Show simple item record

dc.contributor.authorMarais, Paul
dc.contributor.authorLittlewood, John
dc.contributor.authorKarani, George
dc.identifier.citationMarais, P., Littlewood, J. and Karani, G. (2015) 'The use of polymer stabilised earth foundations for rammed earth construction', Energy Procedia, 83, pp.464-473.en_US
dc.descriptionThis paper given at the 7th International Conference on Sustainability in Energy and Buildings was published in Energy Procedia on 31 December 2015 (online) available open access at
dc.description.abstractThis paper presents a case study as part of a Professional Doctorate research project discussing an ecological approach to housing in South Africa, where polymer stabilised earth foundations have been used to support single story rammed earth walls, in a house in South Africa. Rammed earth was chosen as a construction method for its low embodied energy and thermal mass characteristics. The subsurface strata upon which the house was built comprised of clayey, gravely, sandy soils that have resulted as a result of decomposition of granitic rocks. In order to ensure solid founding conditions the foundations were excavated to a depth of one and a half metres before the excavated material was stabilised and backfilled. The material was stabilised to 600 mm below top of floor level with 2% Portland cement and above that with a 5% polymer bitumen mixture reinforced with horizontal steel reinforcing rods. This foundation avoids the use of reinforced concrete and as a result a significantly smaller carbon footprint, while fulfilling the functional requirements of supporting the building and preventing rising damp. The polymer has, as it major component is bitumen emulsion, provided a waterproof layer. Rammed earth walls of 500 mm thickness were constructed on the foundation up to 4.2 meters in height and initial observations suggest that the foundations are satisfactory with no settlement or cracking detected.en_US
dc.relation.ispartofseriesEnergy Procedia;
dc.subjectrammed earth wallsen_US
dc.subjectSouth Africaen_US
dc.subjectecological housingen_US
dc.titleThe use of polymer stabilised earth foundations for rammed earth constructionen_US
rioxxterms.funderCardiff Metropolitan Universityen_US
rioxxterms.identifier.projectCardiff Metropolian (Internal)en_US

Files in this item


This item appears in the following collection(s)

  • Sustainable and Resilient Built Environment group (SuRBe) [72]
    The overarching aims of the Sustainable and Resilient Built Environment (SuRBe) Research Group are to augment the sustainability and resilience of the built environment, improve occupant quality of life and adapt to, and mitigate, climate change through our work.
  • Un-themed [115]

Show simple item record