22 dezembro 2011

Boas Festas_Arq​2T / Arquitectu​rasdeTerra

A Equipa da Arq2T/ ArquitecturasdeTerra deseja a todos um Feliz Natal
e um Próspero Ano de 2012, pleno de criatividade e sucesso!

17 dezembro 2011

EBUK Earth Building Conference_UK

EBUK, the Earth Building UK Conference, will be held January 13th 2012 with the focus on the use of earth and clay plasters.
The use of earth and clay plasters has increased in recent years, with interest groups concerned with the conservation of historic buildings, ecologically sensitive new construction, alongside a growing interest from industry in innovative materials.
Earth and clay plasters and mortars, along with green bricks plasters and mortars are currently the most product oriented areas of the earth building family. Although many of the commercial products in this field are imported from Europe, there are a growing number of product suppliers and manufacturers in the UK. The European-wide acceptance of training standards for earth plaster which was achieved in 2011 mean there is opportunity now for a growth in the sector.
The third EBUK conference explores these issues, from user, developer and supplier. Space will be available for display of materials and products.

Conference Location: The Ron Cooke Hub at the University of York, Heslington, York. YO10 5GE. http://www.york.ac.uk/hub/facilities/

Conference fee: The conference fee for EBUK members is £42.00. This includes refreshments and lunch. If you are not already an EBUK member the conference fee is £63.00 (this includes a full year’s membership of EBUK).

For more information visit:

Provisional programme EBUK AGM 
January 13th 2012, York.
10.00-10.30. Conference 10.45am-5.30pm.
10.45 – Welcome and introduction.(EBUK director): Why earth and clay plaster matter? Past, present and future.
11.00am. Tom Morton (Arc Architects http://www.arc-architects.com/) paper title TBC
11.45am. Annabel Fawcus (EarthedWorld http://earthedworld.co.uk/) paper title TBC
12.30pm. Ben Gourley (University of York) and Nigel Copsey (Earth, Stone and Lime company http://www.nigelcopsey.com/).  
Earth Plasters – A North East Yorkshire Tradition.
1.15-2.15pm lunch
2.15pm. Andrew Heath (BRE Centre for Innovative Construction Materials, University of Bath http://www.bath.ac.uk/bre/) 
Thin earth walls – technical issues with plasters and plastering
3.00pm. Adam Weismann and Katy Bryce (Clayworks http://www.clay-works.com/)
Clayworks: Making clay plaster work
3.45pm. Barbara Jones (Straw Works http://strawworks.co.uk/) 
The application of clay plasters to strawbale buildings; and how the ECVET clay plaster training course works in the UK and Europe.
4.30pm. Neil May (Natural Building Technologies www.natural-building.co.uk);  
Mainstreaming Earth Building in the UK
5.15. Conclusions.

The conference will draw to a close at 5.30pm. Papers will be 30 minutes in length with plenty of time for discussion and questions.  

Exhibition –  Terra Europae – Earthen Architecture in the European Union.
This exhibition was orginally presented as part of the Terra InCognita Earthen Architecture in Europe research project developed in the framework of Culture 2007-2013 Programme of the European Union. 
Earth Building UK are delighted to present this exhibition at the 2012 conference.

08 dezembro 2011

Workshop Dester_Design & Território_Abrantes_16/17 Dez2011 | 20 Jan2012

Inscrições até 11 Dezembro 2011
Para mais informações:

CONVEGNO INTERNAZIONALE, Villasor, 16 Dezembro 2011

Conservazione del Patrimonio edilizio tradizionale in terra cruda del Mediterraneo
Villasor, Ex Convento dei Cappuccini, Sardenha, Itália.

15 a 18 de Dezembro de 2011

Segue em seguida informação relativa ao programa do evento que se realizará na Sardenha, Itália, entre os dias 15 e 18 de Dezembro 2011, dedicado ao património e à arquitectura contemporânea em terra no Mediterrâneo.
O programa do evento em .pdf aqui

