The Auroville Earth Institute (AVEI) is a non-profit organization specializing in the research, development, promotion and transfer of earth-based building technologies, among the most cost effective, low carbon, low embodied energy solutions for sustainable development.

As the Representative and Resource Centre for Asia of the UNESCO Chair “Earthen Architecture, Constructive Cultures and Sustainable Development”, AVEI aims to empower local stakeholders to build their own dwellings using earthen techniques through an international network of experts. It attempts to revive traditional skills and link vernacular traditions of raw earth construction with modern technologies of stabilised earth.

The Journey So Far

Founded in 1989 by the Housing and Urban Development Corporation (HUDCO), Government of India, the Auroville Earth Institute has since become one of the leading centres for excellence in earthen architecture and the most rapidly growing carbon economy in the world. AVEI has worked in 39 countries to promote and disseminate knowledge in earth architecture, and has garnered 15 awards for its work (four international awards and eleven national awards). Over 33 years, it has educated over 14,000 people from 95 countries, training them in sustainable building technologies and land management practices, focusing on the use of earth as a building material.

Projects at Auroville Earth Institute

The activities of the institute include research and development of earthen technologies, training and education, publication and dissemination, consultancy, architectural design and construction, heritage conservation, production of materials, and quality control testing.

The research developed includes Compressed Stabilised Earth Blocks (CSEB) made in a manual Auram press (designed and manufactured in Auroville) using a mixture of earth with 5% cement, Hollow Interlocking blocks (HI CSEB) for disaster resistance, which was used extensively in Gujarat after the 2001 earthquake and received approval from the Gujarat and Tamil Nadu state governments as well as the Iranian government, CSEB arches, vaults and domes, Composite Columns and Beams, Stabilised Rammed Earth Foundations (SREF) and Walls (SREW), etc.

AVEI also offers training courses regularly, both on-campus and online, while awareness programs are offered on request, to introduce and promote these technologies of earth construction developed by AVEI.

Work done by AVEI
Other Initiatives by AVEI

Auram Equipment for CSEB Production

From its inception, AVEI has developed a wide range of equipment for building with earth, notably the Auram Press 3000 for the production of CSEB, regarded as being one of the best presses available worldwide. In partnership with Aureka, AVEI provides the AURAM equipment along with quality control devices for block making, handling equipment, hand tools, scaffoldings and rammed earth equipment. Some of the advantages of using CSEBs for construction are that they can be made on site and their manufacture needs much less energy and reduces pollution (a CSEB uses 10.7 times less energy to make than a country fired brick). The Visitors Centre, Solar Kitchen, Vikas community, Realization community and Pitanga are good examples of their diverse applicability.

Available Resources

AVEI operates as a resource centre, collecting information relevant to suitable technologies for development. Besides a wide range of physical samples available in the exhibition room, the centre hosts an extensive library of books, digital publications, photos, slides and videos on appropriate building technologies, all of which is open to public access.

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+91 (0) 413 - 262 3330 / 262 3064

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