Date of Award


Document Type



Santa Clara University


Civil Engineering

First Advisor

Tracy Abbott

Second Advisor

Mark Aschheim


Earthquakes in Haiti and Nepal left many people devastated. Millions of people were initially displaced and forced to reside in displacement camps. Developing countries like these need a form of economical construction. Our design and manufacturing process for interlocking CMU (concrete masonry unit) blocks can help build low-cost homes quickly and efficiently. Wall construction costs are reduced because skilled masons are not needed to build the wall. Instead, unskilled homeowners and laborers can stack the interlocking blocks, which serve as forms for the subsequent placement of reinforcement and grout within some of the CMU block voids. Using a steel mold, we were able to produce 4 sample blocks. With various design constraints in mind, we narrowed our block down to one design. We then designed a mold to make the blocks. Even though our mold design was sufficient for making the blocks, recommendations such as funneled walls on the top rim of the mold form could be used for improved block construction. Since we were not able to reach our intended goal of building a wall from our interlocking block design due to time constraints, we left that portion of our project as future work.