16 novembro 2011

Green construction in India_by Proloy Bagchi

Green construction in India
by Proloy Bagchi_November 2011

Environmental conservation is virtually the flavour of the season.
Human intervention with nature has mounted to such an extent over the last few decades that today the progressively degrading environment has started posing a threat not only to the Planet Earth but also to the wellbeing, even survival of the human race. Waking up to the serious threat, sustainable living has become a catchword that has prompted humanity to balance its progress with preservation of the surroundings that it sustains itself in. Aware that every economic activity impinges on the natural world, humanity today has become more conscious of the need to conserve the environment. Green construction or building green buildings is a manifestation of this evolving consciousness.
Construction by the very nature of the activities it involves makes use of natural resources. Primitive man had simple and limited needs. His abode therefore had very little impact on his environment. With the civilisational evolution human needs have escalated and greater sophistication in construction has hugely impacted on nature. The growing urbanisation, especially in the developing world, is going to tap not only more and more natural resources, it also is going to impact the environment more and more around the urban areas. No wonder, therefore, the concept of green construction, which in effect means erection of buildings that are environment-friendly in all respects, has acquired greater currency. It has been estimated that as many as 10% of the buildings that are going to be constructed in the United States during the current year will be green.
According to Wikipedia, “Green construction refers to erection of a structure using processes that are environmentally responsible and resource-efficient throughout a building's life-cycle, i.e. from the stage of siting to design, construction, operation, maintenance, renovation, and demolition.” It basically involves in efficiently utilising energy, water and other resources, protecting the health of occupants and, in many cases, enhancing their productivity and, last but not the least, mitigating waste, pollution and environmental degradation.
One has, thus, to be conscious of the environment at every stage of the building process. The stage of siting a structure is as important as those that follow it. Siting is important to ensure that the building is conveniently located near facilities so that the occupants do not have to needlessly commute long distances for their day-to-day needs. Besides, siting a building near existing infrastructure, like roads, sewers and storm-water systems (where provision is not made for recycling of waste water) allows builders to lessen negative impact on a building’s surroundings.
The architectural designing has to keep in view the soil of the site in order to ensure acceptance of the required structural loads, the climate of the area to reduce the artificial cooling or heating needs, availability of water resources to determine the need for water harvesting systems and so on. In terms of climate, the building’s orientation can be aligned in different ways with the movement of the sun to reduce the need for artificial lighting or electrical cooling or heating. It can also be so oriented with the general wind direction so that the structure lets in as much fresh air as possible and reduce its carbon footprint.
Another effective way of controlling energy consumption is by making provision for green roofing. A green roof needs not very expensive surface but it manages to appreciably reduce the temperature in the building and also positively impacts on the ambient temperature. Germany and the United States have gone in for green roofing in a big way and the gardens put up on the roof not only add aesthetics to the buildings but also pull off some of the greenhouse gases from the atmosphere besides promoting bio-diverse environment in urban spaces.
Architectural design of a green building, thus, can reduce energy consumption and control even its waste. After all, most important reason today of building green is energy conservation and to reduce carbon emission levels. By facilitating use of solar energy or, wherever possible, use of other renewable sources or by the use of insulated panels appreciable amount of energy can be saved. In the United States a few of the rural houses have gone off-grid, meeting their energy-needs with the solar energy that they capture and the energy produced by biomass.
Water efficiency is another area which is an important ingredient of a green construction. Water is the fastest depleting natural resource, more so in India. Not only its consumption, therefore, needs to be controlled, its waste also is to be eliminated. Wherever feasible, provision of harvesting rain-water is necessary to supplement the supply from the water utilities. Provision for recycling waste water for watering the green areas either on ground or on the roof is necessary. The basic idea is that a green building is a “zero discharge” structure. It does not let out any waste to pollute the surroundings.
Materials-wise eco-friendly constructions are resource efficient and call for the use of green construction materials. Several local and renewable materials have developed as a response to the knowledge that buildings often have a negative impact on our environment. Architects and builders worldwide are now using construction techniques that have been developed in response to local environmental concerns and the physical resource opportunities available, coupled with modern technological refinements. These buildings range from rammed earth construction, which involves clay-based material mixed with water, to straw houses since straw is a great insulator, a breathable material that filters the air passing through it, is fire-resistant when compressed and is of low cost.
The Government of India has been pushing fly ash products as eco-friendly and durable construction material. The country has a huge accumulation of fly ash in numerous thermal power plant sites which, unless made use of, are likely to cause widespread pollution. Among the fly ash products available are cellular light-weight concrete blocks that have, inter alia, better strength-to-weight ratio, reduce dead load resulting in saving of steel & cement, reduce foundation size and provide better thermal insulation, clay fly ash bricks that have better thermal insulation, are cost-effective and environment-friendly and fly ash based polymer composites that can be used as substitute for wood. One could complement it with organic paints for an improved quality of the indoor environment.
One would tend to wonder as to why one should go in for a green construction particularly when costs of such a constructions are higher. But that is a fallacy as the cost of construction of a green building is only marginally – about 4% to 10% – higher than that of a conventional building.
At this marginally higher cost one gets benefits in different dimensions. The first dimension is environmental. Green construction enhances and protects biodiversity and ecosystems, improves air and water quality, reduces waste streams and conserves and restores natural resources. Their economic benefits are reduction in operating costs, shaping and expansion of market of green products and improvement of human productivity. The third dimension relates to social benefits which are enhancement of occupant comfort and health, minimizing strain on local infrastructure and improvement of overall quality of life.
In India green construction has been slow to catch on but there has been a distinct progress. From 6000 square metres of green spaces in 2003 they rose to 305,000 square metres in 2008. The Indian Green Building Council is promoting and fostering their construction. The first green building in India was the CII-Sohrabji Godrej Green Business Centre in Hyderabad. Kolkata’s Technopolis lays claim to be the country’s first green building for information technology which also makes money through carbon credits – about Rs. 75 lakh a year. It is the first building in the world to be registered under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change as a clean development mechanism project.
Green construction can thus also be a money-earner.
Published in the inaugural issue of "Shubhalaya", a real estate periodical and reporoduced with its permission

