Advanced Earthen Construction Technologies

Lawrence Jetter of AECB demonstrating a compression machine.

Location: 11595 S US Highway 181 San Antonio, TX 78223
Description: Founded in 1989 by Lawrence Jetter, Advanced Earthen Construction Technologies (AECT) manufactures equipment for the earthen construction industry. It specializes in portable compressed earth block machines, which are designed and built in-house.
Company was founded with the intention of re-establishing compressed earth block & adobe as the primary building material used around the world.
CEBs can be used to structurally support buildings up to two stories without supplemental bracing.
Soil has an insulation R-value that is unmatched by all other conventional building materials, although the system may not account for all of the qualitative benefits of CEBs.
Self-contained nature of the machines is intended to increase logistic and economic efficiency.
Earth block machines come in three separate sizes: 2001A, 3000, and 5000.
According to AECT’s website, the average rate of block per hour for each machine are: 5000 – 800-960 blocks, 3500 – 480-500 blocks, 2001A – 290-300 blocks.
Machines run on standard diesel engines, which are fully compatible with biodiesel.
The US military recently purchased portable compression machines from AECT, with the intention of developing an alternative to tent deployment.
Company adapts to the needs of its customers, responding to feedback regarding construction methods, curing times, and structural issues.
Conclusion: Mr. Jetter was perhaps the most engaging speaker with whom we had the opportunity to meet during the tour, and his passion for his industry was palpable. So, too, was his criticism of architects and engineers who have failed to embrace earthen construction technologies more widely. The problem, I would argue, is more one of awareness than conservatism (resistance to change). There does seem to be a stigma attached to earthen construction, however, which companies such as AECT are tirelessly working to dispel with their high quality products.


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