Adobe construction in Portugal, there is a future for vernacular architecture?

FERNANDES, MARIA and VARUM, HUMBERTO (2012) Adobe construction in Portugal, there is a future for vernacular architecture? In: ICOMOS 17th General Assembly, 2011-11-27 / 2011-12-02, Paris, France. [Conference or Workshop Item]

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Abstract (in English)

Adobe is a low cost construction material, locally available with good thermal and acoustic properties and it is also associated to simple building techniques. The majority of the adobe vernacular houses are normally associated with a high quality of space and ambiance. Unfortunately, adobe material and architecture are practically abandoned and underestimated in Portugal. The lack of knowledge concerning the material properties and the social rejection about this architecture are between the main causes of the decay and substitution of vernacular adobe architecture in Portugal. Since 2005, a research group at the University of Aveiro has been developing work focused on the characterization of the mechanical properties of adobe units and on the structural behaviour of adobe walls. These studies aim to establish a basis of knowledge, essential for the safety analysis of adobe constructions. At the same time, architectural studies conducted by several Portuguese faculties are being developed, in which the research work is focused on the design, and typology and quality characterization of vernacular architecture. These studies are an excellent contribution for the eventual conservation of the adobe architecture and also, for the recognition of the advantages of adobe as a building material, encouraging its use in new architecture. Essentially, for the reduction of the resources consumptions associated with new edifications, that frequently replace the adobe existing ones. In balance, this paper aims to contribute for the discussion and awareness of the need for preservation of adobe vernacular architecture, as well as to the opportunity of using adobe as a building material for new constructions.

L’adobe est un matériau de construction bon marché, disponible sur place, aux propriétés thermiques et acoustiques certaines, et qui repose de plus sur des techniques de construction relativement simples. La plupart des maisons vernaculaires en adobe permettent généralement de profiter de l’espace et de d’instaurer une ambiance particulière au sein des habitations. Malheureusement, le matériau adobe et son architecture, sous-estimés, sont aujourd’hui en voie de disparition au Portugal. Le manque de connaissance quant à ses propriétés et le rejet populaire dont son architecture fait l’objet font partie des causes qui expliquent l’abandon et le remplacement de l’architecture vernaculaire d’adobe au Portugal. Depuis 2005, un groupe de recherche de l’Université d’Aveiro travaille sur la caractérisation des propriétés mécaniques des unités d’adobe et sur le comportement structurel des murs en adobe. Ces études visent à établir un corpus de connaissances sur le sujet, essentiel à l’analyse de la sécurité des constructions en adobe. En parallèle ont été développées des analyses architecturales par sur sept facultés portugaises. Le travail de recherche a été axé sur la caractérisation des formes, de la typologie et de la qualité de l’architecture vernaculaire. Ces études représentent une importante contribution à la conservation de l’architecture d’adobe ainsi qu’à la reconnaissance de ses avantages comme matériau de construction, encourageant par là son utilisation dans l’architecture contemporaine.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Speech)
Authors:
AuthorsEmail
FERNANDES, MARIAUNSPECIFIED
VARUM, HUMBERTO UNSPECIFIED
Languages: English
Keywords: Construction equipment; Adobe; Acoustic properties; Buildings techniques; Vernacular architecture; Houses; Architecture; Walls; Scientific research; Studies; Materials properties; Mechanical properies; Design; Typology; Vernacular architecure; Conservation; Portugal
Subjects: A. THEORETICAL AND GENERAL ASPECTS > 01. Generalities
C.ARCHITECTURE > 04. Building materials
C.ARCHITECTURE > 05. Building techniques
E.CONSERVATION AND RESTORATION > 01. Generalities
F.SCIENTIFIC TECHNIQUES AND METHODOLOGIES OF CONSERVATION > 55. Typological analysis
P.GEOGRAPHIC AREAS > 05. Europe
ICOMOS Special Collection: Scientific Symposium (ICOMOS General Assemblies)
ICOMOS Special Collection Volume: 2011, 17th
Depositing User: Mrs Lucile Smirnov
Date Deposited: 28 Aug 2012 13:10
Last Modified: 28 Aug 2012 13:10
References: [1] FERNANDES, Maria (2005) – Moulded adobe. Earth Architecture in Portugal. Lisbon: Argumentum, 45-49,

ISBN 972-8479-36-0.

[2] LOPES, Maria Conceição; FERNANDES, Maria (2011) - L’adobe au Portugal. Échanges transdisciplinaires sur

les constructions en terre crue, vol.3. Les cultures constructives de la Brique Crue. Montpellier: Editions l’Espérou,

ISBN 978-2-912261-58-8.

[3] HOUBEN, Hugo; GUILLAUD Hubert (1994) – Earth construction, a comprehensive guide. London: Intermediate

Technology Publications, ISBN 1-85339-193-X.

[4] VARUM, Humberto [et al] (2011) - Study of the structural behaviour of traditional adobe constructions.

Terra 2008, proceedings. Los Angeles: Getty Publications, ISBN 978-1-60606-043-8.

[5] MARTINS, Tiago; VARUM, Humberto (2006) - Adobe’s Mechanical Characterization in Ancient Constructions:

The Case of Aveiro’s Region - Materials Science Forum, Trans Tech, Switzerland, Vols. 514-516, 1571-

1575, ISSN 0255-5476.

[6] VARUM, Humberto [et al] (2011) - Outputs from the research developed at the University of Aveiro regarding

the mechanical characterization
URI: http://openarchive.icomos.org/id/eprint/1169

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