EBUK - Earth Building UK Conference and AGM 2012, January 13th, York

Earth Building UK Conference and AGM 2012, January 13th, York.
The conference will explore the use of earth and clay plasters with leading experts. The use of earth and clay plasters has increased in recent years, with interest groups concerned with the conservation of historic buildings, ecologically sensitive new construction, alongside a growing interest from industry in innovative materials.
The conference is a brilliant opportunity to meet fellow EBUK member and exchange ideas.
Find out more on the website by following this link: http://www.ebuk.uk.com/index.php/?p=317

Conference Location: The Ron Cooke Hub at the University of York, Heslington, York. YO10 5GE.
Conference fee: The conference fee for EBUK members is £42.00. This includes refreshments and lunch. If you are not already an EBUK member the conference fee is £63.00 (this includes a full year’s membership of EBUK).

Post conference tour: Saturday January 14th 2012. A tour of York House, Malton to view the historic building and get an expert introduction to the earth mortars and plasters investigated and conserved in the recent conservation project. This tour will be with Nigel Copsey (Earth, Stone and Lime company) and Ben Gourley (University of York).
Showcasing your work: Space will be available for display of materials and products.If you offer services or products, the conference is a great place to showcase your work and support EBUK at the same time. You can promote your project or business at very reasonable rates throughout the conference. For example, for £160 you can put up a display next to the main conference room or for £60 put brochures into every delegate's conference pack. For more details about sponsorship email lu_ebuk@btinternet.com or telephone 01944 728441.
Students: Fancy a free conference? Load your images of earth buildings in the UK to our EBUK Flickr stream.
The EBUK directors will decide on a winning image and the winning image will be announced on the day. We will reimburse the conference fees for one student. The winning image will be announced on the day.
Spread the word: Please spread the word of the Earth Building UK conference to your colleagues and friends – EBUK is a network fostering the understanding, appreciation and development of building with earth.

13 novembro 2011

Mesquita de Djenné_Mali

"A Grande Mesquita de Djenné é o maior edificio em adobe do mundo, e é considerada por muitos como a maior realização do estilo Sudano-Saheliano, embora tenha inúmeras influências islâmicas.

Localiza-se na cidade de Djenné, no Mali, que foi declarada como patrimônio mundial pela Unesco em 1988.

A mesquita foi construída em 1280 por Koy Konboro, o 26º rei de Djenné, no lugar do seu antigo palácio.

No final do século XIX, no entanto, à medida que o número de crentes diminuia a mesquita foi caindo em ruínas.

A mesquita foi reconstruída com o seu aspecto original em 1906. Apesar de não haver nenhum documento relatando o aspecto da mesquita, através dos relatos de anciães foram iniciados os tranalhos na mesquita. A construção terminou no ano seguinte.

A mesquita tem muros espessos, nos quais estão enterrados pedaços de madeira de palma, três torres com perto de 20 metros de altura, e robustos pilares pontiagudos inteiramente feitos de terra seca.

O adobe é fabricado com argila misturada com palha picada, bosta de vaca, e, por vezes, manteiga de karité.

A mesquita é danificada todos os anos pelas chuvas que ocorrem de Julho a Outubro, que levam uma parte do revestimento da mesquita, obrigando à manutenção regular do monumento. A esta manutenção dá-se o nome de "remudding" e tem lugar na estação seca, dando origem a uma grande festa. As mulheres trazem a água, os homens e crianças amassam a terra com com os pés e entregam-no aos pedreiros, que se empoleiram nas escadas para estende-lo nas paredes. Os pedreiros mais velhos verificam a qualidade do trabalho."

