Building with Earth Design and Technology of a Sustainable Architecture

 Building with Earth Design and Technology of a Sustainable Architecture

Building with Earth Design and Technology of a Sustainable Architecture

Written in response to an increasing world-wide interest in building with earth, this handbook deals with earth as a building material, and provides a survey of all of its applications and construction techniques, including the relevant physical data, while explaining its specific qualities and the pos- sibilities of optimising them. No theoretical treatise, however, can substitute for practical
experience involving actually building with earth.

The data and experiences and the specific realisations of earth construction contained in this volume may be used as guidelines for a variety of construction processes and possible applications by engineers, architects, entrepreneurs, craftsmen and public policy-makers who find themselves attempting, either from desire or ecessity, to come to terms with humanity’s oldest building material.
Earth as a building material comes in a thousand different compositions, and can be variously processed. Loam, or clayey soil, as it is referred to scientifically, has different names when used in various applications, for instance rammed earth, soil blocks, mud bricks or adobe.

This book documents the results of experiments and research conducted continuously at the Forschungslabor für Experimentelles Bauen (Building Research Institute) at the University of Kassel in Germany since 1978.
Moreover, the specialised techniques which the author developed and the practical experience he gathered in the course of designing earth buildings in a number of countries have also found their way into this book.
This volume is loosely based on the German publication Das neue Lehmbau-Handbuch (Publisher: Ökobuch Verlag, Staufen), first published in 1994 and now in its sixth edition. Of this publication a Spanish and a Russian edition have also appeared. While this is first and foremost a technical book, the introductory chapter also provides the reader with a short survey on the history of earth architecture. In addition it describes the historical and future roles of earth as a building material, and lists all of the significant characteristics that distinguish earth from common industrialised building materials. A major recent discovery, that earth can be used to balance indoor climate, is explained in greater detail.

The book’s final chapter deserves special mention insofar as it depicts a number of representative earth buildings from various regions of the world. These constructions demonstrate the impressive versatility of earth architecture and the many different uses of the building material earth.


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