LEVS-ARCHITECTEN_Jurriaan van Stigt
HYDRAULICALLY PRESSED EARTH BLOCKS (HCEB)
(HCEB) hydraulically pressed earth blocks are produced by a number of mobile presses, developed in collaboration with the Dutch company Oskam. The HCEBs are produced using soil from the construction site, and 20 tons of hydraulic pressure. The machine first finely grinds the soil, after which three percent cement is added. The press each time produces a stone of 8,5kg. This process minimizes production and transportation costs, and reduces environmental impact. In addition, HCEBs are not only sustainably produced: compared to traditional clay, they resist the extreme weather conditions easier and provide an even more comfortable interior climate.
Building with hydraulically compressed earth blocks demands a new approach to architecture and engineering. One of the many benefits is that local materials can be used; another is the earth blocks’ insulating quality, which sustains a comfortable inside climate. The HCEB has a high enough compressive strength that supporting walls can be built from them, even in multiple layers. Dutch architecture has a long tradition in designing brick facades and patterns. The size, natural quality, and other aspects of the brick influence a building’s dimensions. Within the limits it sets, we have learnt to use the HCEB also as a decorative element in the creation of patterns and reliefs. Our buildings are of an increasingly refined architectural expression, integrating traditional settings in a modern way.
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