Current Developments and Future Needs for Natural Earth Construction: A State-of-the-Art Review
Pp. 97-126 (30)
Ana Cecilia Vieira Nobrega and Normando Perazzo Barbosa
A more sustainable and conscientious world desires to go back in time to use
environmentally friendly construction materials, earthen materials. However, the
simplicity of such materials has not yet been properly addressed in either academic or
field research; at the same time natural earth construction is far from mature. In this
scenario, we summarize the development of natural earth construction during the last
few years. Recent publications including a number of books and journals on natural
building are reviewed, while emphasizing the impacts of field research. Controversies
and gaps in understanding are identified, and we discuss the advances of these modern
ideas through the years. Topics include a review of natural earth building; materials
selection; property evaluation; academic and field studies; and a state-of-the-art review
on current developments (Adobe, Compressed earth blocks, Cob, Rammed earth,
Earthbag construction, Earth floors, and Earth wall finishes). Recent developments in
standards for earthen building materials are also reviewed. This chapter concludes with
perspectives and future needs in natural earth construction, those which may have
significant impacts on the advancing field.
Earth construction, sustainable building, stabilized earth, compressed
earth block, rammed earth, natural building material.
Department of Civil Engineering, Federal University of Pernambuco, Joao Pessoa-PB, Brazil.