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I have compiled these links for additional information on the Cinva-Ram, adobe construction, earth block construction, alternative construction, etc.

Taylor Publishing specializes in publications about low-cost and alternative building technologies. I bought theplans ($50) for the Cinva-Ram I built from Taylor. The "plans" are a loosely organized compilation of stuff from disparate sources. Included is a handful of articles about cinva-ram block-making, and about three different versions of press plans. The one I chose to build had some errors in it that I discovered while building (nothing a little torchwork couldn't fix). It would be a good idea to build a prototype out of plywood first to work out the kinks. They are a good place to start, if you can't see an actual Cinva-Ram to learn from when you build yours.

VITA, Volunteers in Technical Assistance, has a very good document on Understanding Stabilized Earth Construction.The parent site,, has a lot of other documents on low-tech construction, recycling, etc.

The Virginia Tech School of Architecture has some pages recounting an experience they had in the making of pressed earth bricks.

Environmental Building News site has an anecdotal recounting of people's experiences in building with earth. Makes a clear distinction between adobe, rammed earth, and compressed earth block, and advantages/disadvantages of the different systems.

Botec, a research unit in Botswana, has published some information regarding the use of fly-ash (a waste product from burning coal in power plants) as an aggregate/admixture. There is a lot of fine sand in Botswana that they are experimenting with as well. It has a good picture of a completed wall.(This one is spotty, it is offline as much as on-line.)

Sustainable Building Sourcebook has a very thorough Earth Materials Guidelines page with information pertaining to earth construction techniques (for the soils around Austin, Texas, but also with good general information).

Close-up Pictures of a home-made cinva ram in Australia, and a brief description of how it works.

New Dawn Engineering is a South African company which produces tools for low-tech production, including a machine called Terrabric. Very interesting. Other machines include a barbed wire machine, coat hanger maker, paper-making.

Anangpur Building Centre is a very interesting Indian site which explores "appropriate" building technologies, including blocks, domes, funicular structures, etc.

TARA (Technology and Action for Rural Advancement) is an Indian site which explores sustainable technologies, including a small section on the TARA Balram Mud Block Press (looks similar to Cinva-Ram).

New Mexico's Energy Conservation and Management Division has a site dedicated to all types of soil construction as it has been used in new Mexico.

EarthRam is a California company that manufactures presses and has some pictures.

Natural Building Colloquium is just like it sounds. It has very thorough articles on a variety of natural building techniques.