Texto retirado do Wikipedia aqui e fotografias em www.visitgaomali.com

Filme sobre a festa anual de manutenção da Grande Mesquita de Djenné, no Mali

16 outubro 2011

Workshop de Construção em Taipa_Aljezur_Fotografias_Agradecimentos

Nos passados dias 05 a 09 de Outubro teve lugar em Aljezur, o workshop prático de Recuperação de Estruturas em Taipa, promovido em parceria pela entidade formadora ARQCOOP, a A-RSF (Associação dos Restauradores sem Fronteiras) e o ArquitecturasdeTerra.
O workshop iniciou-se na quarta-feira (dia 5) na Pousada da Juventude da Arrifana (local do alojamento), com a recepção dos participantes, distribuição de informação e apresentação teórica sobre a especificidade, diversidade e universalidade da construção com terra.
Os trabalhos práticos de intervenção numa construção em taipa existente, actualmente em ruína, iniciaram-se no dia seguinte sempre com bom ritmo, muito boa disposição e entusiasmo durante todo o workshop.
O estado debilitado da construção (muitos anos de ruína e intervenções danosas) obrigou a uma demolição parcial da parede existente a intervir e posterior reconstrução, permitindo implementar em obra alguns conceitos teóricos e ferramentas práticas associadas a estas tecnologias.
No sábado (dia 08), o workshop contou com a presença do responsável da empresa EMBARRO, Joachim Reinecke, especialista em rebocos e tintas de barro.
Após uma breve apresentação das características destes rebocos, os formandos foram convidados a experimentar a sua preparação e aplicação, em mais um dia de convívio e aprendizagem que culminou no jantar de despedida no restaurante Pont’ a Pé, em Aljezur.
No último dia (domingo 09), o workshop foi concluído com uma breve apresentação de exemplos, avaliação e visita comentada a uma obra construída em taipa perto do Rogil, da autoria do Arq. Ricardo Gama Cruz que se disponibilizou para falar sobre o seu trabalho.

Ficam desde já os nossos sinceros agradecimentos à
ARQCOOP e em especial ao Diogo Corredoura, pelo apoio logístico inestimável, garantindo-nos sempre a água necessária para os rebocos e argamassas e os almoços animados no local da formação.
Agradecemos também à Marina e à
A-RSF por todo o apoio e pela disponibilidade da “sua” ruína, ao Joachim pela participação e partilha do seu conhecimento na área dos rebocos de barro e ao Ricardo Gama Cruz pelo entusiasmo com que nos apresentou a sua experiência.
Por fim, queremos agradecer ao excelente grupo de formandos, pelo seu espírito de equipa, vontade de aprender e construir, e pela boa disposição que nos fez sentir que estávamos, não numa formação, mas sim com um grupo de amigos.

No próximo ano contamos prosseguir com a promoção de workshops teórico-práticos como este, combinando tecnologias construtivas tradicionais e sustentáveis em contextos práticos de intervenção.

Para mais informações sobre outros cursos promovidos pela
ARQCOOP podem aceder aqui através do site.
Aqui fica em seguida uma pequena amostra da formação.

13 setembro 2011

François Cointeraux (1740-1830)_Pioneer of Modern Earthen Architecture_Conference




Theory, Teaching and Dissemination of a Vernacular Technique International Conference, Lyons, 10-12 May 2012

Organized by the Laboratoire de Recherche Historique Rhône-Alpes (LARHRA, UMR-NRS 5190) and the Institut National d’Histoire de l’Art
From 1785 onwards, the builder and master mason François Cointeraux actively promoted a construction technique of vernacular origin, known as pisé de terre (or ‘rammed earth’), which was at that time confined to southeast France.

His cahiers or fascicules from the Ecole d’architecture rurale (School of Rural Architecture), published in Paris in 1790-91, were rapidly translated into seven languages (German, Russian, Danish, English, Finnish, Italian and Portuguese). They attracted the attention of major architects such as Henry Holland (1745-1806) in England, Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) in America, David Gilly (1748-1808) in Germany and Nicolaï L’vov (1751-1803) in Russia, founder of a flourishing school of earthen architecture in Tiukhili near Moscow, based on Cointeraux’s school of the Colisée in Paris.

Through his publications, Cointeraux generated an almost universal interest for this material, as cheap as it was abundant, and encouraged its adaptation to rural or residential architecture. This success can largely be explained by a desire to revive rural architecture, which was in perfect harmony with both the physiocrats’ line of thought and the actions of agricultural societies.

However, Cointeraux never managed to popularise its use widely and lastingly in France. His numerous publications did not achieve their expected uptake with the institutions concerned. He is nonetheless representative of a culture of invention and innovation, highly characteristic of the first industrial revolution and the birth of modern architecture. The aim of the conference is to present a synthesis of the extensive research carried out on François Cointeraux over the course of the last twenty years and to re-situate his work in the wider context of the evolution of ideas and techniques.


1. The life, crafts and social ambitions of François Cointeraux

By turn builder, architect, teacher, inventor, writer, publicist and propagandist, François Cointeraux sought recognition in a milieu that was not his own, as a teacher of architecture and inventor who had contributed to the progress of mankind.

If he failed to acquire institutional legitimacy and to benefit from the long-term public support to which he aspired, his social engagement with the avant-garde of therural world following the Revolution heralded the social utopias of the nineteenth century. His militancy, in propagating his ideas, reveals a real pleasure in writing, a degree of inventiveness and a strong sense of formulation, all of which are undercurrents of his abundant printed output.

