Modern Earth Buildings - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9780857090263, 9780857096166

Modern Earth Buildings

1st Edition

Materials, Engineering, Constructions and Applications

Editors: Matthew Hall R Lindsay M Krayenhoff
eBook ISBN: 9780857096166
Hardcover ISBN: 9780857090263
Imprint: Woodhead Publishing
Published Date: 11th July 2012
Page Count: 800
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Table of Contents

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Woodhead Publishing Series in Energy


Part I: Introduction to modern earth buildings

Chapter 1: Overview of modern earth building


1.1 Introduction

1.2 Definition of modern earth building

1.3 The significance of modern earth building in the current and future construction industries

1.4 Changes in the modern earth building industry

1.5 Managing the demands of the modern construction industry

Chapter 2: Hygrothermal behaviour and occupant comfort in modern earth buildings


2.1 Introduction

2.2 Hygrothermal loads and modelling

2.3 Thermal and hygric properties of earth materials

2.4 Hygrothermal behaviour and passive air conditioning

2.5 Indoor health and air quality

2.6 Sources of further information

2.8 Appendix: nomenclature

Chapter 3: Fabric insulation, thermal bridging and acoustics in modern earth buildings


3.1 Introduction

3.2 Approaches to fabric insulation

3.3 Thermal bridging theory

3.4 Thermal bridging simulation tools

3.5 Acoustic reverberation

3.6 Sources of further information

3.8 Appendix: nomenclature

Chapter 4: Modern earth building codes, standards and normative development


4.1 Introduction: a short history of building codes for using earth as a building material

4.2 Types of ‘standards’ for earth buildings

4.3 Normative documents for earth building

4.4 Selecting the parameters for earth building standards

4.5 New developments in earth building standards

4.6 Conclusions

Chapter 5: Passive house design: a benchmark for thermal mass fabric integration


5.1 Introduction

5.2 Description of Passive House

5.3 Functional principles of Passive House

5.4 Case studies of Passive Houses in different climates

5.5 Examples of Passive House architecture in Germany

5.6 Future trends

5.7 Sources of further information

Part II: Earth materials engineering and earth construction

Chapter 6: Soil materials for earth construction: properties, classification and suitability testing


6.1 Introduction

6.2 Soil formation

6.3 Soil types

6.4 Soil consistency

6.5 Compaction of soil

6.6 Conclusion

6.8 Appendix

Chapter 7: Alternative and recycled materials for earth construction


7.1 Introduction

7.2 Classification

7.3 Types of alternative material

7.4 Characteristics of alternative and recycled materials

7.5 Form of recycled and alternative materials: bulk or binder

7.6 Leaching

7.7 Physical and mechanical properties of alternative and recycled materials

7.8 The use and reuse life cycle

7.9 Future trends and conclusions

7.10 Sources of further information

7.12 Appendix

Chapter 8: Soil mechanics and earthen construction: strength and mechanical behaviour


8.1 Introduction

8.2 Basic mechanics

8.3 Fundamental soil behaviour

8.4 Effective stress

8.5 Models of shear strength for soils

8.6 Unsaturated soil behaviour

8.7 The use of soil mechanics in earthen construction

8.8 Future trends

8.9 Sources of further information

Chapter 9: Soil stabilisation and earth construction: materials, properties and techniques


9.1 Introduction

9.2 Lime stabilisation

9.3 Cement and pozzolans

9.4 Bituminous binders and emulsions

9.5 Synthetic binders, polymers and adhesives

9.6 Fibre reinforcement

9.7 Selection tool for modern stabilised earth construction

Chapter 10: Integral admixtures and surface treatments for modern earth buildings


