Innovative Use of Earthen Building Technologies for Emerging Architecture

Lead Research Organisation: University of Cambridge
Department Name: Architecture


By finding inspiration in ancient and vernacular building techniques and searching for novel ways to build with earthen materials, this research will demonstrate the possibilities and virtues of building with simple earth-based materials. The research aims to promote earthen buildings with their low-embodied energy and thermal comfort qualities, as a sustainable and healthy alternative to concrete and steel buildings by investigating: Diverse uses of structurally weak compressed earth blocks and unfired clay masonry units in structural masonry and thin tile vaulting, with the use of efficient compression geometries and technological advancements. Novel building techniques with earth and structural masonry utilizing cutting-edge digital design and fabrication technologies. Stabilization mixes/methods to modify and enhance the qualities of earth. Low-cost and waste-free methods of constructing with cast/poured earth such as fabric formwork or carbon-fibre reinforcement. Fabrication of structurally sound custom designed clay bricks and blocks with diverse climatic, acoustic and visual characteristics by using digital design and manufacturing technologies.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/R513180/1 30/09/2018 29/09/2023
2252520 Studentship EP/R513180/1 30/09/2019 30/01/2023 Yelda Gin