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Journal cover: Structural Survey

Structural Survey

ISSN: 0263-080X

Online from: 1983

Subject Area: Built Environment

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Environmental assessment of rammed earth construction systems

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Title:Environmental assessment of rammed earth construction systems
Author(s):Graham J. Treloar, (Lecturer at the School of Architecture and Building, Deakin University, Geelong, Victoria, Australia.), Ceridwen Owen, (PhD Student at the University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia.), Roger Fay, (Head of School of Architecture, University of Tasmania, Tasmania, Australia.)
Citation:Graham J. Treloar, Ceridwen Owen, Roger Fay, (2001) "Environmental assessment of rammed earth construction systems", Structural Survey, Vol. 19 Iss: 2, pp.99 - 106
Keywords:Cement, Construction industry, Environmental impact assessment
Article type:General review
DOI:10.1108/02630800110393680 (Permanent URL)
Publisher:MCB UP Ltd
Abstract:Present concerns for sustainable development have led to a revival of traditional building practices using natural or recycled resources. There is a perception that buildings constructed from such materials are environmentally benign. This perception is questionable, as often no evaluation is undertaken to assess the associated environmental impacts. Rammed earth is one such construction technology that has seen renewed interest in recent years. The energy required to manufacture materials (i.e. embodied energy) is a significant component of the life cycle energy associated with buildings. This paper assesses the embodied energy of rammed earth construction relative to brick veneer and cavity brick construction. Rammed earth was found to have significantly less embodied energy than cavity brick construction (to which it is closer in thermal performance), but was approximately equivalent to brick veneer construction. Topics of further research identified include thermal performance and strategies for reducing the embodied energy of cement used for earth stabilisation.

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