Study on the Suitability of Soils in Ilu Aba Bora Zone for Hydraform Block Production for Low Cost Construction

Beneyam Neguse Furgasa (Department of Construction Technology and Management, College of Engineering and Technology, Mettu University,Mettu, Ethiopia)
Fadilu Shafi Jote (Department of Construction Technology and Management, College of Engineering and Technology, Mettu University,Mettu, Ethiopia)
Natnael Bekele Tilahun (Department of Construction Technology and Management, College of Engineering and Technology, Mettu University,Mettu, Ethiopia)

Article ID: 3156



Due to a high construction material cost in Ethiopia, it is difficult to afford a shelter by most our peoples. The Hydra form block (HFB) has been identified as low-cost building material with its potential and possibility to reverse the housing problem. Laboratory tests were conducted on Mettu, Nopa, Gore, and Hurumu areas soil. Using hydra form machine with average mold size of 29*14*10cm, hydra form blocks were casted with the three percentages increment of cement. Compressive strength and water absorption tests were conducted at 28 days. The investigation has revealed that all the soil sample except Gore soil have significant characteristics that make it suitable for stabilization with recommended soil properties. From the experimental study, all the blocks except blocks produced with Gore soil have 28th day compressive strength values well above most of the recommended minimum values. Water absorption was less than the maximum limit of 15%. But, for control block and for stabilized with 3% cement, water absorption result is out of the recommended values (0-15) %. The cost comparison of Hydra form blocks with hollow concrete block and fired clay brick shows that the Hydra form block is cheapest walling material in terms of production cost and a typical hydra form block production center can create a job for more than 50 peoples.


Hydra form block; Compressive strength; Cost comparison; Cement; Water absorption

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