Building Design for Sustainability Master´s Thesis 2021

Mathilde Grunacker

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


Research process, from the question to the generic design

To conclude, excavated earth can obviously increase the indoor climate quality of buildings, and the demonstration project illustrates how. Perhaps this research also points out that clay should be used primarily for this purpose, more than for structural reasons. Although it is the oldest building material, the use of clay represents a greater effort than the use of usual materials because it still lacks standardization. It is today the main retarder of development in the field. Therefore, it must be used within its structural limits and properties to make its use legitimate and create sustainable and resilient buildings. It would not be rational to try to build high-rise buildings with structural earth, it would consume too much energy and materials. However, the synergy between earth and timber is identified as very good, and mixed solutions should be studied and could be a potential opportunity to use earth in larger projects. Each material must be considered and implemented for its advantages, and we must not try to go beyond its properties. We have to use earth in the right place. Such solutions could help to “up-scale” earth, to take advantage of its good indoor climate and environmental properties, and to be coherent. 


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