Ecoblock, A New Construction System That Saves Raw Materials And Energy


EcoBlock is the development of this self-building block that simultaneously required the creation of an eco-engineering material or composite material: WCC1 (Wood-Concrete-Composite: concrete-wood composite material) developed for sustainable architecture. As a reference, the EcoBlock has a ceramic matrix plus the addition of biomass (shavings) product of waste from wood production and sawmills, with a stabilizing agent.

Said composite, whose density is 1600 kg / m3, represents a reduction of 47% with respect to the densities of conventional concretes (of 3200 kg / m3); This final weight reduction has as a direct consequence a lower consumption of the energy expended by the machinery in the production of the block and a lower consumption of energy required for the transport of the raw material to the manufacturing site.

Due to its modular design (self-fitting), it hardly uses mortar, which is why it represents a “dry” construction system that does not require specialized labor (since it is a self-building, self-fitting system, of the type “Do it yourself” on site). Additionally, it does not require the classic mortar preparation for laying the bricks, nor the plumb roll, nor the classic leveling of the course (brick by brick); All of this results in a benefit of saving time for the workforce that is reflected in the final work of the built project (family home).

On the other hand, it does not require the classic formwork for the columns since the block itself forms a self-supporting box for the reinforced concrete of the columns.

The construction system is characterized by low production costs and by the low specific weight (density) of the material, saves raw material (thanks to the recycling processes involved in its manufacture), reduces production and transport costs, and also saves manufacturing energy. Being doubly cheaper (by saving raw materials and energy in production and transport) and simultaneously being more ecological than traditional materials. In all these items, it respects the ISO 14000 Environmental Standards (taking care of the environment).

Its competitive advantages are multiple and its commercial potential enormous. Reduces the consumption of raw materials (non-renewable resources), in addition to reducing energy consumption (production and transport).

Ecoblock was presented to: INNOVAR 2015 National Contest – Ministry of Science, Technology and Productive Innovation of the Argentine Nation. Technopolis with the name: Bioconcreto, ID: 17655, p. 85 of the Catalog Innovar 2015 of the MINCYT of the Nation ( see ).

The laboratory tests and physical and chemical destruction tests and others that characterize the material have been carried out by the GIICMA team (Research Group in Civil Engineering and Environment) dedicated to Concrete Technologies, of the UTN (National Technological University) Regional Concordia, Province of Entre Ríos, Argentine Republic. Thanks to Eng. Fabián Andrés Avid and MMO Esteban Micucci from UTN – FR Concordia (who have given their time and work – free of charge – for the studies).

Also thanks to the efforts of Lic. Martín Azzali: Project Coordinator at the Ministry of Science, Technology and Productive Innovation of the Nation, Co-Founder at Azzali-Saleh Consultant and Project Coordinator as an Independent Professional. Who works for CAFESG (Administrative Commission for the Salto Grande Special Fund).

Due to the characteristics of the variety of woods coming from the forest industry of the productive cluster that agglomerates to CeDIFI (Center for Industrial Forest Development of Concordia), it may be necessary to determine the addition of other chemical compounds such as lime, which neutralize the non-toxic effects. desired of wood on cement; which will require some type of report from INTA (National Institute of Agricultural Technology), Forest Area of ​​the EEA of Concordia or another similar organism; on the type of variety and / or species of wood from waste from the lumber industry and sawmills: edging, chipping and sawing among the most important processes. Also some study of the INTI (National Institute of Industrial Technology), INTI – Maderas.

These studies are intended to obtain the most appropriate and / or convenient formula to be applied to the manufacture of various products (Eco-building blocks and light furniture associated with domestic architecture and / or public spaces), according to the particular characteristics waste from the wood industry (sawmills and others) of the CeDEFI cluster in Entre Ríos.

Laboratory studies showed that EcoWWC is a concrete-wood composite material made by the combination of a cement biomass with lignocellulosic from the waste of Eucalyptus grandis (among other varieties of species), although the INTA-woods report has to be annexed in this aspect. The mechanical resistance to pressure has an average of: 3.13 (MPa). A density of: 1600 kg / m3 and an approximate thermal conductivity of: 0.10 to 0.30 W / m ° C.

Other future applications of the EcoWWC to the design of furniture and industrial products associated with architecture are currently being studied. How to be: outdoor furniture and gardens, under countertops for kitchens, tables and seats for kitchen (not living), and so on.

Ecoblock -as a product- was born having analyzed the so-called appropriate technologies on the one hand, and ecodesign on the other hand, together with local innovation for Industrial Design; with an interdisciplinary Theoretical Framework from multiple authors namely: (Schumacher, 1973), (Bonsiepe, 1975/82), (Dickson, 1978), (Max-Neef, 1986), (Papanek, 1995) and (Canale, 2005).

Indeed, the theory is addressed by Schumacher in Small is beautiful (1978), Bonsiepe in Industrial Design, technology and dependence (1975) as well as in Design on the periphery (1985), Dickson in Alternative Technology and the politics of technological change (1978), Max-Neef in Human Scale Development. An Option for the Future (1986), Papanek in The Green Imperative: Ecology and Ethics in Design and Architecture (1995) and Canale in Ecodesign: Environmental Considerations in Product Development and Design (2001). It provided an interdisciplinary framework to understand the housing problems of Latin America; situation that the Argentine Republic is going through with the “slums” (and Brazil with the favelas).

For which the theoretical considerations of the Research Projects accredited in the Secretariat of Science and Technology of the Faculty of Architecture and Urbanism of the National University of La Plata were used. Instituto HITEPAC (Institute for Research in History, Theory and Praxis of Architecture and the City). Projects: The life of Buildings I (Code: 11/080, start: 01/01/06, culmination: 12/31/09) by the Director Arq. F. Gandolfi.

Currently the Project is uploaded on the INNOVACION ARGENTINA website, of the Secretariat of Planning and Policies of the Ministry of Science, Technology and Productive Innovation of the Nation ( MINCYT ) Entering NEW DEMANDS: Construction Sector (Subsector: Dry construction: Development tooling for dry brick assembly). Download complete file, refer to the web: ( old web page ).

New website:

  • Presentation:

2) Project (files, animated 3D cartoons):

3) Photos, Prototype video:

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