Interlocking Stabilized Soil blocks using red earth in Construction

Document Type : Primary Research paper


1 Associate professor, department of civil Engineering, Wolaita Sodo University, Ethiopia

2 Head,department of civil Engineering, Wolaita Sodo University, Ethiopia


Interlocking Stabilized Soil blocks are the enhanced form of conventional clay bricks. Each blocks is constructively designed to lock itself to the other block around without the use of mortar.The self-locking is achieved using shear-key and lock mechanism. The main raw materials are red earth (80%), Cement (10%) and 6mm coarse Aggregate (10%) or quarry dust and water. After mixing above ingredients it is compressed and molded hydraulically. This technology that brings no cement mortar required for the masonry works. Its needs small amount of water cement is required to joint interlocking blocks. This is the main advantages of Interlocking Stabilized Soil cement Block (ISSCB). Interlocking blocks are Eco friendly building materials. The net compressive stress required for critical section on the wall for a single story building is found as 0.65 Mpa. (13T/mt.length). Hence ISSCB could be used at load bearing structures. The basic raw material is red soil, which as available at Ethiopia with minimum cost. Hence the production cost is 50% less than cement concrete hollow block. This ISSB is cost effective for the construction user. It brings overall cost deduction and afford for the society. This paper presents that to promote the use of the technology by sharing some case studies of successful ISSB adoption and adaptation to local contexts. It also highlights some of the challenges faced in developing and promoting the technology with some key lessons learned from the growing amount of practical experience.