10.1 Introduction

10.2 Integral admixtures for modern earth construction

10.3 Surface treatment for modern earth buildings

10.4 Future trends

10.5 Sources of information

Chapter 11: Weathering and durability of earthen material and structures


11.1 Introduction

11.2 Water content increase in earthen walls

11.3 Strategies to increase the durability of earth walls

11.4 Current tests for assessing the durability of earthen materials

11.5 Surface coatings and finishes of earth structures

11.6 Long-term performance testing of earth walls

11.7 Future trends and conclusions

11.8 Acknowledgements

Part III: Earth building technologies and earth construction techniques

Chapter 12: History of earth building techniques


12.1 Introduction

12.2 Earth building techniques in Asia

12.3 Earth building techniques in Africa

12.4 Earth building techniques in Europe

12.5 Earth building techniques in North America

12.6 Earth building techniques in South America

12.7 Earth building techniques in Australasia

12.8 Conclusions

Chapter 13: Stabilised soil blocks for structural masonry in earth construction


13.1 Introduction

13.2 Soil stabilisation techniques

13.3 Production of stabilised soil blocks (SSBs)

13.4 Characteristics of stabilised soil blocks (SSBs)

13.5 Cement–soil mortars for stabilised soil block masonry

13.6 Stabilised soil block masonry

13.7 Long-term performance, repair and retrofitting of stabilised soil block buildings

13.8 Case studies of cement-stabilised soil block (CSSB) buildings

Chapter 14: Modern rammed earth construction techniques


14.1 Introduction

14.2 Material sourcing

14.3 Proportioning and mixing

14.4 Formwork

14.5 Installation

14.6 Future trends and conclusions

Chapter 15: Pneumatically impacted stabilized earth (PISE) construction techniques


15.1 Introduction

15.2 Materials used for pneumatically impacted stabilized earth (PISE) construction

15.3 The forming system

15.4 Reinforcement of pneumatically impacted stabilized earth (PISE) walls

15.5 Equipment for proportioning, mixing and placement

15.6 The pneumatically impacted stabilized earth (PISE) method

15.7 Conclusion

15.8 Appendix

Chapter 16: Conservation of historic earth buildings


16.1 Introduction

16.2 Common causes of deterioration on historic earth buildings

16.3 Conservation of earth architecture

16.4 Case study of the UNESCO heritage site of Diriyah in the Atturaif region of Saudi Arabia

16.5 Case study of earth buildings in Italy: Loreto Aprutino in the Abruzzo region

16.6 Conclusions

Part IV: Modern earth structural engineering

Chapter 17: Earth masonry structures: arches, vaults and domes


17.1 Introduction

17.2 Structural theory for arches, vaults and domes

17.3 Earth masonry arches

17.4 Earth masonry vaults

17.5 Earth masonry domes

17.6 Material properties of earth masonry structure

17.7 Design and construction criteria for earth masonry structures

17.8 Future trends

17.9 Acknowledgments

Chapter 18: Structural steel elements within stabilised rammed earth walling


18.1 Introduction

18.2 Structural steel for stabilised rammed earth (SRE) walling

18.3 Design parameters for using structural steel within stabilised rammed earth (SRE) walling

18.4 The use of steel lintels for stabilised rammed earth (SRE) applications

18.5 Steel columns embedded within stabilised rammed earth (SRE) walls

18.6 Structural systems for elevated or ‘precast’ stabilised rammed earth (SRE) panels

18.7 North American structural steel

18.8 Conclusion

18.9 Acknowledgements

18.10 Sources of further information

Chapter 19: Natural disasters and earth buildings: resistant design and construction


