Documents from the Fifth International Ecomaterials Conference

After the success of the Fifth International Ecomaterials Conference, all the papers, posters and presentations are shared here.


Please follow this link: Documents Fifth International Ecomaterials Conference 


All the publications in EcoSur's website are indexed ISSN:
Español: ISSN 1991-587X
English: ISSN 1990-9063

Post disaster reconstruction, 1755 – 2014: Have we really learned any lessons?

Reconstrucción post-desastre 1755-2014: ¿Realmente hemos aprendido algo?

Are there lessons to be learnt from past disaster reconstruction?
This paper looks at two historical events and tries to make bridges to the situation 250 years later. It focuses on two very different events both of which created new ways of dealing with catastrophes, an earthquake that destroyed a world capital and a fire that destroyed a small rural town. While it is difficult to draw lessons from one historical period to another and from one situation to the next, it is disturbing to see that today we seem to be unable to live up to the proclaimed goals “sustainability” and “build back better”whenever a catastrophe hits.

Read more: Post disaster reconstruction, 1755 – 2014: Have we really learned any lessons?

Social housing in Nicaragua: Simplicity with style.

Foto aérea del barrio "Los Ángeles", Malacatoya, Nicaragua

(Originally published in Open House International Vol. 29 No 1 2004 - ISSN 0168-2601, Author: Arq. Kurt Rhyner)

Social Housing in third world countries almos invariabley means uninspired structures lined up in straight rows,, creating monotonous neighborhoods. Only when the inhabitants paint their house and make some enlargements, this begins to change. It is remarkable that such steps towears creating a more varied, more lively, often more beautiful and, ultimately, more humane neighborhood is done without architects, not to say in spite of, or even against the plans of the original designer.

Read more: Social housing in Nicaragua: Simplicity with style.

Experiencies: Dual education for masons

Educación dual

Dual education has received publicity lately. Maybe it is because the countries where this education system has been entrenched for centuries are the countries with high standards of quality in workmanship and at the same time relatively low unemployment rates among youngsters. Manly in Switzerland, Germany and Austria, dual education is the norm. Only some 30% of young Swiss go directly to University, about 70% learn a trade through the official “apprenticeship programs”. Dual education are 2 to 4-year courses, depending on the exigencies of the trade. While car mechanics and architectural draftsmen have to study 4 years, for sales personnel it is only 2. Masons, as most construction trades, have to pass a 3-year course.

Read more: Experiencies: Dual education for masons

EcoMaterials: MicroConcrete Roof tiles and FerroCement Panels

The EcoSur network presents a short professional video on two major technologies, the Ferrocement panels and the Micro Concrete Roofing Tiles. Filmed in Nicaragua and Salvador, it shows production and application and gives a summary overview of those two materials that have a relatively small ecological footprint and have widely proven to be sustainable in the three classical dimensions ecology, economy and social acceptance.

The film is commented in Spanish with summary English subtitles and invites viewers to ask questions, as all publications of the network are open source.

 (English subtitles available in the CC icon)


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Pedro Seijo
Professor of Civil Engineering
Spanish, English
Teaching, ecomaterials workshop management, research (municipal waste)


Molino mezclador de lodo para ladrillos
Earth mill for fired clay bricks - electric motor
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