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Interlocking blocks – a cost effective building solution for Africa

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Interlocking soil-cement blocks allow for the quick and cost efficient construction of housing units and other buildings. South Africa-based Hydraform’s Interlocking Blockmaking Machines are currently being used across Africa by property developers, entrepreneurs, governments and NGOs.

A building constructed using Hydraform's interlocking bricks.

A building constructed using Hydraform’s interlocking blocks.

One such company that is benefitting from Hydraform’s technology is Malawi’s Hydra Homes Ltd. Formed in 2009 by a British Chartered Civil Engineer, the company has over 200 employees engaged in construction projects around Malawi.

Hydra Homes specialises in dry stacked interlocking construction utilising Hydraform’s blocks. This sets them apart from any other construction company in Malawi. Hydra Homes has an in-house architectural and engineering team that can offer simple advice on projects or develop full technical drawings for developments for planning and construction.

Why interlocking blocks

Steven Tucker, international sales manager at Hydraform, says that using interlocking blocks have numerous benefits, especially for companies operating on the continent.

One of the advantages of interlocking blocks is that they can be dry-stacked with no mortar. “This greatly increases the speed of construction,” he says.

This building system has been extensively tested for structural strength and durability, as well as for fire, rain and sound resistance.

Workers in Uganda receive training on using Hydraform's brickmaking machine.

Workers in Uganda receive training on using Hydraform’s blockmaking machine.

Hydraform’s blockmaking machines only use three inputs, namely soil that can be sourced on site, a small amount of cement that provides stability to the blocks, and water. As a result, the machines are ideal for sites where transport costs for cement and sand are high. They are also an eco-friendly, cost-saving alternative to conventional vibration machines. Hydraform machines are available in diesel or electrical options. Depending on the model, the machines have the capacity to produce between 1,500 and 3,000 blocks per eight-hour shift.

The machines are relatively labour intensive, requiring about six operators. Tucker says that for most companies and governments this is an advantage because it creates employment opportunities and allows for skills transfer.

According to Tucker, the company’s technology is particularly popular in Africa’s mining industry, where entire communities often have to be relocated to make way for new mines.

Hydraform also provides full training on using its machines as well as building techniques for interlocking blocks. “We offer training programmes both here in South Africa and on-site across the continent. Our technicians would give workers training on operating the machines as well as maintenance. The machines are relatively easy to use and people normally learn quite quickly.”

Tucker notes that although Africa is currently the company’s biggest market, its machines are being used extensively throughout the world, including South America, Central America, the US, Eastern Europe and India.
Hydraform also has French-speaking sales and training staff.

Other products

In addition to its Interlocking Blockmaking Machines, Hydraform offers a range of other products. These include:

VIBRAFORM Concrete Brick & Blockmaking Machines
VIBRAFORM machines are conventional concrete brick and block machines that compress by vibrating river sand, crusher dust, stone, ash, slag and other aggregates mixed with cement. These machines manufacture the standard masonry units that are used in conventional buildings. VIBRAFORM machines are available in diesel or electronic options.

Roof Tile Machines
The Hydraform tile extrusion concrete roof machines manufacture double roman concrete roofing tiles. With a daily production of 1,000 to 2,500 high-quality tiles, the machines can create a profitable medium-sized production facility for an entrepreneur who would like to start a tile plant. They are also simple to operate and to maintain.

Contact details

For more information or to request a quote, contact Hydraform at:


French website:

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32 Responses to Interlocking blocks – a cost effective building solution for Africa

  1. avatar
    Anchen de Beer '12 September 2013' at 15:31 #

    I would like to where I can buy the bricks only. I do not want the machine for making the blocks. I want to build a granny flat and I can’t seem to find where to buy the blocks. Could you please advise me. Thank you

  2. avatar
    seth osei '30 April 2013' at 14:17 #

    please at what ratio should a cement be added to a full wheel barrow of sand to obtain a durable quality brick.Thank you

  3. avatar
    Nana Ansu Adane Kofrobour II '3 April 2013' at 10:25 #

    I am in Ghana and would like to know the prices of your hydraform M7M1 for both brand new and used ones. Thank you.

  4. avatar
    Stephen erasmus '1 March 2013' at 16:50 #

    Good day
    Can you please forward me a quote of machine , diesel and electricity.

  5. avatar
    Evans Kondowe '16 February 2013' at 08:29 #

    I am in Zambia, please send me the quotation for the tatol cost of the machine.

  6. avatar
    Akosua Asiedu '28 January 2013' at 16:07 #

    Hi I am very much interested in this machine. I want to know where I can get some to buy and the cost involved. Please i am expecting a reply ASAP. I am in Ghana.

