SGER: Optimizing the Hygrothermal Performance of Earth Bricks in Hot and Humid Climates

Project: Research project

Project Details


This is a SGER proposal to complement the PI's NSF-funded International Research Experiences (NSF-IRES) program in the East African region. The overarching aim of the proposed research is investigating adaptations that can be made to existing earth bricks to improve their hygrothermal performance in hot and humid climates such as Dar es Salaam. This will be achieved through a series of laboratory testing complemented with advanced computer modeling. The specific research objectives focus on assessing how wall made out of earth bricks can be engineered for optimal performance with respect to: 1) Water vapor permeability; 2) Hygroscopicity, and; 3) Capillarity. The findings will be used to develop a computer-based model for predicting the performance of earth bricks.

It is now universally acknowledged that organic building materials such as earth bricks are more sustainable. However, there are still doubts with respect to their adequacy as far as mechanical properties are concerned. The proposed SGER research will contribute to credibility of the properties of the existing earth bricks. A key outcome of the proposed SGER research will be a hygrothermal material property database for earth bricks which will be published on the Web. The research will also bring together a team of foreign experts who are currently working in silos. The PI will provide research training for a female, graduate student through the SGER.

Effective start/end date10/1/081/31/10


  • National Science Foundation: $29,781.00


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