Cost Study: Colombian Red Clay Block vs. SupaBlok™
The red clay block size used was 30 cm wide by 20 cm tall by 12 cm long and the SupaBlok™ size was 30 cm wide by 15 cm tall by 15 cm long. The red block wall consists of unreinforced red clay blocks bound together with mortar and bordered by a steel reinforced (rebar) column on either side and a rebar reinforced bond beam at the top and bottom. The SupaBlok™ wall has a vertical length of rebar about every meter for column reinforcement and grout in every hole. A labor rate equivalent to US $1.85 per hour was used.
On a square meter basis the SupaBlok™ wall was found to be a 59% cheaper than the red block wall which was the lowest cost method for building affordable housing. While SupaBlok™ costs more than the red clay block its construction method minimizes labor costs resulting in a lower overall cost. The red clay blocks require occasional cutting and mortar between all joints while the interlocking SupaBlok™ is mortarless and rapidly stacked. By choosing to build with SupaBlok™ very significant cost savings can be realized.
Red clay block wall
- COL $ represents a currency in Colombian Pesos
- An unfinished wall is one that has not been finished or completed with plaster, stucco, siding, veneer, brick or similar
- A density of 600 kg/cu m was used for SupaBlok™
- The COL $ to US $ exchange rate was the current rate at the time of these calculations