OSKAM, and its partners LEVS and TNO, are convinced that housing made of Cement-less Compressed Earth Blocks (CCEB), entirely based on local resources, is a viable and energy efficient solution to the growing housing demands in West Africa. By excluding cement and other materials produced at temperatures higher than 1000°C, and using an innovative binder developed by TNO and a mini-calciner developed by Oskam, the impact on costs and environmental loads (CO2 emissions) is greatly reduced. The project team envisions a future in which houses will be built with only local resources by the local population using compact and mobile machinery, therefore also improving local working conditions and economy.
The survey of local resources in Senegal confirmed that sufficient local and cheap (waste) resources are available to make a 100% local Cementless Compressed Earth Block as our preliminary tests on 8 local resource types (5 of which are waste streams) showed a promising match with the physico-chemical properties required. Four of the 8 resources are a candidate to replace cement and perform as a soluble component in a cementless binder without prior heat treatment. The other four resources are a candidate to replace cement after a prior heat treatment (calcination) at temperatures lower than 1000 °C. Three of the eight can - next to form a binder - also be used in a coarser form as the skeleton that fills up the largest part of the compressed block and which is held together by the binder. All of the resources are (environmentally) safe and 6 of the 8 are available in large enough quantities without compromising other industries.