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Cinva Ram.

Earth Block Construction
Build your home out of dirt
with Compressed Earth Block (C.E.B.) Construction

Can you build a house dirt cheap? You bet. There are a variety of techniques to build your own home from the soil at hand, including cob construction, adobe, rammed earth, and compressed earth block (CEB) construction. In CEB construction, for example, soil can be compressed into earth bricks with the aid of a Cinva Ram.

The photo here is of Michael Gross with Terra Block Inc. in Orlando, Florida, with a Cinva Ram he built from the Cinva Ram Plan Set.

Compressed Earth Block Homes in Montana
Crow-made homes a reality for reservation's residents
From the Billings Gazette, 10/25/2011

CROW AGENCY - Aaron and Martha Alden stood in the kitchen of their new home on Wednesday morning, happy to be there.

Earthblock home built on the Crow Indian Reservation. Light poured through the south-facing windows into the open, high-ceilinged room that contains the kitchen, dining and sitting areas. A doorway off the main area leads to two bedrooms and a bathroom.

The couple, both enrolled members of the Crow Tribe, moved into the 900-square-foot house on Oct. 13. The blue-and-black house sits on a hillside on the west side of Crow Agency.

"It feels great, and we were fortunate to have a home made by our own people with our own minerals," Martha said. "I'd like to thank God, our creator, and the people who helped build this house."

The energy-efficient home with a sloping roof is the first one completed in the Good Earth Lodges program. The compressed-earth blocks are made from sand and clay mined on the Crow Reservation.

The blocks are produced in a factory on the reservation, one mile south of Hardin, and the home was built by a Crow work crew.

Read more:
Billings Gazette

Cinva Ram Compressed Earth Block Press Plans
by Charmaine Taylor
(No longer available.)

Close-up image of Cinva Ram.

      Charmaine Taylor's Cinva Ram Plan Set is a detailed set of plans for making your own compressed earth block (CEB) press ...aka the Cinva Ram. The photo above is a Cinva Ram manual press made from these plans by Mike Gross, President of Terra-Block Inc., Orlando, Florida.

      This press was developed and engineered in third world countries for manual use. Welding of parts is recommended as part of assembly, and mechanical expertise is necessary to build these block presses. (Be sure to read the Windward Sustainable Community Blog Building the Rammed Earth Brick Machine from Charmaine Taylor's plan set.)

      The Cinva Ram Plan Set contains 30+ printed pages, including 11 detailed pages of plans on heavy cardstock.The plans are sold "as is," with dimensions shown in millimeters, not inches. You will need a CAD or other program if you want to convert millimeters to inches. No lengthy assembly description is given. But there is enough obsevable data from others who have built these manual rams to guide you.

      Also included in the package is the Adobe & Cinva Ram Resource Guide on CD with approximately 3,500+ pages of earth construction related information, plus FULL BOOKS on CEB block press use, brick making, resources, links, and PDF articles on all aspects of natural and alternative construction. This CD includes information and articles about making and building with adobes and earth blocks. Some materials are from the 1930s and 40s, including photos of a compressed earth block ram and its operation to make soil blocks. Information describes soil testing, mixing, additives, curing, plus adobe construction codes, and building with soil blocks.

Here is a sample of the documents included on the Adobe & Cinva Resource CD:

  • Compressed Earth Block (Mardini)
  • Compressed Earth Block (Hydraform)
  • Compressed Earth Block (Balram)
  • Earth Block Technology For The World
  • VITA-CINVA-Ram Block Press
  • Understanding Stabilized Earth Block Construction using the Cinva Ram
  • This Brickmaking Machine Makes Nothing But Money
  • The compressed earth block-Basin 1991
  • Terrablock-CEBs
  • Stabilizers and Mortars for CEBs
  • Stabilized Earth Construction
  • SPORE-1996-Earth fights back
  • Soils for Rammed Earth, Caliche Block
  • Soil Preparation Equipment
  • Aureka Earth Brick Presses
  • Compressed Earth Blocks-Wayne nelson
  • Compressed Earth Block (CEB) Machines
  • CEB vs. Adobe blocks
  • Building materials- earth fights back PDF
  • BASIN 1991-The compressed earth block PDF
  • Basics_of_CEB
  • Making Building Blocks withCinvaRam-VITA
  • NM Code-earth-adobe PDF
  • Manual Minke PDF - 52 PAGE BOOKLET

      The Cinva Ram Planset came in a portfolio that included the plans, CD, and related literature. Unfortunately, this product is no longer available.

See also
Earthbag Construction
Cob Construction
Ceramic Houses

Living Homes: Stone Masonry, Log, and Strawbale Construction
See also: Living Homes: Stone Masonry, Log, and Strawbale Construction.

      Looking for life-changing resources? Check out these books by Thomas J. Elpel:

Green Prosperity: Quit Your Job, Live Your Dreams.
Roadmap to Reality: Consciousness, Worldviews, and the Blossoming of Human Spirit
to Reality
Living Homes: Stone Masonry, Log, and Strawbale Construction
Participating in Nature: Wilderness Survival and Primitive Living Skills.
in Nature
Foraging the Mountain West: Gourmet Edible Plants, Mushrooms, and Meat.
Foraging the
Mountain West
Botany in a Day: The Patterns Method of Plant Identification
in a Day
Shanleya's Quest: A Botany Adventure for Kids

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