Logs and Thoughts

I have been cutting lumber for my new little house almost for two weeks now. It is hard and extremely slow. Every few days we have to change a chain or the whole chainsaw all together.

Look at this picture:

Isn’t it beautiful?

This house is being constructed thanks to CEB. If all goes well, in a few days, we will produce our first earth block. It makes me sorry that my house will be already finished when our CEB will be fully operational. Building with blocks is so much easier; I could finish my hut in less then a week.

Read more about all the advantages of the CEB

We have a lot of visitors both here, and on our website from all over the world. Canada, Spain, Germany, Holland and even South Korea and India. They seem to be a silent crowd. So many readers, so few comments. We want some noise around here. Think we are the best thing since sliced bread? Give us some feedback. Think we are wasting our time here? Spam us with flaming comments.



  1. Sasha

    You are great.
    check the comment I gave on beekeeping.
    Keep up the god work, I am interested to see how this will work out.

    Best wishes from Serbia

  2. Dale

    Dave Pollard of “How to Save the World” blog pointed to you as a model Intentional Community. I’m fascinated by what you’re doing. Taking it all in for now.

  3. Lucas

    Silent feedback doesn’t work, so here’s a noisy “Best wishes from the Canaries!”.

    I’m really trying to think HOW I could help you in what you’re doing, in order to speed things up. There are 28 elements to the GV construction set, right? Maybe we could link up with others who are doing the same, or look for stuff on the web that you need, or make noise in your behalf in, I don’t know, WorldChanging or TreeHugger etc. (I assume you’ve already looked into, haven’t you?)

    Please tell us not only about your advances, but also about what kind of help you need or would like to see happening.


  4. Lucas

    15×24 bricks to each wall, 4 walls each room, and 4 bricks per minute? That means (15x24x4)/(4*60)=6 hours or brick-making per room? Add all the other activities and yes, a hut in less than a week. You need land and cooperatively owned machinery. It makes sense, and that’s why we’re watching but, as I said, what else can we do?


    Bricks are 6x12x4 in inches. I’m not following your math, but mine tells me 120 feet of 1 foot thick wall, 8 inches tall – per hour. For 4 bricks per minute, an 8 hour day, that is material for about 5 foot height of 1 foot thick wall, of a circular room with a diameter of 20 feet. You’re seeing the production rate correctly – materials for a room per day.

    As far as collaboration, the grand call to arms will be published soon. I am hoping that in 2 weeks, I will publish a more clear version of strategy – narrowing down to 18 key items and how they all fit together. Currently, it’s difficult for me to explain the product ecology because of the large scope. But don’t worry, I’m preparing a work list of a 100 or so priority items, clear and to the point – of the explicit needs to deploy the product line and get well on the way of building our facility. Stay tuned, we need this help. It will include research items, grant-writing, resource development – it will be there – but I don’t want to publish until I can write it down clearly – to make the whole problem tractable.


  5. Lucas

    I’m sure you’re aware (or the authors of) this.

    Joseph, thanks for your reply and your work. “Grand call to arms” indeed. Just like with Linux (and free software in general): World Domination! 🙂

  6. Marcin

    Note the elapsed time of 2 minutes and 33 seconds for one brick in the video in the last comment. For efficiency, the production rate should be brought down to 12 seconds per brick, which indicates that the rate should be 12 times faster. I used one of these machines, produced one brick of marginal quality, and quickly determined to give it up. At that time it became clear that our village building efforts require an efficient machine if we are to engage in natural building.

  7. Lucas

    Hadn’t noticed it but seemed not fast enough.

    Maybe brickmaking can be parallelised somehow, by making your design modular, perhaps not now but after it works to your specifications?

    I also don’t know what kind of preasures the machine has to deal with, but might it be made from wood, to avoid all that welding and perhaps allow for faster redesign if needed?

    It’s of course better to finish your present course of action first!

  8. Guest2

    Jeff Buderer here. Just back from the trip to Factor E and now checking out the information on the blog and wiki. Great to see the pictures of the earth block. This is truly the kind of revolutionary building system I have been looking for. Good work Factor E Team for moving this forward!

  9. Georg Pleger


    Just watched the videos about the Compressed Earth Block press and read parts of plans for 2008. It’s really graet what you are doing.

    I came here via Thanks Michel Bauwens!

    Greetings from Austria
    Georg Pleger

  10. stuart

    wikked! i love it, and cant’ wait to get my hands on the plans to build one…this is exactly the sort of thing that needs to be developed and promoted…hoping to get involved in some way at some point…good luck and keep us posted

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