alternative & natural building methods 

Green and 
Natural Building,
Adobe.  CEB-Cinva Ram Block Press,
Cob, Light straw, Lime plasters, Log, Papercrete, Pole, rammed earth,
Rub-R-Slate,  Rocket Stoves, Straw, Wood Chip Clay 
and more....... 
ONLINE or as Resource CD GUIDES!


The page tells you more about  the CD Guide #2013 that comes with the plans, and  some Q & A on using the press.
A sample of the documents provided on the Adobe & Cinva Ram Press Resource CD:

  • Compressed Earth Block (Mardini)
  • Compressed Earth Block (Hydraform)
  • Compressed Earth Block (Balram)
  • Earth Block Technology For The World
  • VITA-CINVA-Ram Block Press
  • Understanding Stabilized Earth Block Construction using the Cinva Ram
  • This Brickmaking Machine Makes Nothing But Money
  • The compressed earth block-Basin 1991
  • Terrablock-CEBs
  • Stabilizers and Mortars for CEBs
  • Stabilized Earth Construction
  • SPORE-1996-Earth fights back
  • Soils for Rammed Earth, Caliche Block
  • Soil Preparation Equipment
  • Aureka Earth Brick Presses
  • Compressed Earth Blocks-Wayne nelson
  • Compressed Earth Block (CEB) Machines
  • CEB vs. Adobe blocks
  • Building materials- earth fights back PDF
  • BASIN 1991-The compressed earth block PDF
  • Basics_of_CEB
  • Making Building Blocks withCinvaRam-VITA
  • NM Code-earth-adobe PDF
  • Manual Minke PDF - 52 PAGE BOOKLET
The CInva Ram Planset comes in a portfolio that includes the plans, CD, and related literature.
The images below show Mike Gross of Terra Block Inc., builders of earth block presses and adobe machinery. Mr. Gross bought these Cinva Ram plans and built the manual machine you see here. Step 1- Dirt is loaded into the soil box. 2- The lid is closed, and the long handle is pulled down once. 3- The lid is removed and the pressed brick is raised up for easy removal.  The blocks can be used immediately, or stored for later construction. There is no cement or straw in these bricks, only a small amount of water may be added for correct moisture. Information* on preparing soils, testing soils, and making the bricks is on the CD guide via the many books and reports provided.

*f you are just interested in the information on adobe and Cinva block making choose the #1500 Earth Building CD Guide, $13.
The following question and reply are posted at The Mother Earth News website:

Question: My wife and I are very interested in using compressed earth block (CEB) building techniques for the homestead we are planning in northeast Georgia. I know there are currently several manufacturers of CEB making machines, but wondered if the original CINVA Ram was still available. Also, have there been any new developments in sealing CEB walls against moisture? — D G, Florida

Answer: The original CINVA ram was engineered by Raul Ramirez of the Inter-American Housing Center (Spanish acronym: CINVA) in Bogota, Columbia, in 1952. The name “CINVA” has come to stand for most lever action presses that make compressed earth blocks (CEBs) one at a time, whether of the original Ramirez design or something similar.

One of the design features of the original CINVA ram was that it could be fabricated just about anywhere a welder and plate steel are available. Local fabrication, compact size, and manual operation have made it ideal for international development projects and owner-builders such as you.

So, where will you find one today? There are probably a few companies still making them, but the only one I know of in the United States is Fernco Metals in New Mexico (They bought the plans from

You could also fabricate your own by purchasing plans from (You are here!) Internationally, the Auram press (made in India) is an excellent manual press.

As for sealing CEB walls against moisture, there are not any new developments that I am aware of. Most of the tried and true methods, some of which are centuries if not millennia old, such as lime plasters, have been working just fine. It’s also important to distinguish what you mean by “sealing.” Some people may refer to the application of anything from plaster to bees wax as “sealing.” I would consider a sealer(*) as anything that protects the blocks against liquid water but allows water vapor to pass. A linseed and bees wax mix would be an example. You can make it yourself or purchase it from several companies that recommend it for sealing wood; however, some brands are much better then others. Land Ark is one company I have used successfully in the past. Standard masonry sealers will also work. When looking for a sealer, choose one that is non-toxic, biodegradable and vapor permeable. — Dan Johnson, Midwest Earth

Note from Charmaine: Thanks Dan. Builders can also purchase a pre-made manual ram (for under $2,000) or a hydraulic version from Fernco Metals. For bigger operations, see the many-blocks-per-minute models at Terra-Block Inc. or see Adobe Builder magazine.

(*) Sealers- there are sealers like waterglass (Sodium Silicate) available by the gallon at and other garden/hardware shops, and modern engineered sealers for natural stone and granite which have been tried, but do not use "cement paint" or any cement based plaster over natural clay adobes.