Low-cost Compressed Earth Block Manufacturing Introduced

This October, a group of international business people gathered to observe a portable compressed earth block (CEB) press called the 714 Dynabloc Press co-developed and manufactured by Iowa-based Vermeer Corporation in conjunction with Faith Tech Connect (FTC).  The machine is intended for use in worldwide poverty areas to build low-cost CEB homes and provide jobs in the process.

Terry Butler, managing director of FTC, said, “The ability to network with men and women from all over the world and see their faces as they learned about the earth block technology and the ability to build a home and a business from the dirt under their feet was priceless.”

Butler added, the ability to make a block that becomes as hard as a brick without the negative environmental impact that firing bricks causes was a distinct advantage over cement and brick building materials. CEB walls cost 30% less cost over cement block walls. The ability to employ five people and cover the expense of all the materials and be able to pay for the machine over time excited a lot of prospective buyers. Making a block for as low as $0.23 and being able to cover all material, capital, and overhead expenses convinced many that the use of the machine could go a long way to providing a sustainable business targeted at fighting poverty.

FTC, with Vermeer’s manufacturing contribution, will make the machine available to groups in need and NGOs for the price o $17,000, said engineer and co-designer, John Castings. Many CEB machines run well over $100,000.

The diesel-powered machine can produce a block every 15 seconds. Of interest for remote areas, the machine requires no electricity. A You Tube slide show can be viewed here.

According to FTC marketing information “The Dynabloc Lean Machine (LM714), manufacturing CEBs is easier, quicker, cheaper, and more consistent than ever before. Dynabloc CEBs are made by hydraulically compressing and forming a mixture of soil and stabilizers (less Than 10%) such as Portland cement and/or lime.

“Our unique process and advanced-yet-simple-to-use design uses one-third the material of other processes to produce uniform blocks with consistent length, width, and height. There is no need to oven-fire the blocks, and minimal machine operating skills are required.

“By using the Dynabloc Lean Machine, you save on energy, water, cement, and labor costs, as well as on curing times, while producing blocks at a rate of up to 250 per hour. Since the blocks can be made on-site using readily available materials and local labor, you can also eliminate transport and breakage costs. It all adds up to the strength, stability, and durability of masonry walls, but for as little as half the cost.”

About the Author

Writer, documentary producer, and director. Meyers is a contributor to CleanTechnica, and founder of Green Streets MediaTrain, a communications connection and eLearning hub. As an independent producer, he's been involved in the development, production and distribution of television and distance learning programs for both the education industry and corporate sector. He also is an avid gardener and loves sustainable innovation.
  • Great it is about time a big cooperation join in the development of new CEB machines. Now ordinary people can affort to buy one of this machines.

  • Don

    They should have made it run on something cleaner, such as propane, though. Hopefully some people will use biodiesel in this model.

  • Pingback: Low-cost Compressed Earth Block Manufacturing Introduced – Green Building Elements « Veng Industries Blog()

  • Kinyanjui Mbugua

    Please send to me documentation of the machine. I am interested as find it can do nice work in africa.

  • Joseph Waran Dilly

    What an excellent machine! May I know where I can purchase this machine for use in South Sudan?

  • Fred Pena

    I would love to have the Dynobloc machine, I wonder if Vermeer/FTC is willing to extend that $17000 price to americans as well?

  • milton arcia

    I would like to know where is the most convenient outlet to buy the most basic CEB machine to be operated in Nicaragua.
    what would be the cost including shipping.?

    milton arcia

  • Contact Brad Wells at TSC Global in Denver. bwells@tscglobal.org

  • Hector Zapata

    I have a lot of bentonite + diatomea earth a as subproduct, can I use these with machine? what proportion with sand, gravel?

  • Wan Young

    As a structural engineer with design experience using concrete masonry units(CMU) with rebars, It will be a great news if the products meet the International Building Code(IBC) requirements and can be accepted to be used as an alternative to CMU, especially to retrofit or repair the old Unreinforced CMU, or even in building design in california.

  • Interesting

    Very exciting device for communities in need. I wonder when the private sector begins business interests on the moon, if a device like this would also be used to provide affordable structural support.

  • Matt McLendon

    This was a great article. For anyone interested I am the general manager for a company that manufactures a similar compressed block machine. If anyone wants more information about our machines please visit http://www.aectceb.com. Also feel free to email me at mattmclendon210@gmail.com with any questions.