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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.

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics where Jean-Claude Morel is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • 6 Similar Profiles
Earth (planet) Engineering & Materials Science
Retaining walls Engineering & Materials Science
Compressive strength Chemical Compounds
Soils Engineering & Materials Science
retaining wall Earth & Environmental Sciences
masonry Earth & Environmental Sciences
Mortar Engineering & Materials Science
Plaster Engineering & Materials Science

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Research Output 1997 2019

6 Citations (Scopus)
2 Downloads (Pure)

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
Water absorption
Water content
Compressive strength
Flow of fluids

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

Retaining walls

Closure to the discussion of “Analysis of the water absorption test to assess the intrinsic permeability of earthen materials”

Fabbri, A., Soudani, L., McGregor, F. & Morel, J. C., 20 Aug 2019, In : Construction and Building Materials. 216, p. 362-364 3 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Downloads (Pure)
Open Access
clay soil
8 Citations (Scopus)
8 Downloads (Pure)

A new methodology to identify and quantify material resource at a large scale for earth construction – Application to cob in Brittany

Hamard, E., Lemercier, B., Cazacliu, B., Razakamanantsoa, A. & Morel, J. C., 10 May 2018, In : Construction and Building Materials. 170, p. 485-497 13 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
Earth (planet)

Activities 1999 2017

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

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

Journees Nationales Maconnerie (Event)

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

Activity: MembershipMembership of committee


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