Edition 22 - October 2006

There is no good or bad material, just material well used or badly used

Straw Bale in China Straw bale construction can be an excellent solution, but at the same time it is important to recognize that it is not an easy technology and the possibility to commit fatal errors are great. During a study visit to a project of rural construction in the north-east of China, bordering Siberia, much was learned about this technology as well as the opportunity to have seen interesting and good applications of it. 

Read more: There is no good or bad material, just material well used or badly used

Roofs that resist hurricanes: The case of Isabela de Sagua

Hurricane-proof roofs CIDEM is playing an important role in response to the recurrent hurricanes in Cuba. It's involved in a reconstruction process with a strategy to establish EcoMaterials production workshops in the municipalities so they can respond immediately to the population that wants to repair their houses. 

Read more: Roofs that resist hurricanes: The case of Isabela de Sagua

Course for masonry instructors

Curso de Instructores en Nicaragua The first course for masonry instructors in which colleagues from Nicaragua, Ecuador and Switzerland participated, was held in Diriamba, Nicaragua in August. During the past few years Grupo Sofonias has been implementing a program for masonry apprenticeships in some of their social housing projects in Nicaragua and Ecuador. The apprentices have been developing their skills by actually building the houses and have been evaluated for the finished product as well as in specific courses designed and implemented by Bernardo Rhyner from SofoSuiza. From this experience came the idea to standardize the courses and the practical instruction of masonry apprentices in order to obtain the same or similar quality in different countries.

Read more: Course for masonry instructors

The first experience of Campus EcoSur

sm_campus As a result of the seminar "constructions with earth", in Havana, Cuba in November 2005, EcoSur assumed the commitment to create the "virtual campus of EcoMaterials", as a medium to develop events and programs of formal and informal learning. The reflections of the participants in the aforementioned event clearly indicated that development of earth construction technologies and its becoming more mainstream requires implementation of an investigative and scientific process, as well as an aggressive system of capacitation at all levels: university, secondary and local population. 

Read more: The first experience of Campus EcoSur

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Consultants

Víctor Martínez
Honduranian
Civil Engineer
Spanish.
MCR tiles, instruction, quality control, project management.

Humour

Videos

In 2005, SofoNic has started a dual education program for masons in Nicaragua, using its house-building programs as a base. Teaming up with the local technical school in Jinotepe they are graduating about ten masons every year since. Most f them have found jobs in construction or have started a business on their own. SofoNic has contracted several of them as master masons in the reconstruction programs in Haiti.