Martin Rauch Builds His Own Home

Notable rammed earth building Martin Rauch, with the assistance of architect Roger Boltshauser recently completed his own rammed earth home in Schlins, Austria. The house which was finished 2008 reacts in its position and in its character directly to the topographic gradient of the slim plot and its genuine landscape context: A monolithic structure becomes a sculptural bloc, an abstract and artificial nature pressed upward from the underlying earth.

LEHM Conference Proceedings

The Dachverband Lehm e.V. announces the availability of conference proceedings from the 4th and 5th International Conferences on Building with Earth from 2004 and 2008.

LEHM 2008: Conference proceedings

The conference proceedings were published on the occasion of the 5th international conference on building with earth in Leipzig. The book contains all papers and posters presented at the conference in both English and German languages. Central topics include earth building norms and regulations, education and training in earth building, current research into building with earth, information networks in earth building, current problems in earthen building practice and new projects and exemplary conversions.

Published by: Dachverband Lehm e.V., 288 pages with illustrations
ISBN 978-3-00-025956-2, October 2008, German and English

Price: 50 Euro + P&P

LEHM 2004: Conference proceedings

The conference proceedings were published on the occasion of the 4th international conference on building with earth in Leipzig. The book contains all papers and posters presented at the conference in both English and German languages. Central topics include UNESCO world heritage, earth in building conservation, new projects and reducing the seismic vulnerability of earthen buildings.

Published by : Dachverband Lehm e.V., ISBN 3 00 014864 7, 324 pages with illustrations, October 2004, German and English.

Price: 35 Euro + P&P

The conference proceedings can be ordered directly from the Dachverband Lehm e.V.

Dachverband Lehm e.V.
Postfach 1172
99409 Weimar

Haus Ihlow

Berlin based architect Eike Roswag’s Haus Ihlow is a renovation and addition to a historic stone barn using rammed earth built in the country side near Berlin. It is the first load bearing housing project in Germany since the 1950s. The construction is based on the “Lehmbauregeln”, but build with surprisingly thin walls (30cm) and large openings for windows.

The house has passive solar heating with a 60 m2 hot water collector and can store 4,000 liters of water supplemented by a wood fire place, connected to a floor and wall heating system. The owners use rain water for toilets and do wastewater treatment before draining the water on their own ground. Roswag’s firm, werk_A has many other projects in rammed earth.

LEHM 2008 Conference Programme

The LEHM 2008, the 5th international trade fair and conference on building with earth, will take place from 9th-12th October 2008 in Koblenz on the Rhine in Germany. Organised by the Dachverband Lehm e.V., the German Association for Building with Earth, the conference takes place every four years in a different earth building region in Germany and, in addition to the conference, includes a trade fair and field trips to modern as well as traditional earth buildings in the region.

Aimed at practitioners and manufacturers, students and educators, architects and academics as well as all who are interested in the potential of earth as a sustainable building material, the LEHM 2008 conference and trade fair offers an opportunity to see, discuss and keep up with innovative developments in the field.

The conference will take place in the historic Ehrenbreitstein Fortress in Koblenz, which overlooks the junction of the rivers Rhine and Mosel, and is organised in cooperation with the Landesmuseum Koblenz and the Koblenz Chamber of Crafts.

The full conference programme and details of the accompanying poster session, trade fair, field trips and social activities are available online:

All who are interested are advised to register early as the capacity of the historic building is limited. Participants can register directly online from the website or alternatively download a PDF file to print out and fax.

A Mudbrick City Wall at Hattuša

Situated in Central Anatolia, Hattuša remained the capital city of the Hittites from 1650/1600 to around 1200 BC. Here, as recently as 2003 to 2005, the German Archaeological Institute has rebuilt one stretch of the mudbrick city wall. The scope of this project in experimental archaeology has been to recreate a part of the wall using the same materials the Hittites had at hand when they built their original walls so long ago. Each step necessary for the construction was fully documented so as to enable us to assess not only the amount of building materials required but also the manpower and time the Hittites must have invested in the various tasks of construction.

This volume presents the results gleaned from this documentation. From the production of the first mudbrick to the dedication of the finished structure, each and every undertaking has been described in detail and is presented here accompanied by 573 illustrations.

For more information visit:

German Institute of Archaeology (In english, german and turkish)

Hattuscha-webpage (in English, German and Turkish)

This book is published also in German and Turkish:

Die Lehmziegel-Stadtmauer von Hattusa
Bericht über eine Rekonstruktion
ISBN 978-975-807-194-7

Hattusa Kerpic Kent Suru
Bir Rekonstrüksiyon Çal??mas?
ISBN 978-975-807-193-9

El Faro: The Citizens’ Initiative Pavilion

Photo credit

The architectural project of the Citizens’ Initiative Pavilion building is the work of the architect Ricardo Higueras for the Zaragoza Expo 2008.

The pavilion building will be based on energy efficiency, recycling and sustainability. Both the building’s shape and its use are based on the traditional ceramic pitcher. The materials used are natural and come straight from the earth: straw, wood, and clay. Prefabricated clay-plastered panels were attached to a super-structure to enclose the pavillion. More photos in the photo gallery. [ Previously ]

Kerpic ’08

The International Conference, Kerpic ’08: Learning from earthen architecture in climate-change will be held at the Cyprus International University, in Lefkosa – Northern Cyprus, on the 4th and 5th of September 2008. The focus of the conference has evolved from quality of life in earthen architecture, environmental and health care, towards disaster prevention. We hope that it will bring together the related disciplines of architects and engineers, on material, construction, marketing and environmental science, to create database, technology watch and strategy.

Cyprus is the third largest island in the Mediterranean. Cyprus has been inhabited since the Neolithic period in history by different cultures. Stone and earthen materials are characteristics of Cyprus vernacular architecture and the Island is especially famous for its earthen traditional houses and villages.

A workshop will be organized on site which will cover the restoration of a local earthen building and the construction method of Alker (gypsum stabilized earthen material) where all the participants can take part. For more information visit the conference website:

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.