Reconstruction with long lasting impact
By training rural communities in Earth Brick production we increase reconstruction capacity and make high quality materials accessible locally. We also shift where the reconstruction investment is ‘ending up’ - away from costly materials and transportation - towards the community and local economy.
Creating small business
This technology is very suitable for Nepal as it builds on local production. A small business can be created in the village to manufacture the bricks and build houses. It is especially efficient in villages that has dirt road access, or up to two hours walk from the road, where transportation costs of construction materials is high.
Another very important aspect is that the villagers are all dreaming about brick and concrete houses. Earth Bricks is a way to fulfill that dream for less cost
Why Earth Bricks?
Affordable reconstruction in rural areas
In our projects the locals have completed 3,5-room houses within 500 000 rs, which is significantly cheaper than brick or concrete pillar buildings.
Increasing earthquake resistance and resilience
Earth Bricks is an earthquake resistant technology that has been used for decades in earthquake prone countries around the world (India, Pakistan & Thailand among others). In Nepal 16 schools were built with Earth Bricks prior to the earthquake and all remained undamaged. With thorough training, support and control mechanisms it is possible to ensure a consistent high quality.
Connecting reconstruction with income generation and poverty alleviation
Poverty is rooted much deeper than the lack of housing. Instead of ‘only’ building houses, Earth Bricks also creates income and fights poverty in rural villages. Production of Earth Bricks alone creates 7-12 employment opportunities.
Earth Bricks only generate 13% of the carbon emission compared to country fired bricks, which means that using Earth Bricks will considerably lower the CO2 emission in reconstruction.
How it all works
Blocks made up of soil, sand & cement
Earth Bricks are made of Soil and Sand which is available in most villages. This is stabilized with 10% cement. First the soil is tested then mixed with additional sand and 10% cement.
The soil is carefully prepared
Filtered & mixed, then made moist before compression.
The soiled is poured into the Earth Brick machine
Compression with a lever
Compression is done with a manual machine. The machine can be carried out to remove villages and production of the blocks will be done in the village.
The brick is formed by the compression
A team of 8 people can produce up to 600 blocks per day. (A house will require about 2500 blocks – depending on size)
The walls are reinforced with steel bars
This makes the building resistant to earthquakes as the whole building will be interconnected with both horizontal and vertical reinforcement.
The holes in the blocks are filled with cement mortar
This process uses a lot less cement than normal brick walls.
A solid foundation
A solid foundation is important for an earthquake resistant house and to prevent water from going inside during monsoon. We dig a trench of 60 cm and fill with stone and cement.
School building made by Earth Bricks before the Earthquake
This technology has been recommended for earthquake resistant buildings by the governments of India, Iran and Nepal. In Nepal there are 4 schools of Earth Bricks built in the most severely hit district of Dolkha. All four are standing without a crack when most buildings around are completely destroyed.
This technology is suitable and effective in Nepal. It reduces transportation and breakage and instead creates jobs and economic development in the village.
Training is the key to making strong Bricks & building earthquake resistant
Our team has long experience of working with construction and training in rural Nepal. We have trained more than 40 rural communities. We are now working to transfer these skills to a growing number of rural villages.
The result – earthquake resistant houses & schools that look beautiful: