Steps toward legal bases for clay based constructions

¿asos para crear las bases legales de la construcción con  tierraAt the Nicaraguan coast, a round table composed of specialists from various countries intensely debated the following key questions:

  • Is it possible to elaborate norms for clay based constructions which will permit poor people to build or are the demands so high that this building system would be unaffordable?
  • Is it politically viable to achieve approval of such norms in the different countries, and what would the strategy look like to realize it?

It was a meeting without formalities and with a widely open agenda, with deep discussions on a variety of aspects around the theme. The interest of the Nicaraguan participants revolved around their plans to create norms during the next two years, while for Colombia, Salvador, Guatemala and Cuba the timeframe for this task is somewhat longer. An interesting contribution was the presence of the Californian colleagues, an area with a history of clay based constructions and a high risk of earthquakes.

EcoSur - ProterraDiscussion of the first question converted into a collective interview of Engineer Julio Vargas, one of the “fathers” of the Peruvian norm on construction with clay. Vargas has profound practical and theoretical knowledge and never tired of answering endless questions, explain situations, share facts and seed ideas. All of the participants recognize the importance and advisability of elaborating norms and think that the path is more or less open. Although the entire group supports Bruce King’s idea of looking for the way to formulate the norms and codes in the United States, at the same time doubts where expressed about the danger such a norm can become if it is too demanding. Nevertheless, the group wants to continue, with the care necessary!

All participants believe that it is politically viable to approve norms in the different countries, as demonstrated by the Peruvian example. The presence of specialists in the field greatly aided the discussion, and procedures in Colombia and Nicaragua were shared in a detailed manner.

The meeting ended with a work plan where all assumed responsibilities and a declaration was made and signed by all of the participants!

Read the Final Declaration of this meeting  swf declaration_earth_2007 01/05/2007,11:19 74.11 Kb

You are here: Home Past editions Edition 25 - May 2007 Steps toward legal bases for clay based constructions


Bernardo RhynerBernardo Rhyner
Swiss - Canadian
Spanish, English, German and some French.
Construction with ecomaterials, implementation of housing projects


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