An overview of the remaining challenges of the RILEM TC 274-TCE, testing and characterisation of earth-based building materials and elements


  • Antonin Fabbri University of Lyon
  • Jean Claude Morel University of Lyon
  • Jean-Emmanuel Aubert Université de Toulouse
  • Quoc-Bao Bui Ton Duc Thang University
  • Domenico Gallipoli Università di Genova
  • Anne Ventura University Gustave Eiffel
  • Venkatarama B. V. Reddy Indian Institute of Science
  • Erwan Hamard University Gustave Eiffel
  • Antoine Pelé-Peltier University of Lyon
  • Holur Narayanaswamy Abhilash Indian Institute of Science



Literature review, Earth construction, Earthen structures, Earthen architecture, STAR book, TCE 274, Testing procedures


Based on the RILEM Technical Committee 274-TCE work, this paper is a discussion of the remaining engineering challenges faced by earthen architecture. The assessment of earth material performances requires the development of appropriate procedures and standards. This is discussed in particular for the characterisation, hygrothermal behaviour, mechanical behaviour, and durability of earth materials. One other important challenge, since one of the main advantages classically put forward, is its ecological performance, is a proper assessment of life cycle assessment of earth materials, elements and buildings. Moreover, the paper develops why the approach to earthen construction must be different compared to the dominant construction materials, to preserve its ability to contribute to the ecological transition in the construction sector. In particular, the needs of using local soils, with an architectural approach coping with the limits of the materials, and developing an architectural optimisation to preserve the earthen materials multifunctionality rather than selecting a sole property to be maximised. Lastly, the findings of the paper can be used to develop a holistic approach to earthen construction to foster the development of new earthen architecture projects.




How to Cite

Fabbri, A.; Morel, J. C.; Aubert, J.-E.; Bui, Q.-B.; Gallipoli, D.; Ventura, A.; Reddy, V. B. V.; Hamard, E.; Pelé-Peltier, A.; Abhilash, H. N. An Overview of the Remaining Challenges of the RILEM TC 274-TCE, Testing and Characterisation of Earth-Based Building Materials and Elements. RILEM Tech Lett 2022, 6, 150-157.