Columbian recommendations about earth construction presented at International Round Table

Jairo UribeThe director of the Group for Investigations of Structures and Materials of the Columbian School of Engineering “Julio Gravito” contributed significant information about earth construction at the International Round Table about Adobe Norms held in Nicaragua in March 2007. The information presented by Doctor Jairo Uribe Escamilla about the experiences in Columbia can serve as a guide for establishment of seismic and technical norms for this type of construction in countries where guidelines of this nature do not exist.

The Columbian recommendations (not actually norms) were not achieved overnight. On the contrary, technical-scientific studies were carried out and work commissions formed, in coordination with the Columbian College of Architects and Engineers, as well as work with universities and other institutions. This was possible because the Columbian reality favors the existence of development of sustainable structural technology. Various factors were considered such as the seismic risk and technical-structural aspects.

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Their studies revealed that the introduction of natural fibers can provide more resistance in an earth sturcture that those without, for example in the situation of an earthquake.

With great engagement, Engineer Uribe demonstrated that it is effectively healthy, economical and above all sustentable, to build with earth and emphasized the need to create norms in this host country Nicargua.

Engineer Uribe distributed pamphlets and booklets that demonstrate the Columbian construction process, basically guides by which they build. These illustrative booklets can be understood by the general public as well as informal builders. This is extremely important when one wants to foster sound construction in the informal sector that can resist seismic tremors.

It is important to ensure that such information is shared with key people involved in construction and with those who build in the informal sector. After the Round Table copies of these booklets were added to the EcoSouth Library in Nicaragua and shared with the design team and project leaders of SofoNic.

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