Development and Performance of Manual Technique Used in Production of Compressed Earth Blocks
Earth block construction is a low energy alternative when compared to conventional building materials, it is cost-effective, eco-friendly and safe. However, the technique of compressing such blocks have been always challenging as it has been typically an automated or semi-automated process that involves high costs. This study is part of a broad research at the American University in Cairo on earth construction materials. The goal of this paper is to develop and assess the performance of in-house designed manual equipment capable of compressing earth blocks that satisfy the strength and construction requirements. First, the equipment was designed and manufactured using locally-available low-cost components that could be readily available for the general public. The performance of this equipment was assessed in terms of studying the compressive strength of the manufactured compressed earth blocks (CEBs) and comparing them to their mechanically manufactured counterparts. Furthermore, the effects of changing the mix designs and varying the block thickness were studied. The performance was further assessed by studying the time taken by a typical user to use the equipment to manufacture compressed earth blocks and assess the productivity of this equipment.
The authors would like to acknowledge the funding received from the American University in Cairo. The authors would also like to acknowledge the efforts of the lab personnel in the Construction Engineering Department at the American University in Cairo.
- Agha, S.: Performance of compressed earth blocks. Master’s thesis. Cairo, Cairo. The American University in Cairo, Egypt (2003)Google Scholar
- Khedr, S., Abou-Zeid, M.N., Agha, S.: Concerns in manufacturing compressed earth blocks. In: Proceedings of the 35th Canadian Society of Civil Engineering Annual General Conference. Moncton, Canada: CSCE (2003)Google Scholar
- New Zealand Standards. NZS 4298: Materials and workmanship for earth buildings. NZS 4298: 1998. Standards New Zealand, Wellington, New Zealand (1998)Google Scholar