SIREWALL® has updated ancient rammed earth processes with a new global standard for durable, healthy and energy efficient buildings and spaces. SIREWALLs are Stabilized, Insulated, Rammed Earth walls. SIREWALL homes and buildings are constructed with a matrix of local soils strengthened with rebar and a small percentage of cement that surround a core of insulation. A typical SIREWALL is 18? to 24? thick, with 4? of rigid insulation hidden in the centre of the wall. From a dream home or cottage to a winery or cultural centre, SIREWALL builds beautiful walls with timeless distinction.

SIREWALL, the creation of an acclaimed local green building company and recipient of a Governor General’s Medal in Architecture, will be offering introductory courses on Stabilized, Insulated, Rammed Earth (SIRE) this spring and summer.

University of Bath Research Studentships in Earth Architecture

The University of Bath Department BRE Centre for Innovative Construction Materials in the Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering is offering Research Studentships that include:

Humidity buffering using earth masonry: During experimental studies, earth masonry has been shown to buffer humidity in buildings by reducing peaks experienced under normal usage (e.g. in shower rooms). This has potential to improve occupant health and reduce ventilation (and therefore energy demand) in buildings but the effect has not been fully qualified. This project aims to quantify how earth masonry materials can buffer humidity in buildings. Supervisor Dr Andrew Heath

Grouting mix design for historic mud brick masonry: Established grouting methods are available for stone and brick masonry set in lime mortar. However there is at present little work on unfired and low-fired brick masonry set in predominantly mud mortar with rubble cores. This type of masonry constitutes a large proportion of historic buildings worldwide.The efficacy of grouting historic masonry to reinstate integrity or enhance structural capacity, especially against lateral loading, has been proved by various researchers. The project will research ad hoc grouting mixes for traditional mud set masonry by investigating lime and soil mixes. Experimental work will be carried out by means of test walls. Non destructive testing techniques will be also used in collaboration with a well established testing house and on site trials will be conducted in the latter stage of the study. Supervisors Dr Dina D’Ayala and Dr Enrico Fodde.

Projects to start: October 2009

The studentships:
The studentships cover home/EU tuition fees, a standard stipend (currently £12,940 (tax free) per annum), and research expenses. In addition, departmental teaching assistantships, up to a value of £1500 p.a. are also available. Overseas students are eligible to apply, but will be expected to pay the difference between home/EU and overseas fees (currently around £8,000 p.a.) and have an English Language Qualification, IELTS of not less than 7 or its equivalent.

The successful candidate will join the BRE Centre for Innovative Construction Materials in the Faculty of Engineering & Design. In the recent Research Assessment Exercise 70% of staff at the University of Bath’s Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering were graded as internationally leading or internationally significant in their field. This translates as 6th place nationally in the Built Environment Unit of Assessment, and maintains the equivalent of our top 5 rating achieved in the 2001 RAE.

The University of Bath is located within the UNESCO World Heritage City of Bath.

Candidates should hold a first or upper second class honours degree in Civil Engineering, Materials Science or a related subject.

For further information please contact: Prof. Pete Walker, Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering, University of Bath, Claverton Campus, Bath BA2 7AY; Email:; Tel: 01225 386646.

Applications should be submitted by post or on-line. For further information on the application process please contact Emma Greeley (Email:; Tel: 01225 386908) or visit the university’s Graduate Office web pages:

The deadline for receipt of applications is the 31st of March 2009.

Jean Dethier Lecture: Building with Raw Earth: An Eco-Revolution?

The organizers of the 2009 People, Land and Property lecture, sponsored by BDO Stoy Hayward, are delighted to invite you to the lecture, “Building with Raw Earth: An Eco-Revolution? The Sustainable Future of a Millenial Tradition: Housing, Urban Development and Land Uses” by Jean Dethier.

The lecture will be held Tuesday, February 17th, 2008 in Fitzwilliam College Auditorium, Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge CB3 0DG at 5:00 pm, followed by a drinks reception. For more information contact

Library and Archive at Douai Abbey

Architect David Richmond & Partners and structural engineer Price & Myers are creating a rammed earth wall using local soil for a new library and archive at Douai Abbey. The proposed 300mm-thick, 2.7m-tall earth walls, which will be built on a 100mm-tall concrete plinth, offer the right amount of thermal mass to ensure a stable internal temperature. When built, it will be the only library in the UK to use rammed earth technology. It is also the first time that either the architect or the structural engineer have worked with rammed earth.


EARTHA, The East Anglian Regional Telluric Houses Association, is an organization whose aims and objectives are to encourage the development of expertise and understanding in all aspects of earth building in the east of England by:

Establishing a network of people from various professions and trades all of whom have an interest in the study, maintenance and promotion of earth buildings in the east of England: through links with ICOMOS it will join with other networks in the United Kingdom and worldwide.

Providing a forum for discussion of issues relating to earth building in the east of England.

Providing advice on the repair and maintenance of earth buildings through an information service, the publication of technical guidance and the organisation of practical demonstrations, exhibitions and seminars.

Establishing mutually beneficial links with groups and individuals working with earth buildings in the other parts of the Britain and abroad.

Collaborating with other networks to prepare and publish information manual covering all aspects of the construction, repair and maintenance of earth buildings including composite structures, daubs, renders and plasters.

Encouraging and supporting training in the field of earth building and associated skills.

Encouraging the revival of appropriate earth building techniques for new building construction and investigating the potential of the material for low energy buildings.