19.1 Introduction

19.2 Earthquakes and earth buildings

19.3 Earthquake engineering

19.4 Wind and storms

19.5 Earth building design for wind resistance

19.6 Flood hazards and earth buildings

19.7 Volcanoes and landslides

19.8 Future trends

Chapter 20: Embankments and dams


20.1 Introduction

20.2 Types and selection of embankment dams

20.3 Zoning of embankment dams and construction materials

20.4 Embankment dam construction specifications

20.5 Stability analysis of embankment dams

20.6 Dam freeboard requirement

20.7 Failure mechanisms

20.8 Maintenance of embankment dams

20.9 Future trends

20.10 Norms and standards

Part V: Application of modern earth construction: international case studies

Chapter 21: North American modern earth construction


21.1 Introduction

21.2 Seventh generation thinking and earth construction

21.3 The interplay of indoor and outdoor weather

21.4 Applications of earth construction in hot climates

21.5 Applications of earth construction in wet and cold climates

21.6 Optimizing rammed earth compressive strength

21.7 North American-style rammed earth

21.8 Case studies of North American earth construction

21.9 Design elegance of modern earth buildings

21.10 Future trends

21.11 Sources of further information

21.12 Acknowledgments

Chapter 22: Australian modern earth construction


22.1 Introduction

22.2 Uses of stabilised rammed earth in different regions of Australia

22.3 Approaches to material type and selection

22.4 Formwork and construction techniques: the ‘Stabilform system’

22.5 Stabilised rammed earth (SRE) walls

22.6 Designing for thermal comfort

22.7 Standards and specifications for modern earth construction in Australia

22.8 The cost of stabilised rammed earth (SRE) construction in Australia

22.9 Case studies of modern earth buildings in Victoria, Australia

22.10 Future trends

22.11 Sources of further information

22.12 Acknowledgements

Chapter 23: European modern earth construction


23.1 Introduction

23.2 Conservation and revival of traditional techniques

23.3 Modern earth construction techniques

23.4 Case studies of modern earth buildings throughout Europe

23.5 Future trends

23.6 Acknowledgements

Chapter 24: Modern rammed earth construction in China


24.1 Introduction

24.2 Challenges for modern rammed earth construction in China

24.3 Opportunities for modern rammed earth construction in China

24.4 Approaches to material type and selection

24.5 Construction techniques and formwork

24.6 Case studies

24.7 Future trends


Appendix 1: Techno-economic analysis and environmental assessment of stabilised rammed earth (SRE) building construction

Appendix 2: Techno-economic analysis and environmental assessment of stabilized insulated rammed earth (SIREWALL) building



The construction of earth buildings has been taking place worldwide for centuries. With the improved energy efficiency, high level of structural integrity and aesthetically pleasing finishes achieved in modern earth construction, it is now one of the leading choices for sustainable, low-energy building. Modern earth buildings provides an essential exploration of the materials and techniques key to the design, development and construction of such buildings.

Beginning with an overview of modern earth building, part one provides an introduction to design and construction issues including insulation, occupant comfort and building codes. Part two goes on to investigate materials for earth buildings, before building technologies are explored in part three including construction techniques for earth buildings. Modern earth structural engineering is the focus of part four, including the creation of earth masonry structures, use of structural steel elements and design of natural disaster-resistant earth buildings. Finally, part five of Modern earth buildings explores the application of modern earth construction through international case studies.

With its distinguished editors and international team of expert contributors, Modern earth buildings is a key reference work for all low-impact building engineers, architects and designers, along with academics in this field.

Key Features

  • Provides an essential exploration of the materials and techniques key to the design, development and construction of modern earth buildings
  • Comprehensively discusses design and construction issues, materials for earth buildings, construction techniques and modern earth structural engineering, among other topics
  • Examines the application of modern earth construction through international case studies


Low-impact building engineers and building physicists; architects and low-energy building designers and design consultants; academics in engineering.


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© Woodhead Publishing 2012
Woodhead Publishing
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Long overdue as a resource and instantly useable by knowledge professionals., Keith Robinson, Dialog Architecture

About the Editors

Matthew Hall Editor

Dr Matthew R. Hall is a Lecturer in civil engineering materials at the University of Nottingham, UK. He is an award winning researcher, noted for his work in the fields of thermo-physical properties and heat and mass transport in porous materials.

Affiliations and Expertise

University of Nottingham, UK

R Lindsay Editor

Rick Lindsay is the Managing Director of Earth Structures Pty Ltd, Australia.

Affiliations and Expertise

Earth Structures Pty Ltd, Australia

M Krayenhoff Editor

Meror Krayenhoff is the founder of SIREWALL Inc, Canada.

Affiliations and Expertise

SIREWALL Inc, Canada