Compressed Earth Block

Our Mission

To advance and promote earthen construction

Our Vision

Earthen construction is an established, mainstream building technology

About ECI

ECI has been organized exclusively for educational and scientific purposes.

Our Story


A group from Central Texas, led by Stephen Colley, decided to form the Earthen Construction Initiative after attending EarthUSA 2015 in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

This Texas group included Michael Donoghue, Stephen Colley, Lauran Drown, Celia Mendoza, Beverly Donoghue, and Jim Hallock.

Earthen Construction Initiative Founders

Earthen Construction Initiative Founders


Earth USA 2015

Santa Fe, New Mexico – the “spark” for ECI.

Attending EarthUSA 2015

Attending EarthUSA 2015


ECI was established as a nonprofit association in Texas.

San Antonio Mayor’s Housing Summit: Members arranged for a presentation by Francesco Piazezzi of ¡Échale! a Tu Casa, a successful affordable housing/economic development organization that has assisted communities in 23 Mexican states to build their own compressed earth block homes.

IRS approval of ECI’s 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status.

Strategic planning retreat

Successful demonstration of sealant that inhibits rain and storm water penetration while maintaining the “breathability” of earthen building materials

1st General Meeting

Building Science podcast interview with Stephen Colley about earthen construction

American Institute of Architects’ San Antonio Young Architects meeting: ECI presentation, “Earthen Structures in South Texas,” followed by a block-making demonstration by Advanced Earthen Construction Technologies (AECT)


EarthUSA 2017 sponsor, with several members attending

Approval of ECI for state sales tax exemption

Solar Fest 2017 co-sponsor: ECI hosted an information booth on earthen construction with AECT’s blockmaking demonstration

First Annual ECI Christmas Potluck: We enjoyed delicious food, reviewed our accomplishments, and shared our interests and ideas about earthen construction.

ECI Members Present series launched

Board of Directors

Stephen Colley

Stephen Colley


Lauran Drown

Lauran Drown

Vice President

Christine Westerman

Christine Westerman


Beverly Donoghue

Beverly Donoghue


Celia Mendoza

Celia Mendoza

Board Member

Ron Evans

Ron Evans

Board Member



Develop and refine annual budget and 3-year budget


Plan fundraising events and activities

Develop grant proposals/applications


Conduct presentations and hands-on workshops for variety of audiences


Develop, maintain, monitor, and refine social media, including website


Conduct research on earthen materials, assemblies, and structures

Recommend code modifications for safe, durable earthen construction

Restaurant, Texas
Photo credit: Ron Evans
Rammed Earth

Join Us!

With your help, we’ll continue to expand our efforts in outreach, education, and research to help bring earthen construction into the mainstream.

We welcome your participation, your ideas, and your support.