International Conference on Earthen Construction

18 & 19 March 2022 - Paris area, France

Part of RILEM Spring Convention Paris 2022- RILEM 75th Anniversary



In Western countries, the construction sector consumes a large volume of natural resources and is responsible for about 50 % of the wastes produced in the European Union. Among this large amount of wastes, about 75 % are soils and stones. These wastes have a negative environmental impact and it is increasingly difficult to find suitable landfill areas. The political demand thus promotes waste recycling, circular economy and encourages producers to find a market for construction wastes (see the European Green Deal). In this context, earth construction provides a relevant option.

For this purpose, the I-Site FUTURE financed the ALLUVIUM project. It brought together economists, architects, researchers of historical sites and buildings as well as construction engineers, to develop, test, and apply at different scales reinforced earth materials by addition of biopolymers or surfactants.

Moreover, the RILEM Technical Committee 274-TCE “Testing and characterisation of earth-based building materials and elements” has the objective to define accurate, repeatable, and reproducible performance-oriented testing protocols for crude earth as a building construction material. The scope of investigation covers material characterisation, mechanical strength, seismic resistance, hygrothermal performances, long term durability, and life cycle analysis. Eventually, the recommendations adopted by the technical committee would serve as the basis for dedicated international standards.

The conference aims to illustrate the multidisciplinary results of the ALLUVIUM project jointed to the results of the TC 274-TCE. The program will bring the participants from the nanoscale to the macroscale, from the modelisation of the hygric swelling to its mechanical behaviour and testing, to modern application. Finally, participants will visit the demonstrator at 1: 1 scale in the Equipex Sense City (climate Chamber of 400 m2).

Therefore, the conference will demonstrate the full potential for the application of earthen construction and its place in the cities of the Future.

All changes in constructive mode have significant impacts both on the local economy, effects on the quality of habitat (energy) and life of the inhabitants (moisture, heat, noise, environmental comfort ...). The building sector represents about a third of the world total energy consumption, and it is one of the main contributors to climate change. It belongs to us to contribute to the change.

This conference follows the RILEM Spring Convention Paris 2022 from 15 to 19 March 2022.


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