Sustainable Design
Mud construction
I'm doing a demostrative design project in Kutch, Gujarat, to understand the sustainability of the mud construction there.

I chose mainly four types of mud construction:
a) wattel and daub
b) cob construction
c) compressed earth block
d) rammed earth

And I critically analyze these construction systems in my design project.

Please help me in finding the applications, possibilities and limitations of the above construction systems in India.
Anand Dave
Mud construction
Mud construction was also a very popular system in the Mediterranean countries. Portugal and Spain were invaded by people from North America (Morocco). Morocco has great examples of mud architecture. Portuguese were the first to arrive to India sailing around Africa. Portuguese colonized, as English, some parts of Africa and India. So I think that some of the techniques used in India might have their origins either in architecture from Morocco and Portugal (There are some books about that) I would check out some of the popular architecture from these EX-colonies such as Goa.
Joana Alves
Mud construction
Auroville does a lot of work with mud. You can look at their website at

Ar. Satprem Maini will be a good person to meet there.

There is also an architect in Bangalore, Ar. Chitra Vishwanath, who works with mud only, even for residences.

Jyotsna Sivaguru
Mud construction
Dear Anand,
As you may know Gujarat was affected by a deadly earthquake in 2001. Therefore, mud construction, though possible can also be very dangerous in seismic regions. You MUST consider the seismic guidelines that exist for such structures.

The basic objective in terms of earthquake engineering is called the "LIFE SAFETY OBJECTIVE".

A good starting point would be to keep the structures, simple, regular, and not too tall, limited opening etc..

You can find guidance on mud construction I think at the "world housing encyclopedia" - do a google - then search.

Afghanistan use mud a lot and there is a seismic guide, published by UNCRD I think (Main author is ARYA from India I think)

You may also want to look at the University of Kanpur web site on things related to earthquake engineering aspects of mud construction.

Good luck and if you have time I would be interested to know how you get on, what you conclude.

Kubilay Hicyilmaz


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