The idea behind Ubuntublox was to take the things that everyone had but no one wanted, and turn them into something of value. This has led to two primary types of blocks: blocks made from styrofoam waste and blocks made from agricultural waste. The styrofoam blocks (pictured below with an earthbag wrapping) help to eliminate one of the largest recycling problems the world faces today. Each block is made out of approximately 60 styrofoam takeout trays – this means that for a 10’x10’x8′ house, over twenty-one thousand trays will be taken out of the environment, and put into sustainable homes. Styrofoam also has beneficial qualities for use in construction: It is lightweight, so it is easy to work with. It is an excellent insulator, helping to keep the houses cool in the heat and warm in the cold. Also, since it never decomposes, this negative for our environment becomes beneficial for construction, as it will remain forever. For more information on how to make styrofoam blocks, check out our online video tutorials. We also use agricultural waste to make the blocks. Our primary plant has been the remains of the Vetiver plant after processing for its oil. Besides being another waste product that is typically burned with an accelerant, releasing harmful pollutants into the atmosphere, Vetiver is a natural insect repellant, making it great for the construction of homes. Below, it is pictured both with plaster and without.
One of the most spectacular things about the houses made from the Ubuntublox method is that they have been proven to be highly resistant to both earthquakes and hurricanes. This is a video of a model house easily withstanding a shake table test over 50 times greater in force than the 2010 earthquake that led to over 100,000 deaths and the destruction of 250,000 homes in Haiti. This is an Ubuntublox wall standing strong in hurricane conditions – a test simulating 90 mph winds and 4 inches of rain. This makes Ubuntublox one of a kind; not only is it made out of unused, unwanted materials, it is a strong, reliable, durable house, and to top it all off, it looks good too. The house pictured below is model house built in Port-Au-Prince, Haiti, and provides a good example of just how nice these homes can be. Not only is it an attractive building, but it is exceptionally cool in the heat of Haiti and is easy to maintain. It is also relatively easy to build, as its construction requires only a few, manual tools and a straightforward training. The house is made up of 3/8″ rebar, 12 gauge steel wire, plaster, and the Ubuntublox blocks. We will soon have the building instructions easily accessible here, but as for now, reach out to us for further building instructions.
From day one, all of the technology associated with Ubuntublox has been open-source, and it will continue to be. For any more information on the methods or materials not outlined below, feel free to reach out to us!