Technology transfer

Egypt, January 2011

Satprem Maïni, Director of the Auroville Earth Institute (AVEI), and Amandine Haviez, volunteer engineer at AVEI, conducted a two-week training course in Egypt from the 8th to the 20th of January 2011. The first week was about the design of arches, vaults and domes and the second week was about the production of Compressed Stabilised Earth Blocks (CSEB). This training course was requested by the Housing and Building National Research Centre (HBRC), Government of Egypt.


Egypt faces a housing shortage of about 1 million houses in urban areas. HBRC wanted to use the technologies developed by the Auroville Earth Institute to help in solving this deficit. HBRC bought an Auram Press 3000, made in Auroville,  for this training course.

A Memorandum of understanding has been signed between the Auroville Earth Institute and HBRC. This training course was the first step of the technology transfer from the Auroville Earth Institute to Egypt. The second step will be the construction of a demonstration house which will lead, after evaluation, to the construction of 100 housing units.

Satprem also gave a presentation at the Society of Egyptian Architects, Cairo on “Earthen Architecture and Development at the Auroville Earthen Institute”.

After these events at Cairo, Amandine and Satprem went to the South to Upper Egypt to visit the Ramasseum, the memorial temple of Ramses II, built around 1,300 BC in the 19th Dynasty on the west bank of Luxor. The stone temple had been severely damaged by the years but the interest for Satprem was to see the oldest mud vaults in the world. These vaults were the magazines of the temple and they were built about 3,300 years ago with adobe, the sun dried mud blocks. About 1/4 of the vaults remained in good shape after all this time.

The trip back from Luxor to Cairo had several incidents but Amandine and Satprem could reach the Cairo airport safely and came back to Auroville only one day later than planned.


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