Technology transfer – Egypt, 2011

Satprem Maïni, director of the Auroville Earth Institute (AVEI), and Amandine Haviez, volunteer engineer at AVEI, conducted a two-week training course in Egypt from the 8th to 20th January 2011. The first week was about the design of arches, vaults and domes and the second week was about the production of Compressed Stabilised Earth Blocks (CSEB). This training course was requested by the Housing and Building National Research Centre (HBRC), Government of Egypt,

Egypt faces a housing shortage of about 1 million houses in urban areas. HBRC wanted to use the technologies developed by the Auroville Earth Institute to help solving this deficit. HBRC bought for this training course an Auram Press 3000 made in Auroville.

A Memorandum of understanding has been signed between the Auroville Earth Institute and HBRC. This training course was the first step of the technology transfer from the Auroville Earth Institute to Egypt. The second step will be the construction of a demonstration house which will lead, after evaluation, to the construction of 100 housing units.

Satprem gave also a presentation at the Society of Egyptian Architects, Cairo on “Earthen Architecture and Development at the Auroville Earthen Institute”.

After these events at Cairo, Amandine and Satprem went in the south to Upper Egypt to visit the Ramasseum, the memorial temple of Ramses II, built around 1,300 BC in the 19th Dynasty on the west bank of Luxor. The stone temple had been severely damaged by the years but the interest of Satprem was to see the oldest mud vaults in the world. These vaults were the magazines of the temple and they were built about 3,300 years ago with adobe, the sun dried mud blocks. About 1/4 of the vaults remained in a good shape after that time.

The trip back from Luxor to Cairo got several incidents but Amandine and Satprem could reach safely Cairo airport and came back to Auroville only one day later than planned.
Training course on designing Arches, vaults and domes

Training course on Production of CSEB

Vaults of the magazines of the Ramasseum, built in ~1,300 BC

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