In response to the earthquake catastrophe in Bam, Iran, and to reflect the participation of colleagues from Iran, a fifth theme will be added to the conference proceedings: “Earthquake resistant construction with earthen building materials”. The deadline for submissions for papers has been extended until the 15th February 2004. The Dachverband Lehm would like to give Iranian experts the opportunity for professional dialogue with international colleagues.
Researchers in Zimbabwe have been struggling to provide low cost houses, but now an answer may have been found. It turned out that the researchers did not need to go very far to come up with one of the best solutions to the problem. The Department of Science and Technology in the Office of the President and Cabinet is popularising the use of rammed earth as one of the cheapest ways of building a house.
Great site, was just reading and doing some work when I found this page
Quentin Branch, the rammed earth builder for architects Rick Joy and Jones Studio, has a very informative website that includes photos, workshop offerings and video.
According to the discussion group at www.designcommunity.com, “Frank Lloyd Wright did design a berm house for a small commune who were building their own homes outside of Detroit in 1940 or 1941. Construction was begun on one house when the war intervened. The other oddity about this design was the use of rammed earth for the walls. The unfinished house was abandoned when the residents were drafted.”
Sponsored by an initiative of the cultural service of the embassy of France and Centro da Terra, is the lecture, HABITAR A TERRA: A Arte de Construir em Terra Crua (To Inhabit The Earth: The Art of Building with Earth) by Jean Dethier. The conference will be held on two separate dates and locations, Porto, Portugal January 17 and Lisbon, Portugal on January 19. Dethier has been investigating this topic for more than 60 years, having being associated the initiatives that have led to resurgences of this building tradition in industrialized countries. The subject of the lecture framed by a traditional perspective, archaeology, modernity and the future of earth architecture, which will include the publication of a book, as well as films for television, and an exhibition on the subject for 2005 that will offer an opportunity to learn about the buildings, cities and cultures that had used this material since the antiquity.
Portugal based Centro da Terra is an organization that promotes the study, documentation and dissemination of earth architecture. Portuguese language website.
Two discussion forums on the web dealing with earth architecture are:
Adobe Group, Suncured earthen adobe bricks, not the software, used for home and large building construction. Mainly a forum for owner-builders worldwide to exchange ideas, techniques, inspiration and support. Professional builders, architects, engineers and students are most welcome. This group was founded on the idea that plain, simple adobe as used over the millennia works well in the modern world and needs no improvement, just encouragement. English language group moderated by Quentin Wilson of El Rito, New Mexico, U.S.
Arqui-Terra, La tierra ha sido y es el material de construcción más utilizado por la humanidad. La ciudad prehispánica de Chan Chan (Perú), las murallas milenarias, las kasbahs de Marruecos, mezquitas de Mali, rascacielos de Yemen, algunas obras de Gaudí y modernos hoteles en EEUU son de tierra. También un tercio de las viviendas de la humanidad. Esta lista pondrá en contacto a los interesados por la arquitectura de tierra europeos y latinoamericanos, para su estudio y conservación. Spanish language group moderated by Jose Maria Sastre Martín of Castilla y León, Spain.
The Adobe Alliance, led by Simone Swan, is an organization whose goals are to to build low-cost energy efficient housing that is climatically and environmentally compatible and to fill widespread needs for sustainable, salubrious housing while enhancing the unique landscape of the Big Bend region of West Texas and other desert environments.