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Cob Construction in Italy: Some Lessons from the Past

Author

Listed:
  • Enrico Quagliarini

    () (Department of Architecture, Building and Structures, Polytechnic University of Marche, via Brecce Bianche, 60131, Ancona, Italy)

  • Alessandro Stazi

    () (Department of Architecture, Building and Structures, Polytechnic University of Marche, via Brecce Bianche, 60131, Ancona, Italy)

  • Erio Pasqualini

    () (Department of Physics, Materials and Soil Engineering, Polytechnic University of Marche, via Brecce Bianche, 60131, Ancona, Italy)

  • Evelina Fratalocchi

    () (Department of Physics, Materials and Soil Engineering, Polytechnic University of Marche, via Brecce Bianche, 60131, Ancona, Italy)

Abstract

Raw earth is a construction material unknown to most people. Nowadays, raw-earth constructions are an area of growing interest, both for rescuing the heritage and for a rediscovered environmentally friendly building and eco-sustainability material. However, because raw-earth constructions are a forgotten technique, we find problems of a lack of skilled people at all levels in this area, from designers to masons, as well as problems of how to carry out compatible conservation works on earthen heritage. This paper tries to fill the gap for a peculiar historic earthen building technology, namely cob (or bauge), which is present in Macerata in the center of Italy. Results are presented on regaining possession of the material and constructional aspects and their initial structural resources, and guidelines are given on how to improve the manufacturing process to reuse the cob technique for construction and for how to accurately work on it for a compatible and sustainable conservation.

Suggested Citation

  • Enrico Quagliarini & Alessandro Stazi & Erio Pasqualini & Evelina Fratalocchi, 2010. "Cob Construction in Italy: Some Lessons from the Past," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 2(10), pages 1-18, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:2:y:2010:i:10:p:3291-3308:d:9955
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    raw-earth architecture; cob; bauge; earthen building technology; initial mechanical properties; reuse; conservation; workmanlike;

    JEL classification:

    • Q - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics
    • Q0 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - General
    • Q2 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q3 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q5 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics
    • Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products

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