Earthen Buildings for a Low-Cost High-Energy Performance Social Housing

Stefania Luizzi
Department of Architecture and Urban Planning, University of Politecnico di Bari, Italy

Pietro Stefanizzi
Department of Architecture and Urban Planning, University of Politecnico di Bari, Italy

Ladda ner artikelhttp://dx.doi.org/10.3384/ecp110571741

Ingår i: World Renewable Energy Congress - Sweden; 8-13 May; 2011; Linköping; Sweden

Linköping Electronic Conference Proceedings 57:1, s. 1741-1748

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Publicerad: 2011-11-03

ISBN: 978-91-7393-070-3

ISSN: 1650-3686 (tryckt), 1650-3740 (online)


A social housing project was carried out in a developing country (Benin; West Central Africa). A complex of twenty two-storey houses was designed in the city of Cotonou; in order to achieve the best architectural solution with the lowest cost. The project was carried out taking into account the bioclimatic and passive architectural devices in a hot-humid climate site. By using the software ECOTECT V 5.50 the hygrothermal behavior of the buildings was assessed. Every building was supposed with a reinforced concrete structure; and unfired brick walls. The raw earth was also used as a filler layer in the floor and roof slabs. None HVAC was assumed. The simulation has led the best results in terms of thermal performances and indoor comfort conditions. A partial do-it-yourself building was also supposed in the project; allowing to bring down; with use of the earthen materials; the cost of the whole project of almost 30%.

Further investigations on the earthen materials were started at the Laboratory of Thermophysics of Materials (LTM); University of Politecnico di Bari. The aim of the study is to obtain a low-cost high-energy performance building material suitable to achieve a better hygrothermal comfort in sustainable buildings.


Earth; Hygrothermal behavior; Social housing


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