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Potential and challenges of advanced manufacturing for rammed earth construction: A proposal for optimal thermal performance of non-structural rammed earth in execution process for Riyadh residences.

. Tamanna Jalali and Lubaina Soni


In the current scenario of contemporary environmental and social sustainability, sustainable construction is becoming a most important topic. Investigating ways in which sustainable construction can lead to favorable results is essential as buildings are the largest contributor to depletion of environmental resources. As the world grapple with challenges posed by climate change and the requirement for more resilient cities and communities; earth construction is being explicitly rethought considering the growing awareness of the detrimental effects cement-based products have on the environment. Though mechanization of earth construction has been attempted for almost a decade, research on progressive construction from earthy material has accelerated in the past five years. The focus has primarily been on manufacturing clay-rich soil, such as in adobe and cob methods. In contrast, very little research has been done on mechanizing other methods, like rammed earth. This paper examines literature on thermal performance of rammed earth construction through the total spectrum of weather changes, in hot arid regions. A thorough investigation of recent rammed earth projects as case studies was conducted, and compared, to produce realistic feasibility assessment of thermal performance of the material, that considered both the potentials of the technique and the technical challenges. The knowledge gained from these case studies offers comprehensive and concrete road map for viability of rammed earth construction for hot arid regions like Riyadh, based on its thermal performance, which helps to increase its desirability and ability to attain passive thermal comfort in modern residential buildings in the region of Riyadh.

Key words: climate change, passive thermal comfort, sustainable construction, rammed earth construction, Australia, and Riyadh.

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