CEB House Tour – Missouri

It turns out that there’s a CEB contractor by Lathrop, Missouri – which is  within 30 miles from us. Meet Floyd Hagerman, who has built a couple of very interesting CEB houses. The first one shown here is a hybrid – or a combination of CEB and standard construction. It has a Trombe wall – meaning a South-facing CEB wall, painted black, and glazed over. The wall serves as a thermal collector – and its performance is impressive. Last winter, before anyone moved in, the house remained above 40 degrees Fahrenheit all winter – Zone 5 continental climate – with no supplemental heating! Here’s a look.

Here is an example of DIY concrete blocks that Floyd pressed with his machine, by adding about 2% cement. Floyd used reject lime from the quarry, mixed in the stabilizer – and made an external retaining wall:

This was only 3 shovels of cement for over 1000 pounds of reject lime. So we are seeing the feasibility of stabilized blocks for outside use, especially if we add more stabilizer. Sealing the surface with stone sealer or similar cover would finish the job for complete stabilization from the elements.

With LifeTrac, we could throw a bag of cement in front of the soil pulverizer as we work the soil (80 lb for a 1000 lb load of soil, for 8% stabilization), and we would mix and load the soil in one step – ready to be used in The Liberator. We plan on using stabilized brick for walkways, base courses in buildings, and we are considering the possibility for building a driveway paved with brick.

Here is Floyd’s machine – a Powell and Sons version at $15k for up to 6 brick per minute pressing rates:

Here Floyd discusses the feasibility of building with CEB as a contractor – based on his experience. The big question is, does it work? How much would a CEB house end up costing? Here are some interesting insights:

On the open enterprise front, the field is rich for incubating a number of open source CEB entrepreneurs. Anybody out there considering CEB contracting?


  1. burritoboy

    Floyd is awesome! I’m glad he took the time to talk to you that was very generous. We need more folks like him working to get people out of the mortgage-payments-for-life system and building sustainable housing.

  2. Pawel Sroczynski

    yes, i’m considering being contractor for ceb/strawbale/lightclay structures here in Poland. But firt step would be to set a similar place to your farm – the proces has already starded.

    I’m wondering about replacing cement with CONSOLID, below you can see how the brick behave in contact with water:

    read study

  3. Pawel Sroczynski

    sorry for the last link as it’s a payed article.

    of course there’s is a question.. how open is the technology when using not-open sub-technology like consolid.

  4. Marcin
  5. […] do want to consider bringing in additional help from the CEB general contractor, Floyd (see last blog post). We will consider hosting a CEB workshop if progress is good. If the CEB fabrication is going well […]

  6. Erik Källman

    Very inspiring talk there. The trombe wall sounds like it could have many applications!

  7. Tom_L

    I wonder if CEB could be used in conjunction with what this guy proposes:

    I like the high thermal mass concept, the sloped glass, the built in green house, and I really like the dry stacking and surface bonding cement to create a very strong wall very quickly and easily.

    CEB’s have varying heights (how much vairability with the latest press?) – what about the variability in the other dimensions – width’s and depth’s? Do they vary? If not, perhaps building the wall orienting the CEB’s in such a way as to use the least variable dimensions would result in a fast, strong, easily built wall.

    The workshop at factorefarm did not look to be build with a running bond pattern – was it?

  8. […] have heard from Floyd, the local CEB builder, that the reject lime bricks are strong and waterproof when stabilized. They are easy to produce, […]