Building with Earth

Building with Earth : Design and Technology of a Sustainable Architecture

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For a number of years, the healthy and environment-friendly building material earth, in common use for thousands of years, has been enjoying increasing popularity, including in industrialized nations. In hot dry and temperate climate zones, earth offers numerous advantages over other materials. Its particular texture and composition also holds great aesthetic appeal.

The second and revised edition of this handbook offers a practical systematic overview of the many uses of earth and techniques for processing it. Its properties and physical characteristics are described in informed and knowledgeable detail.

The author's presentation reflects the rich and varied experiences gained over thirty years of building earth structures all over the world. Numerous photographs of construction sites and drawings show the concrete execution of earth architecture.

Prof. Dr. Gernot Minke is a professor at Universitat Kassel, where he leads the Forschungslabor fur Experimentelles Bauen. He has long concerned himself with developments in ecological building, and he has dealt with the building material clay in theory and practice since 1977. His book Building with Straw was also published by Birkhauser.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 208 pages
  • 220 x 280 x 15.24mm | 948g
  • Basel, Switzerland
  • English
  • Revised
  • 3rd rev. ed.
  • 100 Illustrations, color; 236 Illustrations, black and white; b/w line drawings
  • 3034608225
  • 9783034608220
  • 276,545

Table of contents


I The Technology of Earth Building

1. Introduction

2. The properties of earth as a building material

3. Preparing of loam

4. Improving the earth's characteristics by special treatment or additives

5. Rammed earthworks

6. Working with earthern blocks

7. Large blocks and prefabricated panels

8. Direct forming with wet loam

9. Wet loam infill in skeleton structures

10. Tamped, poured or pumped lightweight loam

11. Loam plasters

12. Weather protection of loam surfaces

13. Repair of loam components

14. Designs of particular building elements

15. Earthquake-resistant building

II Built Examples


Cultural, Educational and Sacral Buildings

III Appendix

Future prospects


Bibliographical references


Illustration credits
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About Gernot Minke

Gernot Minke, Universitat Kassel, Germany.
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37 ratings
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