Monday, June 15, 2009

Report 2 from Tierra y Cal Compressed Earth Block workshop: Four reasons to make CEB a favored building system in San Antonio

There are lots of building systems available in San Antonio, all have their advantages and disadvantages, here are some reasons for the city to embrace the compressed earth block.

1. The Cadillac of compressed earth block machines is made right here by Advanced Earthen Construction Technology, within the city limits on Hwy 181. The technical expertise is right here. The potential manufacturing jobs are right here as well.

2. Compressed earth blocks require sand and clay. Our position at the intersection of several geologic zones puts both clay and sand nearby. Furthermore the types of sand and clay needed for the blocks are not particularly valuable and are more of a nuisance and by-product to the production of more valuable sand and gravel.

3. To stabilize a block so that it can withstand the direct effects of water and to allow it to breathe, lime is needed. Lime produced as a waste product from coal fired electric plants and acetylene production works just fine. We have both near San Antonio.

4. A breathable stabilized compressed earth block home plastered with exterior lime plaster reflects the sun's energy and cools itself by the phase change effect as documented by John J. Morony. This reduces the need for air-conditioning substantially. It is particularly appropriate for our climate and can be designed with a nod to our Spanish design heritage.

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