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Compressed earth block (CEB) construction: a viable building alternative for Olancho, Honduras




Brown, Milt, author
Lopez Del Puerto, Carla, advisor
Nobe, Mary, committee member
Vaske, Jerry, committee member

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The second deadliest Atlantic hurricane on record, a category 5 Cape Verde tropical wave storm with sustained winds of 180 mph, named Hurricane Mitch, swept through the small country of Honduras in October of 1998. Across the country, the storm destroyed 33,000 houses, damaged 50,000 others, and destroyed 70-80% of the road infrastructure. Many countries and organizations responded to the immediate housing crisis to rebuild these homes in the more populated and accessible regions of Honduras. Survivors in the mountain regions, however, were left to rebuild on their own with limited resources and technology. This study investigated 30 residents of the region of La Union de Capapan to explore their acceptance of compressed earth block as an alternative building material to more conventional building methods utilized. The researcher collected participant responses through a convenience-sample questionnaire to determine attitudes, perceptions and knowledge of earth building techniques. Through this qualitative study it was expected that a theory about material selection, preferred building methods and attitudes towards them would emerge. The results indicated the majority of the survey population was receptive to CEB as an alternative method to current building practices and further expressed interest in learning more about this technology. A valid point has been made that earth construction done properly would be a viable building method in any culture for any economic class (Zumi, 2010).


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