#workshop

#sustainability

#architecture

#madagascar

back in September 2020, we were exploring traditional ways of building. you are going to witness how our little shoe-box office with its amazing team of designers and technicians warriors managed to implement a frugal and environmental-conscious process throughout our line of work. it all started with this wall in Mahamasina. we invited a Master mason along with his team to show us his techniques for “enduit gasy”. I’ll share a bit more later about the ingredients, little secrets and techniques that is commonly used for its water and infestation proof perfomances all over the world but that we at home tend to downgrade since the expression contains “gasy”…. but at the end of the day it’s only highly lateritic pigmented soil-cement moartar-coating. duh

https://www.facebook.com/tranoarchitecture/videos/682470436076420

we were confronted with signs of prices hikes in construction materials. also multiple lockdowns made us reflect upon our dependance with imported materials and I have to admit I wasn’t trained at all with natural, local and traditional techniques. therefore it was a great opportunity to open and train ourselves to these processes.

“poor man’s concrete” is a mixture of Portland cement, natural soil, and water. that’s pretty much it. It is often used for paving surface. We saw it explored for its hardening propreties for external wall coating on a 18th century-old heritage trano gasy house. We’ll share more about the centennial use of earth for traditional construction in Madagascar.

back in September 2020, we were confronted with signs of prices hikes in construction materials. also multiple lockdowns made us reflect upon our dependance with imported materials and I have to admit I wasn’t trained at all with natural, local and traditional techniques. therefore it was a great opportunity to open and train ourselves to these processes.

“poor man’s concrete” is a mixture of Portland cement, natural soil, and water. that’s pretty much it. It is often used for paving surface. We saw it explored for its hardening propreties for external wall coating on a 18th century-old heritage trano gasy house. We’ll share more about the centennial use of earth for traditional construction in Madagascar

“They’re stewing the recipe.” Rakotoseheno Rado our “in-house architect trano gasy specialist” expertly explaining the way masons are making the earth-based plaster. ok then. “What do they put inside?” since it is sticking a bit and has been stewing for hours. “I’ve seen zebu leather, some grass and everything that can keep this shade of red lasting.”I must admit I was not expecting cooking to be involved in construction and this first time meeting Master masons sharing their expertise was a revelation. It took them weeks to peel out cement-based coating from this early 19th century up-hill Haute-Ville house. and more weeks to dispatch the “Enduit gasy” and now we have this Lava-Laterit-Tany-Gasy shade as finition for the painting.when you have a +200-year-old house to preserve, you just go with what is best and it involves local expertise and patience for what I’ve experienced here.

Long story short, this is our own sample of “enduit gasy” with the warmth and the solidity of earth proprieties. It has been here for more than 14 months now.
We chose to stick to these ways of building and have reached to many experts for their inputs and recipes. We’d hope that more and more of us join the movement in innovating more with traditional materials and techniques.

Next workshop we’ll share about our adventures with Earth-Block Compressed or BTC Brique de Terre Compressée. Also take note that we are still lobbying for the use of enduit gasy as exterior plaster in some of our current projects even though we had validation from clients very few contractors have accepted it. Same goes with BTC and we won’t shy on revealing the challenges we found on our bumpy road to a more sustainable and locally sourced architecturing.

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