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The use of Concrete Masonry (CM) for low-cost housing in Colombia is influenced by local physical, technical, economic and social conditions; some of which can exist in other places in different combinations. Even though it is difficult to talk about special national achievements in this technology, it has been possible to define guidelines for the physical characteristics of low-cost housing and for the construction with Concrete Blocks (CB). Additionally, a few alterations have been made to the CB used in several projects, like in the dimensions of the units and the on-site production of special blocks. Those changes modify the cost structure and allow great savings, especially in social-interest programs (where labor is provided as a part of the payment), giving CM a special social significance.
Colombia, concrete blocks, costs, economics, low-cost housing, masonry, self-help projects
Director, Colombian Cement Institute - ICPC, Medellin, Colombia,
Architect; Marketing Director, Cementos Nare, Medellín,