MAC is working with local Zambian architect Bernard Mabo to source a brick-making machine that will become a shared resource for the Racecourse community of Kitwe. Purchase of the machine has been made possible by the generous donation of Trisha Willcott, an American supporter of MAC.
In Zambia bricks have traditionally been made using a technique introduced by the British in colonial times, mixing clay with cement and baking in a wood fired kiln. The cement is expensive and the felling of trees has left whole areas deforested. The advantage of the machine to be purchased is that it uses a press technique, combining readily available red earth mixed with water. The resulting bricks are then baked in the sun. This avoids the use of cement and firing; an altogether more sustainable technique.
David Ward, a MAC Trustee, visited a hotel and lodges designed by Bernard Mabo and built using this technique. Bricks are laid dry. Their stability is created by the interlocking shape. Completed walls are sometimes finished with a slurry render coat and decorated.
The brick-making machine will initially be used to produce bricks to support the proposed building works at Misenga and Trust Schools. Bricks manufactured subsequently will be sold as a revenue generating venture.