2. The pisé and the ‘new pisé’, between tradition and invention

Cointeraux became first acquainted in the middle of the eighteenth century with the technique of pisé as a practitioner and entrepreneur in his native Lyons. Active there as a builder until his fifties, he founded his first theoretical publications on his personal experience with the material, before committing himself to a process of invention, renewing both the procedure and the modalities of its uses. His publications, which firstly relate to a transcription of the knowledge stemming from the yard practice, should be placed in the context of his pedagogical practice and the demonstrations of the vernacular technique carried out in the schools of rural architecture that he directed at Grenoble, Amiens, Lyon and Paris.

3. Architecture and the rural world, agritecture as a comprehensive project
Even though building in pisé or rammed earth occupied a central place in his activities as an architect, the published works of François Cointeraux show an extension of his reflections and his commitment to a variety of questions concerning the rural world, which he envisaged as a comprehensive, all-encompassing project. He named this new discipline agritecture, and he wanted to dedicate a periodical to it. I

t incited in Cointeraux an economic thought process – ecological even (well before the term came into existence) – on agriculture, rural constructions and agricultural life. His ideas on breeding, feeding and heating fit into the wider framework of a general theory, inherited from physiocratic economic thought, fashionable in France in the second half of the eighteen century.

4. International diffusion and reception

Cointeraux’s ambitions and his concern for recognition were continually stymied in France; all the more definitively so as his social attitudes were increasingly out of step with the political tendencies, which emerged in France during the Directoire, and then the Empire. However, his technical proposals gave his writings a worldwide diffusion. The numerous translations of his publications and the buildings that resulted from them allowed him to attain the success he had not encountered in France, in countries such as Germany, Russia, America, Australia, England and Italy.

5. The legacy and inheritors

The techniques for earthen construction promoted by Cointeraux were almost immediately taken up by Jean Rondelet in his Traité de l’art de bâtir (Treatise on the art of building), which henceforth gave them important and lasting exposure in the leading technical book on architecture of the first half of the nineteenth century.

Construction in rammed-earth provided answers for the improvement of agricultural buildings, which was one of the great collective enterprises of the era, and a new field for architects. But more importantly, allied with the progress made in the understanding of chemical phenomena and in the production of mortars, the technique of pisé also opened the way for a revolution in the art of building: the invention of reinforced concrete.

Cointeraux conference call for papers

11 setembro 2011

Ronald Rael_Interview at MYOO

The Great Mosque of Djenné is the largest mud brick building in the world. 
Photo taken bRuud Zwart

Mud-brick house of ancient caravanserai. Photograph taken by Diane Stocklin.
'After our June interview with Pietro Laureano, we started thinking about how regular people might actually apply traditional technology to their daily lives. Especially, we wondered, would large numbers of people ever live in houses made of mud? That seems like a good test of how far we’re willing to carry old, sustainable ideas into a new, sustainable future. Would earth houses be safe? Would they actually be better for the environment? Would they “feel” more natural? To help answer these questions, we turned to Ronald Rael, the author of Earth Architecture, a book and website devoted to championing buildings made of dirt. He spoke with us from the roof of his office in a West Oakland warehouse.
MYOO: How did you start working with houses built out of earth?
RONALD RAEL: Personally, I became involved with earth architecture because I grew up on a cattle ranch on the border of southern Colorado and New Mexico. So it was a material I was very familiar with from my childhood. And then I studied architecture at Columbia in New York and became curious about the architectural methods from my upbringing.
MYOO: What’s not sustainable about the modern concrete and steel buildings we typically see today?
RONALD: I wouldn’t say there’s anything “not sustainable” about any of those materials. I think what needs to be considered is how those materials are used, the planned longevity, what context they’re being used in and so on. I think it’s far more complex than classifying some material as sustainable or not sustainable. For example, earth has its potential forbeing unsustainable as well. Culturally, it’s a material that people see as being backwards or not modern or very poor, and people want to advance and have a better lifestyle. When they don’t associate a material like earth with cultural advancement, economic advancement, education and so on then in a sense earth becomes non-sustainable because it doesn’t sustain a reflection of what a culture intends itself to be or has aspirations to be.
MYOO: So then how are these materials–concrete, glass and steel–being used?

RONALD: One thing is that they are often used acontextually. Because of all the integrated technologies and all the associated materials, today’s buildings do not necessarily need to respond to their context. That means, for example, that you might build an entire south facade out of glass. But then you’ll constantly be cooling down that whole building.That’s one of my biggest issues: there’s no contextuality to buildings today. We find the same buildings along the highway in South Carolina as we do in upstate New York as we do in the deserts of Arizona. The same exact building. It doesn’t matter where the building is built.And that’s something that’s changed over the last century or so. Before, buildings were very contextual. The materials may have come within a certain distance from the site, they were produced, they were manufactured within some certain radius. Now the steel may came from China, the concrete may be mined from another part of the country, you might get the stone from India. There’s definitely something awry about that.

