Elsevier, Procedia Engineering, (114), p. 714-721
Earth construction is one of the oldest and most widespread construction system. Around 30% of world population lives in earth buildings. About 50% of population in developing countries, including the majority of rural areas, and at least 20% of urban and marginal urban areas, lives in earth buildings. The main general objectives of this study are the behaviour characterisation of adobe and rammed earth constructions along with the research for the development of retrofitting and seismic performance enhancement solutions, considering the relevant earthen heritage built in Portugal. In fact, until the first half of the last century, earth was commonly adopted as a construction material in Portugal. Adobe was used in almost all types of construction in littoral centre, particularly in Aveiro region. The consolidation of the knowledge on this technique and on the mechanical behaviour of adobe masonry will play a fundamental role on the preservation of the earthen built heritage. In addition, it may contribute to the development of innovative earth construction solutions for new buildings, following current concerns but also respecting structural safety demands, which will allow accommodating the increasing interest on this type of building solutions. The mechanical properties of adobe units and mortars were studied and a series of tests for the characterization of the adobe masonry behaviour were carried out, in the Department of Civil Engineering of the University of Aveiro, namely: (i) bond strength and (ii) joint shear tests. Additionally, a full-scale adobe building model was subjected to monotonic and cyclic horizontal lateral loads until failure. The present paper present the main results and conclusions of the experimental campaign developed.