All buildings at the LDI were constructed with maximum use of locally available materials to minimize the environmental impacts resulting from the extraction and transportation of materials from remote locations. Our buildings are constructed of seismically reinforced adobe (mud brick) using soil taken right from our property, locally harvested wood for our roof structures and rock for the building foundations. Each brick was made by hand and mixed without the use of any electrical tools.
The adobe construction is seismically reinforced in various ways. First the adobe blocks themselves have a larger surface area (45cm x 45cm) than the traditional 20 x 40cm blocks used locally. Secondly a small amount of straw and sand was mixed with the finer particle clay soils found on the property to produce blocks of optimal resistance and flexibility. The adobe blocks were also produced with a 5cm hole in the middle of each block to allow for the vertical placement of 5/8”steel rebar through every block which was anchored into the concrete foundation and the wooden roof beams. Finally two layers of wire mesh were fixed to both the internal and external surfaces of every wall prior to applying the final layers of mortar and paint.
Using local products we only needed to bring in tiles and windows from Lima, resulting in a minimum carbon foot-print for each building erected. In addition all of our builders are from the local communities so each building helped the economy of several househoulds within the local indigenous villages.