Edition #13, June 2005

COMESA Workshop in Nairobi draws participants from seven countries

Kenya StakeholdersThe “Common Market of Eastern and Southern Africa” (COMESA) has taken the initiative of promoting the production and use of “Appropriate Building Materials” through “Small and Medium Entreprises” (SME).  They have started with a study of the current situation of those materials and technologies and are now moving into making recommendations to the member states. Recently a four day workshop in Nairobi assembled some 40 participants from seven countries.

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Development of tevi tile equipment

TeviAs en enrichment to the theme of EcoMaterials 2005, connecting science with the grassroots, this website is highlighting different experiences with this focus. This update features development of tevi equipment to produce MicroConcrete Roofing tiles. The top quality tile-making equipment is used throughout Latin America as well as in Africa, Asia, Central Asia. The development of tevi is the story of an audacious adventure that responds in a high-level scientific manner to requests from the grassroots.

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Clay House Project Overview

Clay House Project

For welll over a decade the Clay House Project has followed a program of patient investment in order to bring the ancient technology of clay construction into the mainstream in Namibia. It has been a program composed of many different activities over the years, from demonstration buildings, pilot projects and networking with communities and authorities. A basis of mutual respect and cooperation pave the way for  its current endeavor where people in a squatter area learn to build their houses from locally available clay.  Its implications reach far beyond Orwetoveni.

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Green Builders in North America

Green builders“Green builders” is the term used in North America to describe people who build in a environmentally friendly manner. At the end of April around 300 green builders met at a conference of the Colorado Straw Builders Association in Aspen, Colorado. The interesting mix of people share the common bond of ecological awareness and build houses where straw and clay are major building materials. They assembled in a beautiful school built with straw bales and plastered with clay and lime. Many publications carried picture of straw and earthen houses, some of them new and luxurious, others more than a hundred years old and rather simple.

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Deswos visit to Nicaragua housing Project

Winnfried Clever of Deswos in Germany recently visited the SofoNic housing project in Nicaragua supported by that organization and the BMZ. This innovative project focuses upon educating young apprentices from the Polytechnical Institute of Jinotepe. The masonry apprentices learn their trade in a two year course that combines practical work and formal schooling. onsite experience is within the Diriamba housing project where they are building 80 houses for a group of working families who participate with non-qualified labor. The SofoNic professional team guides the students during the practical work and the first group of ten will graduate this year


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Kurt RhynerKurt Rhyner
Architect, PhD. Professor
Spanish, English, German, French.
Project conception, analysis of technologies and materials appropriate to the specific situation, financial analysis, executive management, backstopping, evaluations


Horno  Vertical Contínuo

Vertical Shaft Brick Kiln - VSBK unloading mechanism
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