Rammed earth structures make great use of local and sustainable construction materials, but pressing and curing each layer can be tough to do for small-scale contractors or do-it-yourself types.
Hence, this ingenious portable hydraulic press from MecoConcept, which can pump out finished blocks in thirty seconds right on site. Set on wheels, the brick-making machine can be moved along as needed, requiring only one person to work it at a time.
Styled after LEGOs, each pressed-mud building block is shaped with bumps and grooves on each surface for easy stacking and side-by-side placement. Seismic-resident, stackable up to two stories, these simple bricks pack a lot into a small unit.
The device itself is in early-phase limited production, available for rent or sale (at least in France), ?and potentially very practical for certain kinds of projects (imagine: simple backyard sheds, emergency shelters and the like). Of course, in wet and cold climates, adding aggregates and admixtures may be a must.
As with any DIY masonry system, issues of insulation are addressed (or not) by the core material, namely: the dirt, clay or other dug-up mixture one has on hand. However, water barriers and other typical-building concerns may have to be addressed in other ways.
“MecoConcept was born from our experience in building around the world in humanitarian missions. The original idea was to design a building system to meet the logistical and economic needs of NGOs by using local materials and building high quality buildings at low cost. MecoConcept is a young innovative company Toulouse, France and was established in October 2008.”
“The MecoConcept method of construction is fun, economical and ecological. MecoConcept designs, manufactures, and sells the machines and the know how to make compressed earth blocks and bricks. Transfer of this knowledge is at the heart of our buisness. MecoConcept takes part in protecting the environment. Using green building architecture and natural materials from the environment, we can now build a house that is respectful to the environment.”
“MecoConcept thus provides a concrete answer to the problem of the environmental impact of buildings for the preservation and well being of future generations.”