Mali dogan mud house. 
Photo taken by Josef Stuefer
MYOO: Why would we have ever stopped using local materials and techniques and started using generic ones that don’t suit the local environment?
RONALD: My answer is capitalism. Because traditional buildings methods and materials don’t make money. No one’s gotten rich off of earth and one of the reasons why is because it can’t be homogenized, it can’t be standardized, and it can’t be sold. If you’re buying a certain type of concrete, you know it has a certain strength. Same with a certain type of steel. There’s a sameness. But earth is very difficult to homogenize. If you dig a hole outside your front door and again across the street, the earth may be very different, even though it still has the capacity to make a building.
MYOO: So if earth is difficult to homogenize as a commodity, how do you get more architects and builders working with it?
RONALD: I think if municipalities begin to adopt building codes that reflect traditional building methods, that’s one way. In fact there are movements to recognize earth as a building material. It’s been introduced into the International Building Code recently. One of the biggest problems is that insurance companies will not insure buildings constructed of earth because it’s not defined by codes. If you won’t insure a building made of earth, a bank won’t give you money to build a building made of earth, and you’re caught in this vicious cycle. Education is something that would allow people to start living in earth buildings. There are increasingly schools that are teaching earthen architecture. The more that people get educated about sustainable and traditional building methods, the more they will go out in the work force and build this way. But I think a lot of the knowledge has been stripped out of the culture. And it’s very hard to supplant and reintroduce.
MYOO: Is all dirt good for building?
RONALD: Almost all earth, all dirt that you can find, is able to be used in some way for building. There are a number of what can be called building techniques that can be used with earth. So for example rammed earth is one technique. Mud brick, cob, adobe–these are all techniques that can allow different soil types to be used in different ways. So in some cases if the soil has less of some material, something else can be introduced that is local. So if there was less clay, it’s straw. Or you could use ox blood or you could use cactus mucilage. There are different ways to strengthen the earth. The earth itself will have shells and clay and sand particles in it; if it lacks or has too much of any of one of these, there’s going to be something in the context that could supplant that. And also you could dry the earth with the sun. In some places you could ram the earth or also compact it by hand. In other places you could puddle it. If there was lots of vegetation matter around, you could weave vegetation matter together and apply mud to that. Earth exits on every continent. Every country has their own methods and techniques. Many of these are alive and well. It’s still the most widely used material on the planet.
MYOO: Yeah, I read on your website that roughly 3 billion people live in earth houses. That’s almost half the planet’s population. I’m assuming you’re counting brick as earth…?
RONALD: No, I’m only talking about buildings that use earth that’s not been chemically altered. Brick is fired and that’s a chemical transformation that takes place under high heat that won’t allow it to ever return back to its original soil properties.
MYOO: Where are those 3 billion earth homes? They don’t seem too common in the U.S.
RONALD: Most of them are in China, India, in Africa, and in South America. But there’s an enormous amount here in the United States. There’s plenty in New York. They’re on the East Coast. The oldest house in Boston is made of mud brick, and that’s Paul Revere’s house. The oldest [European] house in the Americas was Christopher Columbus’s house. That was made of rammed earth and its ruins still exist. The oldest continuously occupied building in America is a multilevel apartment building in New Mexico made in the 1100s, made of mud. They’re everywhere. If you’re really interested in finding them, you’ll find that they’re right under your nose.
MYOO: Are there some people who will never accept the idea of living in an earth house? Or what I imagine they’d want to call a “dirt” house?
RONALD: I think there’s a general homogeneity in American culture that won’t allow them to live in an earth house. There are preconceptions about what it is, that it’s some kind of hut for an impoverished person. I don’t know what would allow it to be introduced into popular culture.
But I do think that there’s a potential to raise these issues in countries in the Middle East and in China where they are building huge cities overnight. They’re using tremendous resources, usually to construct these all out of concrete block. There’s a lot of interest and a lot of potential to do things there because they recognize the potential of the material and they have a tradition with the material. They haven’t yet seen–how should I say this?–they haven’t gone through the kind of scarification that suggests the material is bad. I think that capitalism presents something as being good or bad and the good thing you buy and the bad thing you don’t. And so when earth is pushed to the background, they said, “Well earth is bad, look at this new modern fresh thing.” I don’t think that’s happened in some of the emerging countries. They may not be very far removed from earth in terms of the generations. They may have in fact been displaced from an earthen village and urbanised, for example, in China, so they can still see how you can use the material.
MYOO: What can you not do with earth? How does your architectural approach have to change from what we expect of buildings made from metal and glass and concrete?
RONALD: You can’t get it wet.
MYOO: Huh. That seems like a pretty big thing!
RONALD: Yeah. That is a big thing so you have to have a nice roof, you have to have a nice foundation. There’s a kind of overused cliché in the earth building world that says “An earth house has to have a good hat and a good pair of shoes.” And really that’s all it needs. It sounds like a big thing but you’d be surprised at how well the roofs and foundations work. At a fundamental level, all buildings are attempting not to get wet, they just do it in different ways. And so a wood building does that with a roof, lots of paint, maybe tar. People think brick’s waterproof even though it’s not. Concrete’s not waterproof. All building’s really can’t get wet. One thing that I think is beautiful about earth is that when it’s wet, it tells you it’s wet. It changes its color. Most buildings today are designed in such a way that you don’t see their responses with the environment. If a wooden building is leaking, you might not never know for ten years until it’s completely rotted. It doesn’t talk back to you. It doesn’t say what’s going on.'

