Heritage Florida Jewish News - Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

By Marlene Dodinval
Friends of Lotan 

Mud and straw homes could be answer for earthquake regions


The Lotan buildings are constructed from straw bales coated with mud, making them fireproof as well as earthquake-proof.

(ISRAEL21c)-Nepalese villagers now faced with massive rebuilding projects following the April 25 earthquake could benefit from the lessons learned by eco-minded builders in Israel's Arava desert.

Building the earthquake-proof geodesic dome.

In preparation for future anticipated tremors, the Israelis are taking a unique approach to safe and environmentally sound construction rather than the more common, but expensive and less effective, reinforced concrete method often relied on to withstand earthquakes.

Sitting a top the seismically active Great Syria-African Rift, these southern Israeli builders have developed an earthquake-proof housing system that can be manufactured and constructed quickly by people without building experience.

Northwestern University Prof. Eric Masanet recently brought Alex Cicelsky of Kibbutz Lotan as a guest lecturer to his course on sustainable engineering to speak about the development work of the kibbutz's Center for Creative Ecology (CfCE).

Cicelsky told the students about the CfCE's no-water composting toilets, biogas-fueled stoves and organic agro-ecology in the desert. All of these are low-tech systems that bring high-impact results.

For full article go to israel21c.org


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