ABSTRACT

Earthen Building Materials and Methods (EBMM) exhibit excellent environmental, health, indoor air quality and affordability benefits. Despite these advantages, EBMM are not yet broadly implemented in mainstream construction. The main barriers and gaps to implementing earthen construction are analyzed through 126 survey responses and 10 in-depth interviews of a range of experts and end-users, and possible solutions to overcoming these barriers are presented. Specifically, the research indicates that according to earthen construction experts and potential homeowners, inability or difficulty in obtaining building permits is the strongest barrier to implementation. Additionally, existing technical data and environmental assessments must be synthesized and enumerated in order to support decision makers in advancing earthen building policy.

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Author notes

1. Carnegie Mellon University, School of Architecture, Pittsburgh PA 15213

2. University of Pittsburgh, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Pittsburgh PA 15260

3. Carnegie Mellon University, Heinz College for Public Policy and Management, Pittsburgh PA 15213