According to the Central Department of Statistics and Information of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (the census carried out in 2009), more than 40% of the Saudi families do not own houses, and the rate is increasing. One of the reasons of this difficulty is the increasing prices of construction materials and execution. Construction Cost Index of Engineering Cost Record has increased from 0.98 (98%) to 1.25 (125%) between 2000 and 2007. Another reason is that most governments, especially in the Arabian Gulf region, through municipalities, limit the construction material for the residences to only steel, fired brick and reinforced concrete. The reasons of this restriction include uncertainty and ambiguity about the structural capabilities of other alternative materials, such as stabilized rammed earth (SRE). Formulating a construction standard of such alternative material would eliminate such uncertainty and ambiguity. The development of an alternative local building material could be highly beneficial to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in its pursuit toward affordable housing implementation. Based on existing international evidences in different parts of the world, utilizing SRE could lead to a significant saving in the construction cost compared to the conventional construction materials, such as steel, reinforced concrete and fired brick. The use of local resources would also eliminate the dependence on an external source. Another aspect of the development of an alternative building material using local resources is that it will result in a reduction in the consumption of cement. Since the production of cement is highly energy intensive and releases significant quantity of green-house gases, a reduction in its usage will lead to a decrease in the carbon footprint. Literature review reveals that there is sparse research to date carried out to find out why are the potentialities of SRE construction not recognised and used locally. The aim of this study is to provide empirical evidence of the structural suitability of SRE in formulating construction standard for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Structural suitability of SRE in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will be determined by collecting soil samples from various parts of the Eastern Province, carrying out soil characteristics and direct shear and unconfined compression tests and the comparative analysis of the strength of the SRE components made using different stabilisers. A theoretical base course on contemporary stabilised earth construction for undergraduate and postgraduate students in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will also be amongst outcome of this research.
|Effective start/end date||11/04/17 → 10/01/20|
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