Reading: Identification of Durability Problems in Earth Buildings


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Identification of Durability Problems in Earth Buildings


K. P. Arandara ,

University of Moratuwa, LK
About K. P.

PC Research Assistant, Department of Civil Engineering

BSc (Eng) (Hons), AMIESL

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C. Jayasinghe

University of Moratuwa, LK
About C.

Senior Lecturer, Department of Civil Engineering

PhD, MEng, CEng, Bsc (Hons), MIESL

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Sri Lankan house construction in ancient times was dominated by earth construction. However in the past few decades, earth construction has been overtaken by burnt bricks and cement blocks in the housing industry. However, stabilized earth was reintroduced to Sri Lanka with the development of sustainable construction concepts and due to high cost of brick and block masonry construction.


The stabilized earth construction includes Compressed Stabilized Earth Blocks (CSEB) and rammed earth construction. In order to popularize these technologies, the strength and durability of such materials have to be comparable with the brickwork and cement block work.


A number of past studies conducted have determined the strength properties of both the stabilized earth masonry which have been proven as equally good as the conventional materials. In order to assess durability of earth buildings a detailed field study was conducted to investigate the problems associated with the existing earth structures. These field studies included ancient houses and recently built houses with stabilized and un-stabilized earth, with parameters like wall thickness, plinth level, wall spans and heights, etc. This study provides very useful information to quantify and access the levels of durability problems with different earth bricks, blocks and walls. This paper presents the outcome of a detailed study conducted by investigating the durability problems of existing earth buildings and also the testing methods to assess the durability of different earth walls. The outcome of this research will be very useful to improve the durability of earth buildings.

How to Cite: Arandara, K.P. and Jayasinghe, C., 2007. Identification of Durability Problems in Earth Buildings. Engineer: Journal of the Institution of Engineers, Sri Lanka, 40(4), pp.14–21. DOI:
Published on 30 Oct 2007.
Peer Reviewed


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