  7. avatar
    farookh shah '13 December 2012' at 11:54 #

    i want to know about machine and its price cost.

  8. avatar
    frank '12 December 2012' at 15:40 #

    i am in Tanzania and i would like to know where i can get your machine? how much will cost a M7MI or M7 machine?

  9. avatar
    Tumie '11 December 2012' at 12:38 #

    i would like to know where i can get the machines or where i can get the blocks in botswana.

  10. avatar
    Alex '27 November 2012' at 12:38 #

    Very much impressed, where in kenya can get the interlocking blocks and the machines?

  11. avatar
    sasa bolingo '24 November 2012' at 15:30 #

    Thank you for the post, quite informative. Can I get a quote for the block and brick machine and if possible a mixer. THANKS

  12. avatar
    Salvatore '22 November 2012' at 09:44 #

    If you desire to obtain a good deal from this article then
    you have to apply such methods to your won website. vimax

  13. avatar
    RUTH NDEGWA '21 November 2012' at 15:10 #

    Hi,thanks for such a wonderful article,for the first time i have heard about this machine,was really impressed.Our house is made of the mixer,and i would like to learn how to use the machine,very interested. thanks for inspiring Africa.

  14. avatar
    trevor '23 October 2012' at 11:10 #

    Hi i am interested in the block making machine,can you tell me how much does it cost,i am in Cape Town.

  15. avatar
    Mosalo '11 October 2012' at 13:26 #


    Please send the info about the Hydroform inter lock block machine


  16. avatar
    joe '11 October 2012' at 01:43 #

    i would like to know the prices of the interlocking block machines plus the roof tile machines. Where can I get them in Kenya?

  17. avatar
    frederick '4 October 2012' at 14:52 #

    is this real? that like wow. can i have more information on the pricing,performance and durability of the machine.

    thank you

  18. avatar
    primrose '28 September 2012' at 10:21 #

    what is the price for these machines?

  19. avatar
    osho gbenga '20 September 2012' at 09:41 #

    Please send me more details concerning pricing and specifications.
    Do you have any firm in nigeria I can talk to.

  20. avatar
    jacob otieno '3 September 2012' at 09:50 #

    What are type of soil should one use in making the bricks.? And at what ratio should they be mixed with cement??

  21. avatar
    John Darling Nyendwa '31 August 2012' at 12:26 #

    The machines are excellent mony making machines. I require hollow blockmaking machine too.

  22. avatar
    John Darling Nyendwa '31 August 2012' at 12:23 #

    Thanks for this wonderful machine. Please send me more information and prices. Send me also information on blockmaking machine.

  23. avatar
    Linda '27 August 2012' at 23:35 #


    Quite impressive. I am a developer from Namibia. I am interested in the machine, please send price list, delivery costs included


  24. avatar
    ida '24 August 2012' at 12:19 #

    i’m very much interested in building a three bedroom house using interlock blocks.where can i get them in kisumu,kenya.plz let me know asap.

  25. avatar
    Stephane Fotso '16 August 2012' at 14:31 #

    Please send me more details concerning pricing and specifications.

  26. avatar
    JOSEPH OLOWOJOBA '14 August 2012' at 20:31 #

    Your machine is great. I lived in Atlanta Ga for the 25 years and have been doing business in Africa in areas of buy and sell.I would like to know if i can represent you in west Africa and make Nigeria the regional head quarter.With my technical (mechanical) background we can make huge profit not to mention the numbers of jobs it would create in the communities. My close contact with Nigeria Government is a plus and once we reach agreement i would relocate to Africa. Was the machine design in south Africa?.I would provide any information about me upon request. Let me know your take

  27. avatar
    Walter '12 August 2012' at 17:23 #

    Thank you for the post, quite informative. Could I get a quote on the block and brick machine and if possible a mixer. Nairobi, Kenya.

  28. avatar
    Michael '4 July 2012' at 19:11 #

    What is the prices for this machines.

  29. avatar
    MARK ALLEN '2 May 2012' at 08:15 #


  30. avatar
    nadir '26 February 2012' at 16:16 #

    hello sir
    how can i get the plan structure like u have attached on your website for house ,can i get some info about plan structure for ware house n hotels

  31. avatar
    Arnold Dube '15 September 2011' at 15:41 #

    I am very much impressed with the machine that makes building blocks. In Malawi where I come from it is now a big problem to find wood to burn the regular bricks for building. This is a wonder machine. How can I get one of this Hyraform?