Building Design for Sustainability Master´s Thesis 2021

Mathilde Grunacker

Introduction / Clay in theory / Clay in practice / Catalog / Generic design / Reflections


Earth techniques

This chapter is about the different methods that can be used to build with clay to improve the indoor climate. This catalog is the link between theory and generic design in this master thesis.
Clay is a material that can be used for many purposes in construction. The wheel of techniques below, produced by CRAterre, summarizes the different techniques used to build with earth. Depending on the technique, earth becomes a load-bearing, a filling or a finishing material. Earth materials can be monolithic elements (rammed earth, cob), masonry (compressed earth brick, adobe) or used as a filler of another type of load-bearing structures such as timber (Wattle and daub). 

Wheel of techniques (Adapted from CRATerre, 1994)
Catalogue compilation

The catalog consists of pictures selected to illustrate a range of elements in different projects. Thus it shows different ways to implement earth, its aesthetic potential, and the benefits and drawbacks of its.
They are classified by elements: horizontal structure, vertical structure, finishes but also by direct improvements they can have on thermal and acoustic comfort mainly.
Icons illustrate what techniques are used and if it is load-bearing or not.

Legend for the icons