Incorporating Waste Fibers in Unstabilized Compressed Earth Blocks for Sustainable Construction in Ghana Public
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Our project aimed to reduce the impacts of agricultural and plastic waste by incorporating them in earth-based building blocks for construction in Ghana. In order to reach our goal, we set out to research current earth-building practices. We met with local Ghanians who focus on this effort such as Nelson Boateng, an entrepreneur doing similar work in Ghana, to learn important information about this project effort in Ghana. We also created an earth block manufacturing process, it was necessary to ensure ease of replicability of this process in Ghana. For this reason we only used materials that are naturally found in Ghana, such as dirt, plastic, and coconuts. This was an iterative design approach using three different iterations of a wood mold before perfecting the block manufacturing process. Lastly, we built and tested our waste incorporated blocks. There were three sets of experiments performed on our blocks to analyze their use as alternative building materials. The blocks containing waste performed significantly better in several of the mechanical categories. Specifically, the waste mixture block was able to withstand the largest maximum flexural load. The soil control block performed the best in the erosion rate test. In conclusion, more research into Unstabilized Compressed Earth Blocks with more than one waste material is needed in order for it to be a practical substitution for other building practices.
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