History of mud architecture Paper

Published: 2021-06-25 03:44:16
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Housing shortage in urban areas has been in a crisis situation due to the increasing demand of workforce required to fulfil the fastest growth (at about 8.2 in first quarter of 2018-19CITATION Sag18 l 1033 (Ghodeswar, 2018)) and also due shift from agriculture-based jobs to industries etc. in urban areas. Due to the increase in population in urban areas and the limited quantity of resources available, so it is essential to find an effective way to tackle the housing problem by means of cost effective as well as energy effective solution.
30981652289810Figure SEQ Figure * ARABIC 1.housing demand-supply gapFigure SEQ Figure * ARABIC 1.housing demand-supply gapright6921500Efforts are being made by government schemes, international agencies and other organisations to providing solutions that are energy effective and can be adopted all over the country. The ‘Global Strategy for Shelter to the Year 2000’ declared by the United Nations General Assembly in December 1988 aimed for providing a definite worldwide definition for adequate housing i.e.” adequate privacy, adequate space, adequate security, adequate lighting and ventilation, adequate basic infrastructure and adequate location with regard to work and basic facilities-all at a reasonable cost” CITATION Fac48 l 1033 (Fact Sheet No.21, The Human Right to Adequate Housing, 1948). The main scheme by the government of India for housing is Pradhan Mantri Awas Yogana (Housing for all by 2022) which aims to construct about 20 million houses for those people belonging to the LIG, MIG and EWS sections by 2022.
Mud housing technology can stage a comeback to solve the housing shortage in slums and EWS housing schemes. Mud houses are easier to build, repair and maintain and are also inexpensive. By using appropriate structural techniques and stabilization method, mud buildings can be successful in almost all climates. Of course, there are many disadvantages related to the use of mud. It has low stability, does not grip wood properly leading to gaps around doors and windows, and soaks up water causing cracks and leaks in roofs. Mud is easily eroded by water which makes it difficult to use in areas with heavy rainfall. It is also vulnerable to mechanical damage, making it easy for rodents to dig holes into mud walls. Mud houses are also easy victim for thiefs and robbers. Yet, mud has its merits like easily accessible locally in many parts of the country, saving in cost, and providing insulation which makes mud houses cooler in summer and warmer in winterCITATION VVS98 l 1033 (Subrahmanyam & Bawa, 1998).
History of mud architecture
right3147695Figure SEQ Figure * ARABIC 2 : citadel of Bam in Iran0Figure SEQ Figure * ARABIC 2 : citadel of Bam in Iran27432001532255Figure SEQ Figure * ARABIC 3 : vaults in the Temple of Ramses II at Gourna, Egypt0Figure SEQ Figure * ARABIC 3 : vaults in the Temple of Ramses II at Gourna, Egypt32810455302250Figure SEQ Figure * ARABIC 4 : fortified city in the Draa valley in MoroccoFigure SEQ Figure * ARABIC 4 : fortified city in the Draa valley in Morocco32810453414395right1769957right444500Mud architecture techniques have been known for over 9000 years. Mud brick housing technology dates back from 8000 to 6000BC and have been discovered in Russian Turkestan CITATION Rap08 l 1033 (Pumpelly, 1908). Mud was used as the building material in almost all ancient cultures for constructing houses, religious buildings, storage buildings, fort and city walls etc. shown in fig 2 showing vaults in the Temple of Ramses II at Gourna, Egypt, built by mud bricks 3200 years ago. Figure 3 showing the citadel of Bam in Iran, parts of which are about 2500 years old and figure 4 showing a fortified city in the Draa valley in Morocco, which is around 250 years old. The 4000-year-old Great Wall of China originally was built only of rammed earth and later were covered with stones and bricks which gave it the appearance of a stone wall. The core of the Sun Pyramid in Teotihuacan, Mexico, built between the 300 and 900 AD, consists of approx. 2 million tons of rammed earth. Many centuries ago, in dry climatic zones where wood is scarce, construction techniques were developed in which buildings were covered with mud brick vaults or domes without formwork or support during construction. In China, twenty million people live in underground houses or caves that were dug in the silty soil. CITATION Ger06 l 1033 (Minke, 2006)Mud is a very versatile building material that has been used to make some exceptional architectural marvels — from 1,000-year-old ksars (forts) in Morocco and 6,000-year-old arches, vaults and domes in the Nile Valley to houses of adobe, sun baked bricks of mud and straw, which is the traditional building material throughout much of Latin America.
The use of mud, mud bricks, sun dried mud blocks and burned bricks has been done since the days of Egyptian, Mesopotamian and Indus cultures. Although, Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro are known for the use of burned bricks, use of unburnt mud bricks was also prevalent. Mud house have become a symbol of poverty and even poor are not happy about using mud for walls. They aspire for more durable materials like brick or concrete.
