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HiLoTec Development of a Sustainable Self-Construction System for Developing Countries


Throughout centuries, earth-walled buildings have housed more people than any other building material has. It is just in recent centuries, that this ancient building technique has been replaced by new building materials. Nevertheless, more than a third of the world's population still lives in adobe houses. In third world and developing countries more than half of the population lives in earth structures.

Until today, most of these constructions are built without technical specifications and in an environmental unsustainable way. Also, the poor response of some of these buildings under seismic loading, has shun the further development of these technique. And as the world population grows, it is in these countries that cheaper and environmental sustainable construction systems are more necessary than ever. This work aims to the study of dry-stack interlocking compressed earth blocks. This construction technique can be an improvement of current practice in seismic countries, focusing mainly on houses for Malawi. The goal is to develop technical specifications which can later be implemented in building codes.

More information at HiLoTec website

Date: 2010-2013

Partner institutions: Mota-Engil