Lateritic soils have been described as highly weathered tropical or sub-tropical residual soils with
varying proportions of particle sizes ranging from clay size to gravel, usually coated with sesquioxide rich
concretions. It is sometimes referred to as brick earth based on its use. The use of laterite and lateritic
soils have been found to promote the realization of decent housing and bridging the housing deficit,
especially in Africa.
The author has attempted to review available information on the recent trends in building bricks and
housing development with the aim of identifying a suitable soil material that will meet the present
challenge of sustaining the environment without costing too much and maintaining a high standard of
strength, durability and aesthetics. A critical review of laterite and lateritic soils from a geological point of
view indicated these soils to be one of the best natural materials used in the production of compressed
earth bricks. Lateritic soils are mostly well graded, comprising both cohesive (silt and clay) and cohesionless
(sands and gravels) soil fraction, it contains sesquioxides and clay minerals which are very useful
in the natural binding process as well as in the presence of most chemical binders.
Compressed earth bricks are mainly composed of raw earth materials (soil) with their cohesion due
principally to the clay fraction present in both humid and dry states. CEB's promote building in a 'sustainable'
way and offers a good prospect to using our resources in an efficient manner while creating
dwellings that improve human health, well-being and preserving a better environment, with an
affordable and natural alternative.