The mechanical performance of cordwood

R. Mouterde, J. C. Morel, V. Martinet, Frédéric Sallet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Cordwood structures are used by only a few independent builders and to date the only real technical development has existed in North America. However, cordwood structures could help reduce environmental impact because cordwood has very low embodied energy and is able to store carbon dioxide. The goal was to test this composite material with a new approach in order to establish if the strength of cordwood walls was sufficient to be used instead of conventional materials. Compressive tests were carried out on representative samples mainly composed of organic aggregate mortar and wood with moisture content greater than 30%. Wet wood rather than dry wood was used to reduce the impact of wood shrinkage which usually induces a lack of cohesion between the wood and mortar. Different log arrangements were also tested in this paper. Results appear to indicate that cordwood could reasonably be used for individual houses and the research on organic aggregate mortar and new log arrangements may provide improved performance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)237-243
Number of pages7
JournalBiosystems Engineering
Issue number3
Early online date26 Jan 2011
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2011
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Food Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Soil Science


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