Durability of rammed earth walls exposed for 20 years to natural weathering

Q. B. Bui, J. C. Morel, B. V. Venkatarama Reddy, W. Ghayad

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

180 Citations (Scopus)


This paper presents a study on the durability of different types of stabilised and unstabilised rammed earth walls. These rammed earth walls were constructed and exposed for 20 years to natural weathering, in a wet continental climate. None of these walls have shown complete collapse to date. A method to measure the rammed earth walls erosion by stereo-photogrammetry has been developed. The result shows that the mean erosion depth of the studied walls is about 2 mm (0.5% wall thickness) in the case of rammed earth wall stabilised with 5% by dry weight of hydraulic lime and about 6.4 mm (1.6% wall thickness) in the case of unstabilised rammed earth walls. The stabilisation enables to not use any plaster to protect the walls. In the case of the unstabilised rammed earth walls, an extrapolated lifetime longer than 60 years can be assessed. This shows a potential for the use of unstabilised rammed earth in the similar climatic conditions with this study. The method of stereo-photogrammetry used to measure the erosion of rammed earth walls on site may also help to calibrate and develop more pertinent laboratory test to assess the durability of rammed earth wall.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)912-919
Number of pages8
JournalBuilding and Environment
Issue number5
Early online date12 Aug 2008
Publication statusPublished - May 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Durability
  • Rammed earth
  • Stereo-photogrammetry
  • Sustainable development

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Building and Construction


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