Adobe: An environmentally friendly construction material

R. Illampas, I. Ioannou, D. C. Charmpis

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


Adobe is one of the oldest and most widespread forms of construction. Although technologically simple, this material has the potential to produce durable buildings of considerable architectural sophistication that are appropriate for arid climatic conditions and have a wide range of uses. This is true in both vernacular and 'modern' contexts. Moreover, adobe is an environmentally friendly material that does not require additional energy resources for its production and application, it can be fully recycled and it creates minimal levels of waste when disposed. Since most building techniques related to earth-based materials have been systematically neglected during recent decades, there is an imminent need to "rediscover" adobe through academic research. This paper reports the first findings of a research program aiming to examine adobe structures in Cyprus. We present a review of the use of adobe on the island and the main causes of deterioration of adobe structures. We also mention techniques currently used for the restoration of traditional adobe buildings and we report some preliminary laboratory results of tests carried out on local adobes.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSustainable Development and Planning IV
Number of pages12
ISBN (Print)9781845641818
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Event4th International Conference on Sustainable Development and Planning, Sustainable Development 2009 - , Cyprus
Duration: 13 May 200915 May 2009


Other4th International Conference on Sustainable Development and Planning, Sustainable Development 2009


  • Adobe
  • Compressive strength
  • Deterioration
  • Earthen materials


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