Energy evaluation of rammed earth walls using long term in-situ measurements

L. Soudani, M. Woloszyn, A. Fabbri, Jean-Claude Morel, A.-C. Grillet

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    Available throughout the world and used in construction for thousand years, earthen materials are known to improve indoor air quality while keeping the internal temperature relatively stable. In Rhône-Alpes, France, the rammed earth technic is the most spread and consists in compacting layers of earth, one by one, within a framework. Current thermal standards, which are mainly based on thermal resistance of the material, urge to insulate walls. However, due to its interaction with its environment, and its couplings between heat and moisture transfers, the observed thermal behavior of uninsulated rammed earth is commonly significantly above the expectations. The objective of the paper is to highlight the living comfort provided by non-insulated rammed earth walls, for different orientations, from in-situ measurements performed over more than two years. Winter, without or with low energy consumption for heating, and summer, with no cooling device, are studied. The study points out the important role of solar irradiance on the thermal balance of the house, and thus the importance of a good architecture.

    NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Solar Energy. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Solar Energy, [141 Jan (2016)] DOI: 10.1016/j.solener.2016.11.002

    © 2016, Elsevier. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)70-80
    Number of pages11
    JournalSolar Energy
    Early online date18 Nov 2016
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017


    • Rammed earth buildings
    • Solar irradiance
    • Energy performance


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