When low strength materials meet funicular structures: A sustainable floor structure solution for emerging contexts

Calvo Barentin C., Zornatzis I., Landrou G., Demoulin T., Habert G. and Block P.

The inevitable expansion of the built environment due to the rapid growth of the urban population in emerging contexts poses a great challenge for the sustainable development of local communities. This problem could be faced by providing adequate multistorey building solutions while using sustainable and eco-friendly materials, preferably from renewable or upcycled and locally available sources. These materials tend to have lower mechanical properties than those commonly used in conventional structures and therefore not adequate for elements subjected to bending such as floor slabs. This challenge can be met by improving the strength of the locally available materials and/or using geometries specifically designed to lower the structural stresses such as funicular structures. In this study, a novel clay-based cementless material is used. Different mixtures and additives were tested to achieve similar processing advantages as concrete. A parabolic arched floor element is designed based on a parametric analysis using graphic statics to reduce structural stresses and weight. The fabrication system is based on reusable formworks in which locally available earth is used as part of the mould. A four meters span arched floor is built to analyse its structural behaviour and to evaluate the proposed fabrication method.


    author    = "Calvo Barentin, C. and Zornatzis, I. and Landrou, G. and Demoulin, T. and Habert, G. and Block, P.",
    title     = "When low strength materials meet funicular structures: A sustainable floor structure solution for emerging contexts",
    booktitle = "BEYOND 2020",
    year      = "2020",
    editor    = "",
    volume    = "",
    number    = "",
    pages     = "",
    publisher = "",
    address   = "Gothenburg",
    month     = "",
    doi       = "",
    note      = "",

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