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Our Mission

To advance and promote earthen construction

Our Vision

Earthen construction will be an established mainstream building technology

Earthen structures are as old as human history, and some are among the most well known structures on the planet, like the Alhambra and portions of China's Great Wall. ECI was founded by a group of people who appreciate adobe, rammed earth, compressed earth block, cob, and other earthen styles for their sheer beauty, but we also believe that these ancient technologies  have much to offer modern humans in terms of comfort, health, and environmental resiliency. ECI exists to bring earthen construction into the mainstream by developing standards and best practices, through research to understand and improve earthen construction, by providing quality resources, and through educational programs and training.

You are welcome to join us at our monthly board meetings held the first Tuesday of each month, followed by our Members Present! series, where ECI members and friends give presentations and demos on various aspects of earthen construction and sustainable practices.

To see past presentations visit our video page or click here to visit and subscribe to our YouTube channel.


June 16, 2021

Contact: Celia Mendoza

For Immediate Release


Earthen Construction Initiative (ECI) is proud to announce receipt of a $25,000 matching grant from the AIA Upjohn Research Initiative 2021.  ECI is one of four (4) recipients for this prestigious annual award. 


Research projects were required to help mitigate or adapt to climate change as outlined in AIA’s 2020 Climate Action Plan.  Selection criteria included:

  • Demonstration that the research enhances the value of design and/or professional practice knowledge

  • Evidence of collaboration/partnership

  • Validity of research method

  • Strength of projected outcomes related to alignment with theme


ECI’s project is Mix Design Standard and Strength Gain Correlations Testing for Stabilized Compressed Earth Block (SCEB) Units.  Earthen construction is gaining a limited yet strong following in the United States. However, due to a current lack of tested standards for quality assurance and the absence of commercially available mixes specific to earthen construction, it is challenging for architects, engineers, contractors, and owners to procure and process materials consistently and effectively.


ECI’s Mix Design Standard will provide guidelines for the material selection, testing, and mixing process to reliably produce SCEB units on a small-to-medium scale using commercially available equipment.  Introducing production guidelines will make earthen construction a more durable and cost-effective option for healthy construction – resilient legacy buildings with smaller carbon footprints for the owners, the community, and the planet.


ECI will also perform compressive strength gain correlation testing to determine if SCEBs can be used sooner than the standard 28-day curing period.  Testing results may enable streamlining of block fabrication and construction projects.


This research project is a partnership between ECI and Maritech Engineering, Inc; Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc; De la Tierra; and Arquitecta.  ECI is actively seeking participation by the professional and construction industries for future research and projects.


Earthen Construction Initiative, founded in 2016 in San Antonio, Texas, is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to advance and promote earthen construction. 



Earthen Construction News

We are proud of our accomplishments in advancing earthen construction in central Texas and beyond. Here's news on the progress of ECI initiatives, publications, and upcoming events.

ECI Authors New Earthen Building Code Amendments

Effective October 1, 2018,
the City of San Antonio approved ECI's suggested amendments
adding earthen construction
to the City's building code.

EarthUSA 2024

Adobe in Action has announced that EarthUSA will be held September 13-15, 2024, in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Check out their link for details and call for abstracts.

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The Ground Up
Texas Architect Nov/Dec 2018

Read Jen Wong's article

on some exciting recent examples 

of unfired earth construction

in Texas.

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earthen construction
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