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close this book Appropriate building materials
close this folder Examples of building systems
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Adobe brick house


Special properties

Improved traditional building system

Economical aspects

Low to medium costs



Skills required

Traditional construction skills

Equipment required

Formwork for bricks and concrete, building equipment

Resistance to earthquake


Resistance to hurricane


Resistance to rain

Depends on soil stabilization

Resistance to insects

Medium to good

Climatic suitability

All except extremely hot dry climates

Stage of experience

Increasing applications


• This building system was implemented in a housing development project in El Salvador, Central America, initiated by GATE and conducted by the Institute for Tropical Building, Starnberg, Federal Republic of Germany, headed by Dr.Ing. Georg Lippsmeier.

• The aim was to improve the earthquake resistance of traditional adobe brick houses, by self-help methods and with little additional costs.

• The improvements were: strengthening of the site-produced mud bricks by adding lime; providing reinforced concrete foundations and ring beams; rigid connection between roof and supporting walls.

Further information: GATE, Postfach 5180, 6236 Eschborn, Federal Republic of Germany; Bibl. 00.18, 24.01.

Construction Details of Wall, Ring Beam and Roof (Bibl. 24.01)