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Flooding Effect on Earth Walls

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Author Info

  • Gabriela M. Medero

    ()
    (School of the Built Environment, Heriot-Watt University, EH14 4AS, Edinburgh, UK)

  • Justin H. Kennedy

    ()
    (School of the Built Environment, Heriot-Watt University, EH14 4AS, Edinburgh, UK)

  • Peter K. Woodward

    ()
    (School of the Built Environment, Heriot-Watt University, EH14 4AS, Edinburgh, UK)

  • Meysam Banimahd

    ()
    (Technip, Westhill Industrial Estate, Westhill, Aberdeenshire, AB32 6TQ, UK
    Formerly Heriot-Watt University, EH14 4AS, Edinburgh, UK.)

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    Abstract

    Earth building is a sustainable, environmentally friendly and economical method of construction that has been used worldwide for many centuries. For the past three decades, earth has seen a revival as a building material for a modern construction method due to its benefits in terms of low carbon content, low cost and energy involved during construction, as well as the fact that it is a sustainable technology of building. Climate change is influencing precipitation levels and patterns around the world, and as a consequence, flood risk is increasing rapidly. When flooding occurs, earth buildings are exposed to water by submersion, causing an increase in the degree of saturation of the earth structures and therefore a decrease of the suction between particles. This study investigated the effect of cycles of flooding (consecutive events of flooding followed by dry periods) on earth walls. A series of characterization tests were carried out to obtain the physical and mechanical properties of the studied earth material. In a second stage, Flooding Simulation Tests (FST) were performed to explore the earth walls’ response to repeated flooding events. The results obtained for the tested earth wall/samples with reinforced material (straw) reveal hydraulic hysteresis when wall/samples are subject to cycles of wetting and drying.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by MDPI, Open Access Journal in its journal Sustainability.

    Volume (Year): 3 (2010)
    Issue (Month): 1 (December)
    Pages: 69-81

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    Handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:3:y:2010:i:1:p:69-81:d:10727

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    Related research

    Keywords: flooding; earth walls; laboratory testing;

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