Pic of the Week #11

Earth Building

This week’s pic may not look like much but it is the before photo for a very interesting project which we are about to start.

The project is a small house for the Tara Rokpa Centre manager Pippa. Last year February Pippa and some very kind German volunteers sent me to Auroville in India to go and learn about compressed stabilised earth block construction or CSEB. This is a really interesting construction technique and one which we identified as appropriate for our region. CSEB are made using a manual press which in our case is the Auram 3000 which Pippa has specially imported from India for her build.

Suitable soil is harvested from as close to the building site as possible and then compressed into blocks the size of 3 conventional bricks. The soil mixture is stabilised using a small percentage of cement which gives the benefit of a very strong material to build with and also much less susceptible to water damage than normal earth materials. The construction industry is a huge contributor to global carbon emission so the advancement and development of environmentally friendly building techniques is really of utmost importance.

With a team of builders arriving on site on Monday I must unfortunately keep this short and sweet but I will keep doing updates as we go along. If anyone is interested in getting some hands on experience on an alternative building site let us know, there are a few thousands blocks which need to be made and laid!

For more info on CSEB construction check out the Auroville Earth Institute: http://www.earth-auroville.com

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