Auroville Earth Institute
The Auroville Earth Institute (AVEI) researches, develops, promotes and transfers earth-based building technologies. These technologies are disseminated through training courses, seminars, workshops, manuals and documents. The Institute offers various services and provides consultancy within and outside India.
The Auroville Earth Institute was founded by HUDCO, Government of India, in 1989. It was initially named the Auroville Building Centre/Earth Unit.
Past AVEI construction project in Auroville are:
- Visitors Center, 1989-1992
- Auroville Earth Institute Training Centre, 1989 to 2002
- Deepanam School, 1994-1995
- Vikas Community, 1991-1998
- Movable House for caretaker of Realization community, 2008
- Realization Community, 2007-2012
Objectives and current activities
The mission of the Auroville Earth Institute is:
- To revive traditional skills, and to link ancestral and vernacular traditions of raw earth construction with the modern technologies of stabilised earth.
- To enable and empower people to build their own dwellings using earthen techniques.
- To develop cost effective technologies, affordable to all.
- To respect our Mother Earth, while using its natural resources to build a sustainable future.
- To teach and practice sustainable resource management (for both human and natural resources).
- To demonstrate that earth, as a building material, can be used to create modern, progressive, eco-friendly and safe habitats.
Since 1990, the Auroville Earth Institute has educated over 10,600 people from 79 countries in sustainable building technologies and land management practices, focusing on the use of earth as a building material. Knowledge is disseminated through training courses, seminars, workshops, manuals and other publications.
Research and development
Compressed Stabilised Earth Blocks (CSEB) walls, Hollow Interlocking (HI CSEB) walls for disaster resistance, CSEB arches, vaults and domes, Stabilised Rammed Earth Foundations (SREF), Stabilised Rammed Earth Walls (SREW), Earth composite technologies for columns and beams, Stabilised earth waterproofing, plasters and mortars, etc. The most promoted AVEI technology today is Compressed Stabilised Earth Blocks.
CSEB is a modern, cement or lime stabilised advance upon traditional building methods, which was developed in the 1950’s for structural, load-bearing strength and resilience against climate. CSEB may be compressed either with a manual or a hydraulic press and stabilised with as little as 5% cement to produce structural masonry units with greater strength and longevity than the average country fired brick. AVEI has designed a whole range of machinery for producing CSEB, including manual and hydraulic presses.
The Auroville Earth Institute is currently planning a major initiative for the extension of its educational programs and facilities. The new facilities are now being designed to meet the increasing demand for education in earth technologies, and to make a greater impact on affordable, sustainable, climate resilient housing in India and globally. AVEI will introduce 1-year diploma programs for post-graduate students of architecture and engineering, masonry technicians, and vocational masonry craftsmen.
This initiative aims to impact all levels of society, in India and abroad, through the co-education and networking of building specialists: equipping underprivileged workers with the technical and entrepreneurial skills for leadership in the housing sector, and mobilizing the future generations of young Indian architects and engineers with the skilled personnel required to build affordable mass housing with low carbon earthen technologies.
- www.earth-auroville.com - training schedule, background, newsletter, online library