Preview of themes of EcoMaterials 2005

Preview of themes of EcoMaterials 2005 An introduction to the illustrious panels that will launch each day of the upcoming EcoMaterials conference forms the basis of the accompanying report. All continents are represented by the participants, who include academic luminaries, as well as people of wide experience and provocative ideas from government and civil society organizations. The specific commissions each day reflect a potpourri of presentations, well-addressed to the particular theme of the day, whether New Developments, Connecting Science with the Grassroots, or Policies.



An illustrious panel opens the the first day dedicated to New Developments. As well as Fernando Martirena of the host institution, CIDEM, who will explain the theme of fired clay and EcoMaterials, the panelists include Gernot Minke of the University of Kassel in Germandy who will treat earth construction and Bruce King of the EcoBuilders Network who will provide an overview of this movement in the United States y Roland Stulz of the Polytechnical University of Zurich in Switzerland will explain about the 2000 Watt society

The comisión about binders draws participants not only from Latin America, but also from Africa, Europe and the Middle East. Four of the presentations treat the theme of pozzolanas and  others concern lime mortars, the densification of biomasa, EcoMaterials in sustainable construction and a method to evaluate materials.

Earth construction
A summary from the Earth Construction Seminar in Havana prior to the conference provides the framework for this commission. The focuses are divided between adobe itself and other earth materials such as fired clay bricks and suelo cemento.

Other technologies
Themes about recycled materials, natural materials such as bamboo share the palette with various technical perspectives about concrete, as well as ferrocement.



This illustrious panel from various continents seeks the connections between science and practice from various perspectives.  It counts with contributions from Libby Johnson of Gram Vikas in India who will speak about integrated projects, Rodolfo Hernandez Pleyan of COSUDE who will focus upon the connection between universities and the base, Bernard Amadei from Engineers without Borders will treat challenges and opportunities, while Gilberto Quevedo of CIDEM will focus upon the relationships of a research center with practical situations.

New construction
The presentations treat human settlements from plans for new settlements to projects already built, as well as roofs, pressed wood, and thermal qualities. It also includes futuristic ideas and methods of housing delivery.

The wide Cuban experience with recurring hurricanes will be reflected in several presentations, from such different aspects as higher education, guidelines for design, pathological study of housing, proposals to revitalize traditional construction, as well as renovations that embrace cultural heritage and post disaster concepts.

Disaster response
The presentations focus upon the significance of EcoMaterials, especially in situations of disaster response. Risk studies and their application expand this theme.



A potpourri of focuses has an experienced panel that reflects this. Martín Meléndez from Grupo Sofonias in Nicaragua embraces the themes of “small is beautiful” and the informal sector, Mariano Curicama, provincial governor of Riobamba in Ecuador will focus upon various political aspects, DirkVan Nykerk from the Municipality of Otjiwarongo in Namibia will speak about how a municipality Works with EcoTechnologes, Rubén Bancrofft of Mercadú in Cuba will recount the odyssey and success of “tevi” equipment for MCR production, while Mupelwa Sichilima of COMESA in Zambia will present a new initiative for the countries of eastern and southern Africa.

Small and médium enterprises
Aside from embracing the production and management of small and medium enterprises and entrepreneurs, this session will treat the diffusion of MicroConcrete Roofing Tiles throughout Latin America, as well as its commercialization.

Housing schemes
The themes vary from financial programs, to dual education (formal/practical), as well as self-builder programs in South America and South Africa.

This theme has to do with various pathways to bring EcoMaterials and EcoTechnologies into the mainstream, with presentations from both South and North America, as well as Europe.

You are here: Home Past editions Edition #15, August 2005 Preview of themes of EcoMaterials 2005


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