Compressed Earth Blocks (CEB)


CEB stands for Compressed Earth Block and is made of mostly of soil which is compressed by a machine usually at or around 3,000 PSI into blocks for construction purposes. Other components of Compressed Earth Blocks often include non-expansive clay aggregate and sometimes cement. The blocks are laid up in a typical fashion similar to brick or cement block construction using a slurry of the same soil/clay mixture as a bonding agent between the blocks. The CEB walls are then covered in a earth plaster or stucco for protection from the elements and to create a smooth flat wall finish.

The projects featured below used a mortar sprayer during the plaster application to apply the mix to the wall and achieve a consistent even coat.

Open Source Ecology

This is an amazing group working to make industrial machines and methods in a way that is affordable and accessible to the general public. They share their designs online and provide training videos. Watch the CEB Stuccoing Tutorial below.


John Kefauver CEB House

John Kefauver designed and built his 8,000 CEB house over a year period first practicing with a small pump house before moving to the main house. He and his wife made all of their blocks from local soil and lime and layered them with portland cement and mix of soil and masonry sand. John used a mortar sprayer to apply all three coats of stucco to his 16,000 sq. ft. house. His base coat included a mix of soil, lime putty, Portland Cement, cactus juice, fiberglass and other aggregate. He used a small mortar mixer that made a nice wheelbarrow full and then scooped from the that directly into his mortar sprayer for application.

2013-06-20 13.26.25

2013-07-24 12.16.04

2013-07-28 12.57.50


Adobe Cistern Construction Guide

stucco sprayer adobe cistern-11A customer in New Mexico recently completed an amazing underground adobe cistern and we’re thrilled to share his experience, check out the photos and account of the project from Daniel Hutchison of

On this mountain, the sole source of water for both agricultural and domestic use is a traditional acequia (irrigation ditch). Before I started the house, I wanted a water source for the construction process, so I built a cistern to be filled from our small watershed.
The idea was to minimize cost / eco-footprint by using minimal cement to get the job done. read more →