Earth Building: Low Energy Input

Building with earth requires low energy input in processing and handling soil – only about 1% of the energy required to manufacture and process the same volume of cement concrete. This aspect was investigated by the Desert Architecture Unit which has discovered that the energy needed to manufacture and process one cubic metre of soil is about 36 MJ (10 kwh), while that required for the manufacture of the same volume of concrete is about 3000 MJ (833 kwh). Similar findings were also reported by Habitat (UNCHS), Technical Note No. 12 comparing adobe with fired clay bricks.

Environmental appropriateness – the use of this almost unlimited resource in its natural state involves no pollution and negligible energy consumption thus further benefiting the environment by saving biomass fuel.

Source: Compressed Stabilized Earth Block Manufacture in Sudan

Note: Due to the high cost of energy, low embodied energy materials are less expensive than materials that use a lot of energy (steel, concrete, etc.).

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