Low-cost Building Method

Ram press

A Soheyl-type ram press for pressing interlocking cement blocks in a village of Lao PDR.

When U-blocks are lined together to form a horizontal structural beam, they create a floating foundation over which can rest hollow interlocking cement blocks, some of which are filled with mortar to serve as columns. Such a modular cost-effective construction method is easily replicable by rural communities which contribute the sand, pebbles and labour for their schools.

Prefab cement blocks

Novatech's prefab cement blocks

Rural factory under construction

Rural factory under construction

Prefab roof trusses

Novatech's prefab roof trusses

In Lao PDR like many rural communities, wood is usually expensive and does not resist termites, which pose a challenge to the maintenance of buildings, namely of rural schools that must require low maintenance.

School building plan

Locally-made school building using interlocking blocks: 3 classes of 40 seats, with administration

School building
School building
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