Climate-Neutral Construction with Clay

© Neuer baut
© TU Dresden
© Green Concept Lehm
© Stern Zürn Architekten
© Girnghuber
Many people still have an aversion to clay. In their opinion: the material is primitive, sensitive to moisture and lacks strength. Is the widespread use of loadbearing clay masonry, particularly in residential buildings, possible in our climatic conditions, and what must be considered in its design and construction? To clarify these questions, a research project supported by the German Federal Office for Research on Building and Spatial Development started in 2015 as part of the research initiative “Zukunft Bau”. To determine strength and sensitivity to moisture, masonry test specimens were produced to current technical standards and the blocks laid with clay mortar. The mortar contains no additives and, like the blocks, is all one basic material. Modern raw material preparation and manufacturing technology ensure the unfired blocks have the same properties and high geometric quality. These are prerequisite for masonry to achieve the required strength.