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Compressed Soil Blocks


  1. Production Description: Compressed soil blocks are low cost building materials made from clay (20%), silt (30%) and sand (47%) and small amount of cement or lime. The blocks are used for making walls of low cost houses.
  1. Rationale: Considering the wide scale deforestation in the region, the use of compressed soil blocks for building houses could reduce the pressure of the use of wood for constructing houses especially in rural areas. This project idea is to promote the establishment of compressed soil blocks making units in the region. Since the use of compressed soil blocks is to be new in the region, a marketing strategy which could convince potential customer will be essential.


  1. Market Potential: A new product usually faces not problem of demand but a problem of being unfamiliar to the potential customers. Compressed soil blocks if they are demonstrated to be useful for building a house will certainly have enough demand in many localities of the region where there are shortages of wood.
  1. Source of Raw Material: local soils with characteristics mentioned above.
  1. Process and Technology: The soil will be taken out form the round using manual labour and appropriate hand tools; this soil will be mixed with a small amount of cement. The mixed material will be put in to a mixer. Then it will be conveyed by a feeder screw into a press where it is molded into blocks and compressed at 90 bar. Finally the molded blocks are taken out to dry for 2 to 7 days. Main plant and machinery include a mixer, feeder screw, a hydraulic press, a diesel engine and other hand tools such as spades, shovels and wheel barrows.


  1. Estimated Investment: for a plant which will produce about 500,00 pieces, estimated investment will be

§  Shade 200 m2 at Birr 1500/m2                                    50,000

§  Machinery                                                          750,000

§  Working Capital                                                   80,000


  1. Benefits: Decreases the pressure on forest resources of the region and introduces new skills and technology,  


  1. Location: any locality where the required soil is to be found and near major rural settlements.