Appendices196Future prospectsIn areas with colder climates, earthen architecturemay never play the dominant role it already playsin warmer regions. Owing to climatic conditionsand high standards of thermal insulation in Cen-tral and Northern Europe, for example, exteriorwalls need additional external thermal insulation.In hot and moderate climates of all continents, onthe other hand, solid external walls can be builtfrom loam without being covered. They provide a better indoor climate and are more economicalthan walls made of natural stone, fired bricks orconcrete.Nevertheless we find an increasing tendency tobuild with loam in the cooler climates of Europeand America as well. This is due to a growingenvironmental consciousness and an awarenessthat not only do industrially produced materialsrequire unnecessarily high energy inputs; theyalso consume scarce resources while producingpollution. Another factor is the desire to live in abalanced and healthy indoor environment.In developing countries, where even today, more than half of the population lives in earthenhouses, modern houses are usually not built fromearth but from industrialised building materialssuch as fired bricks, cement concrete and pre-fabricated panels of various compositions. Evenhere, there is an increasing recognition that the immense existing requirements for sheltercannot be met with industrially produced buildingmaterials and building techniques, since neitherthe productive capacity nor the necessary finan-cial resources are available. The only seeminglyfeasible solution is to use natural, locally availablematerials and appropriate skills and tools whileintegrating self-help techniques, all of whichmake earth the ideal building material .In such regions, especially those with hot andmoderate climates, an increasing number of modern buildings already have walls made ofadobes or stabilised soil blocks. With low-costhousing in these regions, where roof structurescan account for up to one third of total buildingcosts, the use of earthen blocks for building vaults and domes is very promising, since thesestructural types can be more economical thanindustrial roofing while also creating better indoorclimate by virtue of their thermal characteristics,potential for improved ventilation, and noise-insulating properties.Newly developed and successfully tested earthconstruction techniques are waiting to be adapt-ed and implemented in countries where theyhave not yet been tried. In order to disseminatethese techniques, guidelines should be developedand training courses offered .The practicability of these techniques will have to be demonstrated not only with residential projects, in particular with low-cost housing, butalso in public buildings such as hospitals, schools,and office buildings. This would show that, ifused correctly, earth is a long-lasting and eco-nomical material that is easily available and easyto handle and is capable of creating even presti-gious buildings .The building of masonry walls from adobes, fromsun-dried, unfired earth blocks, will continue tobe a dominant technique simply because suchtechniques can be used by masons in all parts ofthe world without special training. Adobe domesand vaults are an economically and structurallyvaluable alternative to the usual flat or slightlyinclined roofs of sheet metal, asbestos cement orreinforced cement concrete. They will certainly beused with greater frequency once an understand-ing of their potential becomes more widespread. The rammed earth technique is favourable formoderate and warm climates, and is also eco-nomical, especially if used with adequate equip-ment and mechanised technology.The knowledge of how to construct earthquake-resistant buildings of adobes and rammed earthshould be disseminated throughout all earth-quake-prone zones. It has been proven that inmany cases, it was not the use of earthen materi-als as such that led to the collapse of such build-ings during earthquakes, but rather incorrectstructural designs and bad craftsmanship. In industrialised countries in moderate climaticzones, prefabricated lightweight loam elementsand loam plasters for interior walls will be usedwith increasing frequency. In Germany, Austriaand the Netherlands, several types have recentlybecome increasingly successful on the quicklygrowing markets for such products.
Appendices197MeasuresIn this book, all measures as regards lengths and areas as well as physical values are based onthe metric system. The Anglo-Saxon equivalent of the U-value (describing thermal conductivity inCentral Europe) is the R-value, which has beenadded in brackets. In this context, it must benoted that the R-values are based on the metricsystem.To enable readers to convert values into theimperial system that is most commonly used in North America we have listed the most impor-tant conversion factors as follows:Lengths and areas1 mm = 0.03937 inches1 cm = 0.3937 inches1 m = 39.37 inches1 m2= 10.764 square feet1 ha = 2.471 acres1 inch = 2.54 cm1 foot = 30.48 cm1 square foot = 0.093 m21 acre = 0.4047 haPhysical valuesTemperatureCentigrade (Celsius) – FahrenheitMultiply by 9/5 and add 32°C °F–10 1403210 5020 6830 86R- and U-valuesAll R- and U-values in this book have been statedaccording to the metric system. For the conver-sion of the metric system (USI, RSI) into therespective imperial system (U, R), the use of fac-tors is required: R x 0.1761= RSI RSI x 5.6783 = RU-values are the reciprocals of the respective R-values and vice versa.USI (W/m2K) RSI (m2K/W) U (BTU/hr * sq. ft. * °F) R (hr * sq. ft. * °F/BTU)0.1 10 0.018 56.780.15 6.667 0.026 37.860.2 5 0.035 20.390.3 3.333 0.053 18.930.5 2 0.080 11.361.0 1 0.176 5.68
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Appendices200Graphic design: Gabrielle Pfaff, BerlinTranslation: Shalima Hingorami, RajeshwariPrakash, Sanjay Prakash, New Dehli, India; Ian Pepper, Berlin, and Gernot Minke, Kassel, GermanyA CIP catalogue record for this book is availablefrom the Library of Congress, Washington D.C.,USABibliographic information published by Die Deutsche BibliothekDie Deutsche Bibliothek lists this publication in theDeutsche Nationalbibliografie; detailed biblio-graphic data is available in the internet athttp://dnb.ddb.de.This work is subject to copyright. All rights arereserved, whether the whole or part of the mate-rial is concerned, specifically the rights of transla-tion, reprinting, re-use of illustrations, recitation,broadcasting, reproduction on microfilms or inother ways, and storage in data banks. For anykind of use, permission of the copyright ownermust be obtained.© 2006 Birkhäuser – Publishers for Architecture,P.O. Box 133, CH-4010 Basel, SwitzerlandPart of Springer Science+Business MediaPrinted on acid-free paper producedfrom chlorine-free pulp. TCF∞Printed in GermanyISBN-13: 978-3-7643 -7477- 8ISBN-10: 3-7643 -7477-29 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 http://www.birkhauser.chFront cover: Chapel of Reconciliation, Berlin, Germany