The ETH (Polytechnical School Zurich) spin-off Oxara has developed a process to transform clay-containing excavated material into an alternative concrete without adding cement. The earth concrete can be poured when fresh, hardens quickly and is suitable for use in floors and non-load-bearing walls.
In addition to the production and certification of building blocks, the construction of a pilot house and the Swiss know-how transfer to local partners are central elements of the project.
Oxara Earth Concrete has all the advantages of concrete, but is cheaper and significantly more environmentally friendly. It is expected to provide a sustainable solution for the construction of affordable housing worldwide in the future and contribute to the reduction of global CO₂ emissions, construction waste and sand consumption.
As part of this project, Oxara will work with a network of building materials producers, contractors, architects, government agencies and NGOs to:
- provide proof of concept for the new building blocks and earth concrete,
- verify market and volume assumptions;
- develop an adapted business model and prepare for market entry.
The project partners have produced and tested an initial series of extruded components. The results are generally promising with a few open questions. Extruded bricks are to be used for the planned first model house. There are also plans to produce and test compressed earth bricks.
Oxara is in the process of intensifying its collaboration with various relevant stakeholders and is working intensively on the business model for the multiplication phase.