Relevance of topic:Mud, a mixture of earth and water, is cost-effective, practical, functional and attractive. Mud is a natural building material that is found in abundance, especially where other building materials such as bricks, stone or wood are scarce due to affordability and or availability. The mud architecture is a great resource that focuses on architecture constructed of mud brick, rammed earth, cob, earthbag technique, compressed earth blocks and other forms of mud-based construction. The rapid increase of concept of the use mud and energy conscious techniques in order to raise the level of living in the population should be a very welcome idea. This can go a long way not solely in the form of changing the appearance of population centers, rural as well as urban, but also in solving environmental issues and issues related to energy and other finite resources.
Even today, one-third of the human population resides in mud houses; in developing countries which is more than one half. It has almost impossible to fulfil the massive requirements for accommodation in the developing countries with industrial building materials, i.e. steel, concrete and brick, nor with industrial building construction technologies. Worldwide, no region is endowed with the productive capacity or financial resources needed to satisfy this demand. In the developing countries, requirements for shelter can be met only by using local building materials and relying on do-it-yourself construction techniques. Mud is an important natural building material, and it is available in most areas of the world. It is often obtained directly from the building site when excavating for foundations or basements. In the industrialised countries, careless abuse of resources and centralised capital combined with energy-intensive production is not only wasteful but it also pollutes the environment and increases unemployment. In these countries, earth needs to be revived as a building material by professionals as well as the government.
Increasingly, people when building homes demand for energy and cost-effective buildings that emphasise on healthy and balanced indoor climate. Due to this, many architects are coming to realise that mud, as a natural building material, is superior to industrial building materials such as concrete, brick and lime-sandstone. Newly developed, advanced mud construction technologies establish the value of mud not only in do-it-yourself construction, but also for industrialised construction involving contractors.
Mud is a very versatile building material that has been used to make some exceptional architectural marvels — from 1,000-year-old ksars (forts) in Morocco and 6,000-year-old arches, vaults and domes in the Nile Valley to houses of adobe, sun baked bricks of mud and straw, which is the traditional building material throughout much of Latin America.
But what offers mud such a potential significance in India, with its huge population of homeless and ill-housed people, is its cheapness and widespread availability. Considering the shortage and high cost of standard building materials such as brick, cement and steel, one way to resolve the country’s severe housing shortage of an estimated 18.96 million units in urban areas by 2011, is to change to mud.
Mud has other inherent advantages: It is extremely malleable and offers better insulation than steel-and-concrete structures, it decentralises the construction process because it utilises local material and technology and thereby removes the need for a contractor, and it costs much less to maintain mud buildings. Various reasons for using mud as a building material is described below:
Energy ConsumptionIn mud construction, minimum amount of fossil fuels is consumed and so naturally abundant mud can be used whereas in brick construction, fossil fuels are consumed for manufacturing process and transportation. Conventional brick buildings use up energy even before coming into existence. A house with 100 sq. m area consumes 7.5 tonnes of fuelwood just to fire the bricks.
RecyclingRecycling of modern materials for building construction is costly and energy intensive. Recycling of soil does not need fossil fuel and labour requirements are also less. The characteristic of recycled soil for construction is same as before whereas modern building material acquire inferior character after recycling. This character of mud as a building material not only makes it recyclable but also can reduce the increasing amount of waste that is generated when a concrete structure is demolished which makes the top soil mix with concrete particles leading to low surface infiltration and surface run-off capacity of soil.
AbundanceThe abundant availability of soil throughout the world helps the economically weaker section of the society to afford the mud construction. It is easily adaptable and the technology can be transferred easily. Due to the abundance of mud or soil throughout the world, it is one of the oldest building materials used for shelter which has made mud traditionally known by normal people as well as due to its malleable nature.
Housing demandA huge deficit of housing demand in urban and rural areas linked with limited resources on all fronts make it absolutely essential that the housing solution have to be best effective, through ideal and efficient use of all resources of land and building material. Mud as a building material therefore proposes as innovative way to tackle the huge deficit of housing demand. As this huge deficit comprises of economically weaker sections of the society, it gives mud, another advantage towards a providing a feasible solution to the housing crisis.
Efforts are being made, or have been made in the recent past, by various government schemes to use and improve mud as a building material. Let me first recount quickly the major defects of mud as a building material. The major disadvantages are:
• It is easily eroded by water.
• It has a low tensile strength which means that roofs are difficult to make with mud (except, of course, in the way that ancient Nubians did with vaults).
• It is susceptible to mechanical damage. Rodents, for instance, can easily make holes in mud walls.
• Mud does not adhere to wood properly, so gaps often develop around wooden doors and windows embedded in mud walls.
• Mud soaks up water and becomes very heavy. Wooden beams supporting a heavy mud roof can begin to sag when it rains.
Objectives:To establish mud as apt building material for affordable construction (primitive or appropriate).
To present with the challenges associated with mud as a building material
Social challenges – general perception of people for mud as material for temporary material.
Structural challenges- proposing solutions to the different disadvantages for its better usage.
Technical challenges- to present various techniques used in mud as a building material and to propose the most feasible technique in Indian context.
Affordability- to establish mud-based building as affordable construction and check if it is better in the urban context.
To present the costing for a basic residential unit for comparison with the prevalent brick-concrete construction.
mud construction, urban areas, affordable housing, perception, cost, techniques.

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