Alternative Construction Technology

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3D Printing

A2 UG Designers & Builders

3D Printers facilitate visualization and concept development by accelerating the production of physical models of building designs.
The potential of the technology to accelerate the production of housing on a large scale to meet urgent housing needs, can not be underestimated. A2Ug conducts research in this field to further enable our clients to visualize their building designs.

Composite Slabs

Composite Slab

These are suspended floors that utilize combinations of timber beams, profile sheets, plywood, steel reinforcement and high strength concrete in small amounts to achieve structurally sound but lighter and cheaper than conventional slabs.
Conventional slabs tend to utilize a lot of reinforcement and large volumes of concrete which make them heavy and expensive, while also making the entire structure heavier, more complex right from the foundation and hence more expensive. This puts many people off even the smallest of suspended floors.
Further research shows that by replacing temporary formwork like timber boards with permanent form work like profile sheets and plywood, less concrete and reinforcement is needed in the suspended slab achieving more cost effective slabs. This can theoretically enable more efficient use of land space by building vertically while not incurring a big increment in construction costs.
Well-designed composite slabs on rammed earth walls can yield very affordable small storied structures.

Interlocking Soil Blocks(ISSB)


These building blocks interlock with each other and do not require mortar in wall construction. Hence they can be used to reduce the costs of wall construction for both one level structures and concrete frame multi-level structures.
Research shows that the structural properties of well selected murrum soil are improved by mixing it with cement, then the damp mixture is placed in a manual “issb” press machine to produce the blocks one by one.

If well made, walls built with these blocks may not require thick coats of cement/sand plaster to finish them and may not require to be painted. This can help reduce project construction costs.
If you are a serial developer or intend to build a chain-store of similar low-cost buildings like homes, shops, schools, hospitals etc, go with ISSB technology. ISSB are a great, eco-friendly alternative to the commonly used burnt bricks in Africa. #ISSB #GreenTechnology #EcoHomes #LowCostHousing

Prefabricated Houses

Prefab House

Structural components and major components of a building like floors, walls, beams, ceilings and roofs are made away from site and assembled on site to achieve complete buildings much sooner than building on site.
The main advantages of pre-fabricated units lie in the fast construction schedules, strict adherence to technical specifications and the unlikelihood of variation in project construction costs. #PrefabHousing

Rammed Earth Technology

Rammed Earth

This technology utilises well selected murrum soil that gets packed into formwork and moulds to form walls, arches and roofs. The formwork may be discarded or remain a lifelong part of the structure like in Architect Nader Kalili’s “Earthbag technology”( The soil used can be stabilized by adding cement to it to improve it’s compressive properties. Straw and saw dust have also been used in history to improve the chemical and mechanical properties of soil used in rammed earth technology.

Barbed wire can be used to improve tensile properties in “Earthbag technology”, acting as the mortar between the “courses” of bags packed with soil. The walls can be covered with a stabilized soil plaster and painted with lime or paint.

By replacing more expensive construction material like burnt bricks, cement and sand, with the most naturally occurring material, soil, this technology manages to be cheaper than most conventionally accepted construction technologies. Because of these economies, rammed earth has been used in various forms throughout history.
For more information and plans based on rammed earth technologies visit Earth Bag Building.

We think “Finn-Builder” technology Finn-Builder is a brilliant adaptation of rammed earth technology.
#LowCostHousing #GreenTechnology