Vermeer’s Third World building solution

Block press makes housing affordable by using low cost materials.Block press makes housing affordable by using low cost materials.

Most of the people on the planet can’t afford a stick framed, 2,500 square foot home like so many of us enjoy here in the U.S.  So how do you provide shelter for those who live in Third World countries? Timber is often scarce in these countries and kiln fired brick and block is too energy intensive and expensive. 

Here’s the solution–the Vermeer BP714 Block Press. It makes compressed earth blocks from dirt, water and a small amount of cement.

The BP714 takes these materials and presses them into 4″x14″x7″ blocks that when cured nearly rival the strength of traditional concrete block. It cranks out three blocks a minute which are stacked and cured for 28 days. The blocks have an interlocking design so  you don’t need mortar to secure them. There are also cavities designed into the blocks for running rebar, roof tie downs, electrical conduit and plumbing. The blocks don’t have to be fired to cure, so kilns and all the energy they require are not needed. 

According to Terry Butler, operations manager for Vermeer,  the Vermeer Charitable Foundation provided the impetus behind the project and currently has four projects going on around the globe. The foundation also supported the creation of a separate entity called Dwell Earth, which provides technical support and ancillary equipment necessary to set up and run a portable block plant.

For more information on the Vermeer Block Press visit; or contact your local Vermeer dealer.