A mix of conventional and experimental blocks for use in the destacamento.

The plan to make a building block that is cost effective and will be more environmentally sound while still having high tensile strength. This project is taking place from May 25th to July 5th and will take place in Las Malvinas a community in Santo Domingo. The group will be basing their blocks from rice husks and coconut husks so that the blocks can sustain the weather and pressure while still being environmentally sound.

Background[edit | edit source]

The alternative block project location is in Las Malvinas, a community outside of the main section of Santo Domingo. Our team is made of two Humboldt State students and we are taking classes in UNIBE. The block project that the group is conducting is made so that the community in Las Malvinas can create a more inexpensive and sustainable block that will later be used by a local company to substitute regular commercial building blocks.

Objective[edit | edit source]

The objective of this project is to recreate a cinder block made from products other than solely concrete. This new block must also be more cost and environmentally effective while still being able to withstand the climate and natural disasters that occur in the Dominican Republic.

Criteria[edit | edit source]

Below is a table of the criteria used to evaluate project components and make decisions.

Criteria Constraints Our Weight (0-10)
Aesthetics Must resemble local architecture. 7
Production Cost Must cost less than regular cinder blocks. 10
Durability Must withstand weather and pressure. 10
Material Locality Must attain materials near or within Las Malvinas. 7
Reproducibility Ease to reproduce products. 9
Safety Must be safe both structurally and in the process of creation 10
Community Involvement Must include the local community members in the creation of this project 8
Environmental Impact Blocks should have a smaller footprint than concrete blocks 7

Literature Review[edit | edit source]

See our Literature Review for relevant research completed for this project.

Budget Tables[edit | edit source]

The budget tables will include 3 different types of table which are for the purpose of replicating the blocks, the overall cost of manufacturing the blocks, and the research cost.

Quantity Material Source Cost (RD$) Total ($)
4 bags Cement Bag Block factory in Las Malvinas 250 /
8 wheelbarrow Sand Block factory in Las Malvinas 120 /
10 sacks Rice hulls Destileria "La Isabella" / /
Total Cost $246.60

Timeline[edit | edit source]

"Thursday June 19, 2014"

  • Used initial materials gathered and made first batch of blocks.
  • After making blocks cleaned coconuts for upcoming batch and smashed coconuts to size of gravel used in mixes.
  • Finished digging trenches for the police station foundation.

"Considerations for Next Batch"

  • Use less water. Mixture was very wet and would produce better results out of the press by using 8-9 gallons of water instead of 12.
  • Use a better sifter for the ash. Most large particulates were filtered out but some larger pieces of hardened concrete were in the mix.

"Friday June 20, 2014"

  • Acquired two 55 gallon drums of sawdust from a coffin maker next to the block factory. Soaked the sawdust in water and a bag of lime per drum overnight for use the next day in blocks.
  • Tied rebar for foundation in the Destacimento.

"Saturday June 21, 2014"

  • Acquired more coconuts for use in future mixes for blocks.
  • Made two batches of sawdust blocks. One using sawdust as a aggregate replacement and a second using sawdust and the coconut shells as aggregate replacements. Cracking occurred in only a few blocks and the workers were optimistic about the quality of the blocks.
  • Continued to dig trenches and tied rebar for the Destacimento.

"Monday June 23, 2014"

  • Tied rebar for the Destacimento.
  • Smashed coconut for future batches

"Tuesday June 24, 2014"

  • Acquired 157 lbs of newspaper from Listin Diario. Tore newspaper for 2 hours with the help of children from the community and the group working on the Destacimento.
  • Acquired a 55 gallon drum to soak the newspaper.
  • Poured concrete at the Destacimento.

"Wednesday June 25, 2014"

  • Pupled paper by hand and put out for drying.

"Thursday June 26, 2014"

  • Pulped more paper by hand and put out for drying.
  • Shelled and smashed coconuts.
  • Poured more concrete at Destacimento.

"Friday June 27, 2014"

  • Acquired 1 barrel of sawdust from the coffin maker.

"Saturday June 28, 2014"

  • Made 5 different batches of blocks. 1 coconut, 2 sawdust, and 2 paper.

"Sunday June 29, 2014"

  • Checked on the progress of the bricks made the day before.
  • Laid brick for walls at the Destacimento.

"Tuesday July 1, 2014"

  • Tested blocks at UNIBE

"Wednesday July 2, 2014"

  • Worked on presentation for Thursday

"Thursday July 3, 2014"

  • Presentation at UNIBE

Prototypes[edit | edit source]

Ingredient Type of measurement Soviet Blocks Cococrete Papercrete Papercrete w/Gravel Sawdust #1 Sawdust #2
Sand Wheel Barrow 0.6 0.5 0.8 2.2 0.8 0.8
Gravel Wheel Barrow 0.6 0.2 0 2 0.4 0.3
Cement Bag (90 lbs) 1 1/5 1 0.5 1.5 1 1
Rice Hull Ash (RHA) Wheel Barrow 3 0 0 0 0 0
Caliche Wheel Barrow 1 0.7 0.3 0.2 0.6 0.6
Coconut Wheel barrow 0 0.25 0 0 0 0
Secante Ounces 6 4 4 4 4 4
Number Blocks 32 20 20 44 32 36
Compression Test (PSI) 190.0 127.5 57.3 66.6 101.0 82.2
Weight per Block (Pounds) 29.2 25.9 20.9 23.2 22.1 23.9
PSI per Pound 6.5 4.9 2.7 4.4 3.7 2.8
Price per Block (RD $) 13 15 19 15 10 9

References[edit | edit source]

See Literature Review

FA info icon.svg Angle down icon.svg Page data
Authors Marjorie Casado, Noe Martinez, Jason McMack, Anthony Avila
License CC-BY-SA-3.0
Language English (en)
Related 1 subpages, 37 pages link here
Impact 641 page views
Created June 7, 2014 by Noe Martinez
Modified June 9, 2023 by Felipe Schenone
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