• 2072 Citations
  • 24 h-Index

Research output per year

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Personal profile

Research Interests

Social dimensions of sustainable buildings; Sustainable building with earth materials (earth and stone)


Jean-Claude Morel studied at the University of Grenoble (PhD Soil Mechanics), France. He was researcher for the French Ministry of Sustainability at Ecole Nationale des Travaux Publics de l'Etat of Lyon from 1996 to 2015, before joining Coventry University as Professor Low Impact Buildings. Jean-Claude’s current research interests in sustainable buildings include:

  1. Earthen building: mechanical, hygrothermal and durability characteristics of earthen materials (stabilised or not) as adobe, rammed earth, compressed earth blocks, earth mortar.
  2. Energy in buildings and green buildings: embodied energy in basic construction materials and buildings; building with local soils as construction material; energy efficiency in building systems and green buildings.
  3. Drystone retaining walls (DSRW): 3D behaviour of DSRW, full scale experiments, limit equilibrium and yield design modelling of DSRW stability. Stone mechanical characteristics, friction and shear behaviour.

Jean-Claude has published 40 articles in peer reviewed international journals, and is co-writer of 7 books in French and English covering a range from design guidelines for architects and engineers to continuum mechanics modelling. Currently, Jean-Claude is an Editorial Panel member for the ICE Journal “Engineering Sustainability” and reviewer for 30 peer-reviewed international journals.

Area of Expertise:

Mechanical behaviour of materials and masonry structures; hygrothermal behaviour of earth materials; sustainable building and renovation.

Vision Statement

As I spent my childhood in the wild, deep countryside of France, I was aware early on of the impact of human activities on the environment, especially due to industrial agriculture. I developed research in buildings inspired by Lyon and its regional heritage of rammed earth buildings and drystone retaining walls. My vision is to connect scientific research with practical on-site construction. Essential aspects of a sustainable building are its connection with people, builders, artisans and the environment.

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Research Output

Components reuse in the building sector – A systematic review

Rakhshanbabanari, K., Morel, J-C., Alaka, H. & Charef, R., 1 Apr 2020, In : Waste Management & Research. 38, 4, p. 347-370 24 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Open Access
  • 11 Downloads (Pure)

    Micromorphological description of vernacular cob process and comparison with rammed earth

    Hamard, E., Cammas, C., Lemercier, B., Cazacliu, B. & Morel, J. C., Mar 2020, In : Frontiers of Architectural Research. 9, 1, p. 203-215 13 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • 2 Downloads (Pure)

    Weathering the storm: A framework to assess the resistance of earthen structures to water damage

    Beckett, C. T. S., Jaquin, P. A. & Morel, J. C., 10 May 2020, In : Construction and Building Materials. 242, 118098.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • 6 Citations (Scopus)

    Analysis of the water absorption test to assess the intrinsic permeability of earthen materials 

    Fabbri, A., Soudani, L., McGregor, F. & Morel, J-C., 28 Feb 2019, In : Construction and Building Materials. 199, p. 154-162 9 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • 9 Citations (Scopus)
    14 Downloads (Pure)

    Assessing the Three-Dimensional Behaviour of Dry Stone Retaining Walls by Full-Scale Experiments

    Le, H. H., Morel, J. C., Colas, A. S., Terrade, B. & Garnier, D., 5 May 2019, In : International Journal of Architectural Heritage. (In-Press), p. (In-Press)

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Activities

    Fazia Fouchal

    Jean-Claude Morel (Host)
    1 Oct 20171 Mar 2018

    Activity: Hosting a visitorHosting an academic visitor

    Erwan Hamard

    Jean-Claude Morel (Host)

    Activity: Hosting a visitorHosting an academic visitor

    RILEM (External organisation)

    Jean-Claude Morel (Chair)

    Activity: MembershipMembership of committee

    Journees Nationales Maconnerie (Event)

    Jean-Claude Morel (Chair)
    17 Mar 201618 Mar 2016

    Activity: MembershipMembership of committee

    XIIth World Congress on Earthen Architecture

    Jean-Claude Morel (Organising Committee)
    11 Jul 201614 Jul 2016

    Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conference


    Overheating investigation in UK social housing flats built to the Passivhaus standard

    Author: Tabatabaei Sameni, S., 5 Feb 2019

    Supervisor: Montazami, A. (Supervisor), Morel, J. (Supervisor), Ahmed, A. (Supervisor) & Agyekum-Mensah, G. (Supervisor)

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy