This is a commercial (proprietary/patented) system by the Texan company Earthco for building very large blocks of compressed earth, called "Megablock". It produces very large blocks (weight ~1 metric ton) that are much larger than the typical brick-sized CEB. This technology is therefore somewhat of an intermediate between rammed earth and CEBs (see videos below). In the video linked below, the company's CEO said that he had plans for even larger blocks of up to 10 tons, but it doesn't appear that this was ever realized. They can be used for buildings but the possibilities also include other types of walls, roads, other infrastructure.
- for rapid assembly of massive load bearing earthen walls for residential, commercial, or military applications.
- collaboration with Texas Tech University
- converts local subsoil into giant modular units called Giant Compressed Earth Blocks (GCEB) by extrusion
- uniform in both the height and width dimension and variable in length: measures 18” wide by 12” tall by over 14’ long
- Larry Williamson: "We're fire proof, tornado proof, sound proof, insect proof, rodent proof, you name it. And we're the healthiest and most earth friendly system on the planet!"
Abstract from EarthUSA 2011 meeting
Author: Larry Williamson - Texas, USA
Title: "Mechanizing Earthen Construction --- The EarthCo Megablock process"
Abstract: The EarthCo Megablock process is a new next-generation regenerative construction system that represents a quantum leap in modernizing earthen construction by eliminating the main drawback of traditional earthen construction techniques, the high manual labor requirement. EarthCo’s process eliminates up to 90% of the manual labor by utilizing a mechanical system to carry and place our giant blocks. EarthCo’s process is based upon turning local earthen materials (free if located on-site and eliminates most shipping costs) into giant modular units called EarthCo Megablocks. EarthCo Megablocks can be 18” wide by 12” tall by any desired length (usually < 16 feet) and can weigh upwards of 1 ton each, which makes possible a simple stacking procedure that yields a rapid method of construction. An EarthCo Megablock wall system provides excellent protection from severe weather events, cannot burn, rot or decay, naturally breathes for excellent indoor air quality, does not support mold and mildew growth, is highly rodent and insect resistant, is an excellent sound insulator, and provides excellent thermal mass for passive solar designs. EarthCo’s process is also extremely environmentally friendly, featuring a closed loop material cycle, low embodied energy costs and excellent life cycle assessment costs and should prove excellent for construction of affordable, zero energy carbon neutral housing.
Related Pages / Product Ecology
- The blocks might benefit from a layer of Lime plaster for protection
- Insulation with "hempcrete"
- These blocks might be good for Nature-Integrated Homes, and have lower embodied energy than the structures of concrete and reinforced steel designed by Malcolm Wells
- US Patent #7,311,865: "Block-ramming machine"
- Earthco Building Systems - (website expired but product may still be available).
- CEO Larry Williamson is on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/larry-williamson-155b6311
- presentation: "Design and Development of a Large-Scale Compressed Earth Block Building System for Developed Countries"