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Mon August 19 2019

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Cyprus team to develop earth masonry system

6 days A research project recently launched in Cyprus aims to develop a system of compressed earth blocks (CEBs), which will be fabricated using locally sourced materials.

The ‘EarthMasonry’ research project is being carried out by a consortium of two SMEs and the University of Cyprus.

The project aims to develop an environmentally friendly earth masonry system that uses the CEBs. Both experimental and computational research will be carried out develop the system.

It is anticipated that the research will promote the use of sustainable building methods and (ii) the exploitation of local natural resources for the production of construction materials.

The primary objectives include facilitating the production and use of CEBs and demonstrate the feasibility and technical quality of the system. The work is also intended to prepare the way for the SMEs to carry out commercial exploitation of the system to improve their products and services. In addition, the work is aimed at promoting the use of environmentally friendly earthen materials in the building sector, setting the path for further research.

The project will adopt an integrated approach that includes the analysis of the current state-of-the-art, the characterisation of local soils and of existing CEBs, the mix design and testing of new CEB compositions, the production of optimised prototype CEBs and the testing of masonry elements constructed using the proposed units.

The findings of the research programme will be used for the development of a technical guide on CEBs. The team hopes that that the project’s outcomes will become an essential tool for all practitioners – including architects, engineers and contractors - active in the building sector.

The project consortium is made up of:

  • Gigantas Antaios Touvlopiio, which uses a mobile press, for on-site production of CEBs;
  • Between the Lines, an architectural company that specialises in earth buildings both for contemporary construction and for conservation and restoration;
  • University of Cyprus, and in particular the Building Materials and Ledra laboratories.

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