Ecomaterials is a word created by EcoSouth to define construction materials that are ecologically and economically viable. We promote the use of traditional technologies that use local materials, but also new interpretations and developments, nonetheless, at times it is difficult to encounter methods and traditional customs en some places, as the propaganda for industrial products has marginalized many popular solutions.
Local artesans have been placed in a defensive position and the population harbors doubts concerning the use of traditional materials and technologies. For decades, universities have concentrated upon the “modern” materials such as steel and cement, and have disregarded clay and other lost-cost materials. Besides, government have created construction regulations that, de facto, prevent a majority of their citizens to build houses. The manual and decentralized production of material places is in danger as the manufacture of construction materials is with large companies in the urban areas.
EcoSouth experts seek to encounter the prime material of a particular place and combine them with known technologies, when possible from the same region. However, at times it is necessary to transfer knowledge from one place to another, even from one continent to another. Nevertheless, this can never be reduced to “applying a recipe”, it has to be a creative combination that takes into account technical, social and economic factors. Sometimes the solution is quickly evident, but a time it requires an intensive analysis of certain prime material in order to assess its feasibility.
EcoSouth works intensively with traditional technologies such as stone masonry, clay (adobe) and brick, the efficient burning of clay bricks, small-scale lime burning, as well as construction of vaulted roofs. Also important is the research and development of new products, based upon antique knowledge.
Small-scale production of MicroConcrete Roofing tiles (MCR) is an impressive success, and EcoSouth continue to be the world leader in this technology. At the moment, small production units that manufacture alternative cement have begun to position themselves in the market.