Adobe house in Santa Fe. 
Photo taken by Jim Nix.
Adam Bright

ResTapia 2012_21/23Junho2012_Valência

ResTapia 2012, o 1ºCongresso Internacional sobre conservação de taipa terá lugar em Valência, Espanha, de 21 a 23 de Junho de 2012 e reunirá especialistas em construção com terra dos vários continentes.

Ver o Programa do congresso aqui

As linguas oficiais do congresso serão o inglês e o castelhano. A organização convida todos os interessados a participar no evento.
Para mais informação podem ver aqui ou visitar o site http://www.restapia2012.es/

ResTapia 2012, the 1st International Congress on Rammed Earth Conservation that will take place at Valencia on June 21st, 22nd and 23th of 2012, that will gather all the international experts on earthen construction coming from several continents.
The official languages of the congress will be English and Spanish. We would like you to present a paper and participate in the congress.

For more information, please, visit http://www.restapia2012.es/

31 agosto 2011

Workshop de Construção em Taipa_Aljezur_05 a 09 Outubro 2011

Workshop de Construção em Taipa_Aljezur_05 a 09 Outubro 2011

O ArquitecturasdeTerra, em parceria com a ARQCOOP e a A-RSF (associação dos restauradores sem fronteiras), vai organizar em Aljezur, nos dias 05 a 09 de Outubro de 2011, um workshop prático de recuperação de estruturas em taipa!

Intervindo numa construção existente em ruína, pretende-se que os participantes explorem e apreendam os conceitos teóricos implementando em obra as ferramentas práticas associadas à recuperação de uma construção com terra crua.

O alojamento, o convívio, a boa disposição e a partilha de conhecimentos estão garantidos, o sol do Algarve, a proximidade da praia...e claro a taipa, serão apenas alguns dos muitos motivos para participar!!

Aqui fica para todos informação mais detalhada sobre o Workshop:


05 de Outubro (4.ª Feira, das 17h00 às 18h30):

- Recepção dos participantes e distribuição de informação;

- Introdução, especificidade, diversidade e universalidade da construção com terra;

06 de Outubro (5.ª Feira, das 09h00 às 17h00):

- Preparação da ruína;

- Identificação, análise e ensaios de solos para construção;

- Reconstrução de paredes em taipa.

07 de Outubro (6.ª Feira, das 09h00 às 17h00):

- Continuação do dia anterior.

08 de Outubro (Sábado, das 09h00 às 17h00):

- Continuação do dia anterior.

Neste dia, o workshop de Construção em Taipa vai contar com a presença da empresa EMBARRO , especialista em rebocos em barro.

09 de Outubro (Domingo, das 10h00 às 13h00):

- Avaliação do trabalho efectuado e revisão de conceitos;

- Conclusão do workshop.

04. Os participantes devem levar:

- roupa e calçado adequados ao trabalho em obra;

- chapéu e protector solar;

- prato, copo e talheres (tipo campismo) para almoço no local do workshop;

- toalha de banho e chinelos (para banho na Pousada da Juventude).

05. Material opcional:

- material de desenho;

- máquina fotográfica;

- fato de banho e toalha de praia;

- boa disposição! :)

06. O transporte entre o alojamento e o local onde a parte prática do workshop irá decorrer será efectuado com os veículos dos próprios formandos.

No primeiro dia será organizado um sistema de boleias, de modo a reduzir o número de veículos necessários e a distribuir os encargos entre os ocupantes de cada veículo.

07. A Pousada da Juventude da Arrifana tem cozinha de alberguista, pelo que os participantes podem cozinhar o seu próprio jantar. Existem alguns utensílios de cozinha (tachos, frigideiras, pratos, copos, talheres, etc.) mas, atendendo a que estarão mais hóspedes na Pousada, não se garante que os mesmos estejam disponíveis a todo o momento.

08. Na semana anterior ao workshop, será enviada a todos os inscritos a informação sobre os transportes públicos existentes, os itinerários possíveis a partir de Lisboa e de Lagos, a localização da Pousada da Juventude, o ponto de encontro no dia da recepção, o local onde a parte prática do workshop irá decorrer e outras informações que se julgue pertinentes.


