18th April: International Day for Monuments and Sites 2004: Earthen architecture and heritage

The International Day for Monuments and Sites was created on 18th April 1982 by ICOMOS and approved by the UNESCO General Conference. This special day offers an opportunity to raise the public’s awareness about the diversity of cultural heritage and the efforts that are required to protect and conserve it, as well as draw attention to its vulnerability.

This year, to mark the 18th April, ICOMOS encourages its National Committees, its International Scientific Committees and members to organise activities to promote and to foster the conservation and protection of all earthen architecture and heritage.

Mud brick, rammed earth or other systems, one of the simplest material – earth – coupled with the skills of hands and minds, has produced an immense diversity of buildings, settlements or landscapes that constitutes a major but unknown part of our cultural heritage, to be found almost everywhere.

Nader Khalili


Iranian born Nader Khalili, California architect/author is the world renowned Earth Architecture teacher and innovator, and author. He has been a licensed architect in the State of California since 1970, and has practiced both in the U.S. and abroad. Click here to visit Khalili’s website: Cal-Earth, The California Institute for Earth Art and Architecture.

His books, Ceramic Houses and Earth Architecture: How to Build Your Own and Racing Alone document his life of searching for a method to fire mud houses and turn them to stone by firing and glazing an entire building after it is constructed from clay-earth on site.

Dachverband Lehm

Dachverband Lehm is a German organization interested in promoting the culture of building with earth. The association sees itself as an umbrella organization for all those interested in earth and earthen building. The organization coordinates and concentrates the various activities of its members. Dachverband Lehm was established in 1992 as an association to promote the culture of building with earth and to represent all those interested or working in the field. Today they are the internationally recognised representative in Germany for clay and earth building. Their work in establishing technical building regulations, the “Lehmbau Regeln”, and their vocational training programme “Specialist for Building with Earth”, recognized by the Chamber of Trade and Commerce, are exemplary in Germany.
Their website offers a series of interesting links regarding international earth building.


CRATerre-EAG, The Center for the Research and Application of Earth Architecture, is part of the School of Architecture of Grenoble, France, which offers the only Masters Degree in Earth Architecture in the world. The website is only in French, but you can translate at babelfish.