandez of CECAT has done some investigation in this regard. EcoSouth is pleased to share his article that explains how Tsunamis develop and provides information about Tsunamis in recent historical periods.

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Standards for clay construction

EcoSouth colleagues are working out proposals for standards for construction with clay. The first preoccupation is the question: "What has to be subject to standards?" Many think that the resistance of a clay brick to compression is the critical route, but it is scientifically known that in a wall it is not the brick that fails; rather almost always it is the meeting between the elements. Javier Quiñonez, director of investigation at the University of San Carlos in Guatemala, is perfecting a simple system that he has been using to measure the resistance to horizontal (shearing) forces in walls.

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Martín Meléndez
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


Brickmakers mixing the clay in the traditional way
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