300 € (Isento de IVA, ao abrigo do n.º 14 do artigo 9.º do CIVA.)

As inscrições são limitadas a 12 participantes.

O valor de inscrição inclui:

- documentação de apoio e entrega de Certificado de Frequência

- seguro de acidentes pessoais

- alojamento Pousada da Juventude da Arrifana

- almoços dos dias 06, 07 e 08 de Outubro

- jantar de despedida no 09 de Outubro

Podem aceder aqui ao Programa e aqui à Ficha de Inscrição.

Toda a informação em www.arqcoop.com.

Para se inscreverem contactem já a ARCOOP pelo telefone 210 107 840 ou o e-mail arqcoop@gmail.com

Não deixe a sua inscrição no workshop de Construção em Taipa para a última hora!!! INSCREVA-SE JÁ!!

Actividade formativa validada pela Ordem dos Arquitectos, permite a obtenção de 8 créditos para efeitos da formação complementar ao estágio profissional.

29 agosto 2011

European Network of Earth Builders

In the meeting on 6th May 2011 in Marseilles it was decided to launch a European Network of Earth Building.

In the first phase this will be an informal knowledge network, using electronic (email and website) methods to communicate. In the early stage of development membership of the email list is free.

This will use the existing national networks and organisations already identified through the Terra Incognita project.

Lors de la rencontre du 06 mai 2011 à Marseille, il a été décidé de lancer un réseau européen des acteurs de la construction en terre.

Dans un premier temps, soit les prochains mois ou pour sa première année d’existence, on parlera d’un réseau informel de connaissance, utilisant des moyens électroniques de communication (site internet et courriels).

Il s’organisera sur base des réseaux nationaux existants et des organisations déjà identifiées au travers du Projet Terra Incognita.

fonte: http://earthbuildingeurope.wordpress.com/

12 agosto 2011

Documentário_Neste Chão Tudo Dá_parte2

Documentário_Neste Chão Tudo Dá _parte1

Excelente documentário, realizado por Felipe Pasini, que permite conhecer melhor o trabalho desenvolvido por Ernst Gotsch, na área da Agrofloresta.

“A agrofloresta (ou floresta de alimentos) é um método de produção que propõe, não a criação de um novo ambiente produtivo, mas que o homem, e a produção agrícola da qual tira proveito, integrem um ambiente florestal.

Uma floresta é um organismo vivo. É uma rede interdependente de seres que cooperam para gerar cada vez mais recursos, mais vida, mais complexidade e mais biodiversidade. Trata-se de uma entidade em constante transformação em que o todo é maior do que a soma das suas partes. Cada ser tem uma função específica e o seu papel é indispensável para a saúde de todo o sistema.

A agricultura deixa assim de ser uma agro-mineração que, ao sugar recursos, promove a degradação dos solos e se torna dependente da aplicação de químicos poluentes. Torna-se num processo regenerativo com uma grande capacidade produtiva de uma vasta gama de produtos alimentares e florestais. Promovendo ecossistemas cada vez mais férteis e abundantes é capaz de recuperar solos totalmente degradados em curtos espaços de tempo.

É uma prática agrícola de carácter micro regional, e por isso capaz de dinamizar economias locais e de vizinhança. Uma vez que se evitam todo o tipo de fertilizantes, pesticidas, herbicidas, maquinaria pesada e tarefas de mão-de-obra intensiva, esta prática é orientada para pequenos produtores e ideal para uma lógica de auto-sustentabilidade.

O método é, na sua essência, uma tentativa de imitar a natureza. Na natureza a maioria das plantas vive em associação com outras espécies, das quais necessita para um crescimento pleno. Estas associações, ou consórcios, sucedem-se de forma dinâmica e contínua, processo a que se chama Sucessão Natural. Estas são as forças motrizes que asseguram a saúde das plantas e dos solos.”

fonte: www. sitiocoop.com

“O nascimento de cada ser vivo, a sua força de crescer, de frutificar, de criar o próximo a seguir, de completar o processo de amadurecimento tendo no final a morte, ou melhor dizendo, a transformação em outras formas de vida – tudo isso faz parte do metabolismo do macro-organismo Mãe Terra.

A sucessão natural das espécies é o pulsar da vida, o veículo em que a vida atravessa o espaço e o tempo.

A partir dessa sabedoria, podemos adivinhar o modo de trabalhar e as ferramentas para uma futura agricultura – cultura – que não se tornará mais uma exploração e mineração, como são as práticas dominantes da agricultura moderna. Concretamente, isto significa que eu, como agricultor, só posso fazer uma intervenção na minha plantação quando eu souber que o resultado da actividade planeada será um balanço energético positivo, como aumento da vida e favorecimento dos processos de sucessão.”

Ernst Gotsch