The first steel manual press which has been produced in the world in the 1950’s was the Cinvaram. It was the result of a research programme for a social housing in Colombia to improve the hand molded & sun dried brick (adobe). This press could get regular blocks in shape and size, denser, stronger and more water resistant than the common adobe.
Since then many more types of machines were designed and many laboratories got
specialized and skilled to identify the soils for buildings. Many countries in Africa as well as South America, India and South Asia have been using a lot this technique.
The soil, raw or stabilized, for a compressed earth block is slightly moistened, poured into a steel press (with or without stabilizer) and then compressed either with a manual or motorized press. CSEB can be compressed in many different shapes and sizes. For example, the Auram press 3000 proposes 18 types of molds for producing about 70 different blocks.
Compressed earth blocks can be stabilized or not. But most of the times, they are stabilized with cement or lime. Therefore, we prefer today to call them Compressed Stabilized Earth Blocks (CSEB).
The Verite hall in Auroville constructed by Raman construction used CSEB.
SUSTAINABILITY AND ENVIRONMENTAL FRIENDLINESS OF CSEB
• Earth is a local material and the soil should preferably extracted from the site itself or not transported too far away
• Earth construction is a labour-intensive technology and it is an easily adaptable and transferable technology.
• It is a cost and energy effective material.
• It is much less energy consuming than country fired bricks (about 4 times less).
• It is much less polluting than country fired bricks (about 4 times less).