Why Compressed Earth Block

by Dan Powell

     One of the greatest joys in my life is traveling to different parts of the world and training local labor to both operate our machinery as well as building a home. To see the light come on and the hope that is sparked is extremely gratifying. One of our goals is to create micro businesses all over the world including the US. We have a great need to create manufacturing not only in this country but nearly everywhere else and what better way than to use a resource that is in our own backyard! Most sub soils have enough clay to make a block, we need at least 25%, and if they are not on site they can usually be found fairly close. Micro businesses can build homes, sell block, and become the training agent for more micro businesses. If you personally desire or know of an organization that desires to actually help people build a community and a life, to create wealth by using their own resources while building a sustainable, economically viable product we would like to help you make that happen.

The use of adobe brick in construction has typically been reserved for either high end homes, and very low end homes (because adobe allows for owner construction as well as creation of materials) This has resulted in a limited market for builders as well as limiting home quality for the mid range homeowner who would love to own a legacy home.

With the growing concerns about environmentally friendly (green) construction in the areas of health and resources as well as the increasing cost of wood, concrete and steel products and their respective environmental concerns, this new source of building material is becoming an increasingly important addition to the industry.


To accommodate these concerns the use of earth construction, and compressed earth block in particular, has moved to the front of the line in fulfilling all the requirements of the industry.

   Super Quiet

   Earthquake Resistant

   Earth friendly construction

   Common availability of resources

   Tornado and Hurricane resistant

   Bullet proof

   Fire resistant

   Energy efficient

   Ease of construction

   Super comfortable


With the use of compressed earth block we can alleviate much of the extra cost usually associated with Earth construction. Because the blocks are precise and customizable and with the exterior walls are 12" or more we can eliminate the wall insulation AND the need for skilled masons.


"This is not necessarily true of other block presses. Vertical presses do not allow for dry stacking, which is much less expensive, because the block height is not uniform. Any claim to the affirmative is untrue, the reason is that a uniformly dense block SYSTEM is dependent upon the pressures applied to the block and any attempt to limit the size in the press direction will result in an uneven press. Therefore mortar is required to level the courses creating more expense in materials, labor,  more embodied energy in Portland usage and less resistance to earthquakes and high wind forces." (for a longer version of this go to "horizontal vs. vertical"


  So what we have now is a thermally stable, energy efficient, quiet, bullet proof home that will last for centuries instead of a few decades.

Another aspect of compressed earth block to consider is wall construction time.  For a 2000 square-foot ranch, and a crew of 6, it would take 5 to 7 days. We can produce block nearly year round as long as the dirt isn't frozen and although the construction time will be longer in the winter, a light freeze will not affect your project using a mortarless system.  Also, we can produce fully stabilized block for wetter locations as well as those required by code.

So the Question is:

Would you rather have a home that is truly GREEN and still obtainable?

Would you like to participate in an opportunity to build lives?

We have many configurations of machinery available to accommodate most individual needs as well as machine owners in most areas.

For more information email me at: dan@adobemachine.com