Hygrothermal behaviour of earthen plasters for sustainable housing construction

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


A ready-mixed and several laboratory formulated mortars were produced and tested in fresh state and after hardening, simulating a masonry plaster for indoor application. All the mortars used a clayish earth from the same region and different compositions of aggregates, eventually including fibres and a phase change material. All the formulated mortars were composed by 1:3 volumetric proportions of earth and aggregate. Tests were developed for consistency, fresh bulk density, thermal conductivity, capillary absorption and drying, water vapour permeability and sorption-desorption. The use of PCM changed drastically the workability of the mortars and increased their capillary absorption. The use of fibres and variations on particle size distribution of the mixtures of sand that were used had no significant influence on tested properties. But particularly the good workability of these mortars and the high capacity of sorption and desorption was highlighted. With this capacity plasters made with these mortars are able to adsorb water vapour from indoor atmosphere when high levels of relative humidity exist and release water vapour when the indoor atmosphere became too dry. This fact makes them able to contribute passively for a healthier indoor environment. The technical, ecological and environmental advantages of the application of plasters with this type of mortars are emphasized, with the aim of contributing for an increased use for new or existent housing.
Original languageUnknown
Title of host publicationIAHS World Congresso on Housing
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014
Event40th IAHS World Congresso on Housing. Sustainable Housing Construction -
Duration: 1 Jan 2014 → …


Conference40th IAHS World Congresso on Housing. Sustainable Housing Construction
Period1/01/14 → …

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