Earthen building codes and standards are not widely familiar—nor accepted—by the building community. They therefore require a comprehensive characterization of their structural, thermal, acoustic, and durability behavior.

This line of research catalyzes cross-regional solutions and improvements that could be obtained by comparing existing codes and standards from around the world, as well as effectiveness in sponsoring an increase in modern earthen architecture.

I continuously investigate strengths and weaknesses in existing earthen building codes and standards, to develop recommendations for a more comprehensive and uniform international building code. According to surveyed experts (Ben-Alon et al., 2021), building officials are not familiar with earthen building codes, resulting in a costlier and slower permitting process than is the case for conventional materials having established design standards. Specifically, the German Earth Building Regulations are rated as the least familiar among building officials, followed by the NZS.

part of:        
PhD Dissertation, Carnegie Mellon University
Vivian Loftness, Erica Cochran Hameen, Kent Harries
PhD Dissertation. Natural Buildings: Integrating Earthen Building Materials and Methods into Mainstream Construction. Doctoral Committee: Vivian Loftness, Erica Cochran Hameen, Kent A Harries, Carnegie Mellon University 2020. Link︎︎︎