Auram Block Press

Achievements with the Auram Equipment

All earthen buildings in Auroville have been realised with the Auram equipment: See Earth in Auroville. The Auram press 3000 has been sold to many countries on all continents around the world. But most of the time people who buy the presses do not give any feedback on their achievements. The main feedback which was given to us was about the realizations done in Gujarat, India, for the rehabilitation the zones affected by the massive earthquake, which devastated huge areas of the district of Kutch in January 2001.

A few achievements of the Auroville Earth Institute in various countries

Rehabilitation of Gujarat India: a few thousands of houses built in 2001 after the earthquake

The international charity organisation Catholic Relief Services (CRS) committed itself for assisting several rehabilitation programmes. They built 2,698 houses of various types in 39 villages (houses of 28 to 35 m2 area). They produced about 8 millions hollow interlocking blocks for earthquake resistance and trained/employed more than 2000 people.

The technology with hollow interlocking blocks developed by the Auroville Earth Institute, which is earthquake resistant, has been approved by the Gujarat State Government. 75 presses 3000 have been supplied to Gujarat and some were operating on a continuous double-time-shift basis in the area. The average wet compressive strength achieved with the local soil stabilized with 8-9 % cement using these presses is around 50 kg/cm2 (after 24 hours immersion).

These Auram Presses remained in the villages after the initial construction period was over, and they were meant to set up local production and construction units to help the villages in their ongoing development. The coordination of such a project was done by Architect Mehul Savla, who had been trained previously during one-year training at the Earth Institute. His team did an excellent work and the Auroville Earth Institute assisted them regularly in their works.

Achievements from Earthworks in Gambia

Mr Alpha Jallow,, manager of the company Eathworks, followed a one-month training in Auroville for the production and use of CSEB and building with arches, vaults and domes. Earthworks are producing blocks for sale and they are taking up architectural design, construction contracts and doing consultancy.

Achievements by Ben Ogun in Nigeria

Mr. Ben Ogun,, was trained at Auroville and he went back, assisted by a mason from the Auroville earth Institute to start his company

AnyWay Solutions is a company based in Israel who develops among other things a stabiliser for soil. Their endeavour is not just to develop and market a product which is an alternative to cement but they are looking to propose sustainable and endogenous development with local communities, especially in Africa. AnyWay Solutions sent 2 trainers in Auroville in 2005 and Satprem Maïni went in 2006 to train again more people at Tel Aviv, Israel. Since then there are regular collaborations between AnyWay Solutions and the Auroville Earth Institute. Among their projects we can note:

•    Madagascar, Prison camp Project
In the framework of the “Madagascar Action Plan” (MAP), a rehabilitation programme of prisoners included training in block production and building trades for the construction of housing for teachers. The project was sponsored by Delta Norway Madagascar Ltd.

•    Madagascar, La vitrine Project
The president of Madagascar selected this project called: La Vitrine” where the future technologies and techniques for the MAP would be presented. The project was to build 17,000 houses for teachers and 7,000 classrooms. AnyWay Solutions sent experienced trainers from Israel to train skills of compressed stabilized earth block production and with the trainees they built 1 house and 1 classroom as demonstrations.

•    South Africa, Simunye Project
In collaboration with the Gauteng Economic Development Agency (GEDA), the Sinqobile Community Youth Trust and Desert Star, AnyWay launched its Rural Community Development Plan (RCDP) for the first time in South Africa. The scale of the project was to build 4,000 houses. The manufacturing of blocks for a house was done during December 2006. It was followed by the construction of a demonstration house with the assistance of the Auroville Earth Institute. A section of road was also done by AnyWay Solutions. All activities were done with the active participation of the local community.

•    South Africa, Exxaro’s Project
Concurrent with the expansion of one of its mines in the northern part of South Africa, Exxaro Coal embarked on a demonstration for Breaking new ground that would incorporate also Compressed Stabilized Earth Block stabilised the AnyWay’s products. The scale of the project was to build 600 houses. The project seeks to establish sustainable development through the use of the CSEB technology. Two different demonstration houses were built by AnyWay Solutions with an aim of sustainable and environmentally friendly development.


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