An overview of the remaining challenges of the RILEM TC 274-TCE, testing and characterisation of earth-based building materials and elements
Keywords: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.
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Copyright (c) 2022 Antonin Fabbri, Jean Claude Morel, Jean-Emmanuel Aubert, Quoc-Bao Bui, Domenico Gallipoli, Anne Ventura, Venkatarama B. V. Reddy, Erwan Hamard, Antoine Pelé-Peltier, Holur Narayanaswamy Abhilash
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Authors retain copyright of the articles published in RILEM Technical Letters and grant the journal the right of first publication with open access. The work is simultaneously licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0) that allows others to share and adapt the work under the following terms: 1) a proper attribution is given in a form of a reference to the original work's authorship and initial publication in RILEM Technical Letters (bibliographic record with the DOI link); 2) a link to the license is provided; 3) the changes (if any) are indicated.