Earthen Architecture Resource Centre

This resource centre aims to collect information for building cities with appropriate and sustainable technologies. It has samples of appropriate building materials and technologies, plus a range of books, slides, photos and videos on appropriate building technologies and energy sources. It includes:

  • A Building Material Resource Centre, with about 300 samples of earth-based materials, and various other products.
  • A Technology Resource Centre, with about 45 samples of earth-based technologies and various appropriate technologies like ferrocement.
  • A Library with more than 2,600 books, over 45,000 digital photos on earth architecture and appropriate building technologies, energy sources, and about 30 videos on appropriate building technologies.

Collection of Soil Samples from Around the World

Today, 357 soil samples from 90 countries are displayed in glass jars at our premises:

The Auroville Earth Institute has been collecting soil samples from all over the world since many years. It was primarily started for technical reasons to identify the soil qualities of the world, and to show the different textures and colours of soil from around the world. But we also collect them as a testimony of Human Unity, as Auroville aims, among other things, to reach this goal. During the foundation ceremony of Auroville on the 28th February 1968, representatives from 124 nations and 23 States of India dropped a handful of soil from their homeland into an urn at the centre of the future township as a symbol of unity.

AsiaBhutan, China, Japan, Nepal, Tibet
Central AsiaAfghanistan, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Pakistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan
South AsiaAustralia, Bangladesh, Burma, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Korea, Maldives, New Zealand, New Caledonia, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam
AfricaAlgeria, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central Africa, Djibouti, Egypt, Ethiopia, Gambia, Kenya, Libya , Madagascar, Malawi, Maurice Island, Mauritania, Malta, Morocco, Niger, Nigeria, Uganda, South Africa, Tanzania, Tunisia, Zaire
EuropeAustria, Belgium, Cyprus, Denmark, England,France, Germany, Greece, Holland, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Scotland, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey
North AmericaCanada, USA
South AmericaArgentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Haiti, Mexico, Nicaragua, Peru, Uruguay
Middle EastDubai, Iran, Israel, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Yemen

You are most welcome to send some samples, either for analysis or for contributing to this collection.

AVEI Library

Located in a sunny corner of the Auroville Earth Institute’s main office, the library provides a wide selection of informational resources for the benefit of staff, students, and visitors. Materials range from architectural surveys, curriculum and manuals from the AVEI and other institutions, guides to sustainable living, in-depth manuals on different building techniques, theses in architecture and engineering, and resources about Auroville and its history. The catalogue is searchable online and interested individuals are welcome to visit the Institute to consult these resources.


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