Compressed Stabilized Earth Bricks

Student in 1.101: Introduction to Civil and Environmental Engineering Design I at MIT

Cambridge, MA

September-December 2019

As part of the introductory civil engineering lab, I worked with a team of undergraduates to propose a project evaluating the use of different compressed stabilized earth blocks (CSEBs) to build affordable housing in Lusaka, Zambia.

Sample Preparation

1.101 Course Staff

Before testing, we loaded each mixture into a mold...

1.101 Course Staff

...and compressed each sample in an Instron machine

Measurement

After we compressed the bricks, we left them to cure. After curing, we measured each brick.

1.101 Course Staff

We measured the height and diameter of each brick

We weighed each brick

1.101 Course Staff

We then soaked half of the bricks to determine how well they would fare in the event of in the event of flooding, an environmental hazard facing structures in Lusaka.

Testing

All bricks then underwent compression testing.

Nebyu Haile

We performed compression testing on CSEBs with different stabilizer compositions to determine their compressive strengths

Results

At the end of the semester, my team presented our findings to the class and faculty in the MIT Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and submitted a final report.

© Natasha Stamler 2020