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Compress the Clay
Making compressed earth blocks at the Villages of Loreto Bay, Mexico

The earthen mixture is compressed into building blocks

Photo © Jackie Craven
A tractor removes the earth mixture and places it into a high-pressure hydraulic ram. This machine can make 380 compressed earth blocks (CEBs) in an hour.

A standard CEB is 4 inches thick, 14 inches long, and 10 inches wide. Each block weighs about 40 pounds. The fact that compressed earth blocks are uniform in size saves time during the construction process.

Oil is also saved because each hydraulic ram machine consumes only about 10 diesel gallons of fuel a day. The Loreto Bay plant in Baja, Mexico has three of these machines.

The plant employs 16 workers: 13 to run the equipment, and three night watchmen. All are local to Loreto, Mexico.

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