Project: Research

Project Details


The Saudi construction industry is currently facing the challenge to provide affordable housing to the urban dwellers, especially low income earners. The urban population of Saudi Arabia rose rapidly for the past 20 years, and the urban housing demand also had risen over these years. The use and cost of established conventional construction materials, such as cement, steel and brick are beyond the reach of low earner urban dwellers. Thus, there is a pertinent need for a more affordable alternative. Moreover, environmental qualities of the conventional construction materials in Saudi Arabia is questionable as to date the air pollution level in the Kingdom is in an alarming level. Therefore, there is a need to look for environmentally sustainable construction material. Stabilised Rammed Earth construction (SREC) technologies are not yet widely adopted in most developed and developing countries although the outcome of the experimental projects are very successful. Factors that are influencing the adoption of contemporary stabilised rammed earth construction technologies must be understood as there are limited appropriate alternatives that are environmentally sustainable construction materials in Saudi Arabia. One of the inhibitor of adoption of contemporary stabilised rammed earth construction in Saudi Arabia is the absence of construction standard of SREC. Literature review reveals that there is sparse research to date carried out to find out why are the potentialities of SREC not recognised and used locally. Therefore, the aim of this study is to identify appropriate Najdi soil types and to provide empirical evidence of the structural and environmental suitability of SRE in formulating construction standard for the Saudi Arabia. Structural suitability of SRE in Saudi Arabia will be determined by collecting soil samples from various parts of Najd (Riyadh), carrying out soil characterization and unconfined compression tests and the comparative analysis of the strength of the SRE components made using different stabilisers. Environmental suitability of SRE will be determined by determining acoustical parameters, thermal conductivity, and moisture absorption of the SRE components made using different stabilisers. It is expected that the outcome of this research project on appropriate Najdi soil types based on structural suitability for SREC and recommendation on environmental suitability based on percentage of stabilizer used, acoustical parameters, thermal conductivity, and durability (moisture absorption) of SREC will formulate a major part of SREC standard of Saudi Arabia. The project team possesses significant experience in the area of the project. The project would be completed in 28 months at a cost of SR 259,940.00 (two hundred fifty nine thousand nine hundred forty Saudi Riyals; approximately US 68,406$).
Effective start/end date15/04/1815/10/21


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