Rammed Earth Blocks, research for Oxfam GB

The speaker presented his research on rammed earth blocks, undertaken for Oxfam GB. Recognising significant previous work on stabilised earth blocks, but also opportunities presented by new equipment, Gordon centered his presentation on reintroducing older technology to current building practise in transitional settlement environments.

Excerpts from discussions

NB: The following excerpts are from notes by Shelter Centre volunteer rapporteurs.  The extracts are for general interest and do not necessarily represent the views either of the majority of the participants of the Shelter Meeting, or of Shelter Centre.

"I looked at bricks after the Gujarat earthquake: there is a time issue. We had 60 machines going for 3 years, with 10 people per machine, and we did up to 600 blocks per day. 5 days for enough blocks for one house. The blocks had holes in to receive reinforcement. The blocks only travelled about 7 miles. If global construction industry doesn't pick this up, it will stay as a niche market. They need to lobby the construction industry, and get the machines into the builders merchants to increase familiarity and uptake."

"I learnt about rams in the '70s. In the late '60s there was a lot of thought about this kind of construction and it seems to have been lost and is now being reinvented again. We should get it out and get it published"