Compressed Earth Blocks
Compressed Earth Blocks
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The compressed earth blocks, though commonly referred to as CEB, is a manufactured construction material formed by mechanically pressing that forms appropriate mix of clay and dirt to form a compressed block - Compressed Earth Blocks introduction. In the creation of the CEBs, it differs in several ways but have different uses. This can be as large as those making the whole wall with a single block. CEB are installed on to the wall by hands and a soupy mix of the same clay mix is applied between the blocks for bonding. In the traditional way, there is no need for using the mortar as everything is done by hands.
The advancement in the CEB in to the construction has been motivated by the construction of the compressing machines for mechanical presses. It has been voted being the best way as it has several advantages compared to disadvantages for it being the most eco-friendly and attracting more acceptance from different groups of people.
In the United States, most contractors uses the CEB for building as the manufacturers of the mechanical compressing machines enjoy heavy sales in the US and in other countries overseas.
Besides being eco-friendly, it has other advantages that include the low cost of production, fire protection, sound proofing and aesthetically pleasing. (Houben, 1993)
Benefits of CEB
CEBs have several benefits compared to other structural building blocks. It has been emphasized that building with the materials that would protect and preserve the world we live in as more benefits to the environment and those who live around it.
The use of the compressed earth blocks is cheaper compared to other blocks. Its found to be cheaper to about 40% compared to other convectional blocks and systems. Earth blocks are made on the building site thus saving any probable transport cost and braking of the already blocks that have been accounted for. While constructing ECBs, there is no need of heavy machines to drill the ground to reach the block table that would be used to make blocks. The owner would use less energy for the cooling systems as the earth blocks have capability of holding large thermal energy that cools the house and warms alternatively saving the owner about 14% of the energy cost. (Houben, 1994)
Making the compressed earth blocks is a non-toxic process. The house made from these blocks is regarded as clean as there are no composite structures but only those that are man made. The modern materials that are used in construction are full of toxic gases and chemicals that are hazardous to the occupants and the community while the buildings that are constructed with earthen materials are eco-friendly.
The earth materials are stronger compared to the convectional concretes blocks therefore forming a stronger wall saving more compared to other blocks that would require metal and concrete beams therefore saving more. Most of the ancient structures that stand up to to day are made of the earth blocks proofing that they are durable compared to convectional blocks.
Earth blocks are fire resistance, bullets and bugs proof therefore increasing the in house security for the occupants and increasing comfort. The earth blocks forms a sound proof as no any sound can penetrate in them due to their density thus forming an added attraction.
The use of earth blocks gives an opportunity to explore endless creative structural designs. Their different colors can be used to beatify the environment especially for the living room as well as the exterior structures which are also given weather resistance. Earth materials improve and develop the occupants’ feel of comfort and beauty.
Funding resources and strategies
The funding resources for the construction of the ECB are from different and diverse areas. The funding may include the contribution from the stake holders in the company. These contributions may range from initial contributions that could be contributed to start the company as well as supporting the company. On the other hand the company may apply for business loan from the government and other financial institutions.
Since the company is small and young, it may be hard for it to join the stock market as it has no enough experience in the market that would build confidence to investors. (Olivier, 1987)
The following is the break even analysis and the forecast for the business for the next two year
Fixed cost = $150,000
Variable unit cost = $9
Expected unit sales = 15 million units
Unit price = $10
Total variable cost (Expected unit sales * variable unit cost) =$135,000,000
Total cost (Fixed cost + Total Variable Cost) = $285,000
Total revenue (Expected unit sales * unit price) = $150,000,000
Profit (Total revenue – Total cost) = $15,000,000
Cash inflow ($)
Cash balance 200 000 250 000
Opening stock 60 000 80 000
Cash sales 6 700 000 7 000 000
Net profit after tax 1 558 500 1 722 500
Cash out flow:
Expenses ($) 2008 2009
Purchases 1 50,000 155 000
Salaries 213 000 214 000
Rent 60 000 60 000
Fuel 13 000 14 000
Water 2 000 3 000
License 2 000 2 000
Repairs 1 500 2 000
Office expenses 3 000 3 000
Advertisement 2 000 2 000
Tax (30%) 67,650 73 800
Start up cost $
Opening Balance 200 000
Purchases 1 500 000
Salaries 2 130 000
Rent 600 000
Fuel 130 000
Water 20 000
License 20 000
Office Expenses 30 000
Advertisement 20 000
Total start up cost 4 560 000
Monthly Budgets $
Salaries 177 500
Rent 50 000
Fuel 130 000
Water 10 833
Office Expenses 2 500
Total 370 833
2 year sales figure
Sales ($) 2008 2009
Cash sales 6 700 000 7 000 000
Market Share data
The following figure illustrate the expected market share of the brand within two years
Main selling points
In the United States, the CEBs strongest market is the New Mexico. The state has incorporated the CEBs building method in to its earth building code family. This code was developed in a meeting that was held on December, 12, 2001. The people who attended the meeting are currently regarded as leading experts in the field. These people include Fermin Aragon, Tibbets Joe, Larry Elkins and Jim Hallock among others. These code woke was completed in June 2002 and was melded in the New Mexico’s section R1100 Earthen Building Materials.
The CEB code had some difference from the adobe code in several ways. The CEB allows the produced block to go direct to the wall but the adobe code does not allow any produced block to go to the wall without having gone through a series of checks by the experts. (Mukerji, 1988)
The main selling point of the ECB in the United States is New Mexico, Colorado, Arizona, California and Texas though there is other emerging markets in other countries especially the third world countries.
Houben, H. 1993, Earth Construction. A comprehensive guide, Publications, London, United Kingdom
Houben, H. 1994, compressed earth blocks: production equipment. CDI-Centre for the Development of Industry, Brussels, Belgium
Mukerji, K. 1988, Product Information: Soil Blocks Presses, Eschborn, Germany
Norton, J. 1986, Building with Earth, A Handbook. IT Publications, London, United Kingdom,
Olivier, M. 1987, Raw earth construction: the French equipment. Villefontaine, France,