Developing enhanced, lignocellulosic fibre reinforcement for low-cost, cementitious, construction materials

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The research reported in this article is based on an NSF (National Science Foundation) project aimed at advancing the structural use of earth-based technologies through addressing durability concerns within the hot and humid context. This article focuses on one aspect of the research directed at developing an enhanced, lignocellulosic fibre-reinforced, cementitious composite. In this research, soil–cement masonry is the cementitious matrix and coconut fibre (coir) the natural fibre. In the case study context, this cementitious composite is highly susceptible to physical damage due to intense rainfall and chemical deterioration that can be linked to the hydration of cement. The use of natural fibres, such as coir, compounds this problem. For the research to adequately address durability concern problems, accurate empirical data quantifying the damage to the natural fibre-reinforced cementitious composite are required. The discussion identifies the key knowledge gaps. It also describes the methodology adopted to produce and test the cementitious bricks investigated in the research. In addition to summarizing the main physical and mechanical properties, the findings presented in this article also (i) establish the bricks' resistance to wind-driven rain erosion and (ii) characterize the performance of the units on the basis of hydration-triggered chemical deterioration that can be expected in cement-stabilized earthen bricks. The article ends with a discussion of the key findings and a description of further research activities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)30-41
Number of pages12
JournalArchitectural Engineering and Design Management
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Architecture
  • Building and Construction
  • General Business, Management and Accounting


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