Integral Engineering Design

Bath, United Kingdom

Integral Engineering Design

Bath, United Kingdom
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Maskell D.,University of Bath | Gross C.,E and M West | Thomson A.,University of Bath | Wall K.,University of Bath | And 2 more authors.
Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers: Structures and Buildings | Year: 2015

One approach to reducing embodied carbon dioxide of buildings is the increased use of plant-based construction materials such as prefabricated straw bale panels. This paper presents findings from the development and structural testing of an innovative load-bearing prefabricated straw bale building. Work on panel development is summarized ahead of presenting two numerical computer-based models that support the building design. The computer models are validated using data from a full-scale simulated static wind load test on a two-storey building. The prefabricated straw bale structural system is shown to be suitable for two- and three-storey domestic structures in a range of locations. © 2015, Thomas Telford Services Ltd.

Heath A.,University of Bath | Walker P.,University of Bath | Jaquin P.,Integral Engineering Design | Lawrence M.,University of Bath
Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers: Structures and Buildings | Year: 2012

The increasing awareness of the environmental impacts of construction materials has resulted in an increasing interest in earth masonry in the UK in recent years. The use of traditional vernacular techniques has raised the profile of earthen architecture but wider impact is likely to come from commercially produced, thin-walled, earth masonry as a replacement for blockwork, brickwork or timber-framed non-structural internal walls. Earth masonry is susceptible to changes in moisture, and this paper investigates the potential for early-age cracking from changes in moisture content during the most critical period for these materials, namely during construction. It is shown that internal stresses generated by moisture-driven expansion after rendering may exceed masonry flexural (flexure-induced tensile) capacity leading to premature wall failure. This failure mechanism was observed in a test panel and has potential to occur in real walls. Recommendations on how to minimise the risk of early-age cracking are presented.

Ciancio D.,University of Western Australia | Jaquin P.,Integral Engineering Design | Walker P.,University of Bath
Construction and Building Materials | Year: 2013

A soil grading curve is one of the most useful tools to assess the suitability of material for rammed earth construction. Different and sometimes contradictory proportions of clay, silt, sand and gravel are proposed for rammed earth soils. This paper investigates the reliability of current guideline values through comparative performance testing of rammed earth specimens. Ten artificial soil batches (five of them stabilised with cement and/or lime) deemed suitable for rammed earth according to the current guidelines were tested in terms of compressive strength, shrinkage and erosion. The investigation shows that complying with soil particle size distribution criteria does not alone necessarily mean suitability of a soil for rammed earth. Based on these results, this paper proposes recommendations and criteria to be implemented in the assessment of soil for rammed earth. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Wall K.,University of Bath | Walker P.,University of Bath | Gross C.,University of Bath | Mander T.,Integral Engineering Design
Proceedings of Institution of Civil Engineers: Construction Materials | Year: 2012

This paper describes the research, development, construction and initial testing of an innovative low-carbon prototype house built using novel prefabricated straw bale panels. The use of straw as insulation provides an opportunity for value-added use of a widely available low-carbon co-product of farming. The research reported in the paper seeks to enhance the understanding and develop the modern mainstream acceptance and use of straw as a construction material in housing and other applications. The paper initially summarises development and construction of the panels and the house. Tests conducted on the panels and house reported in the paper include on-going durability assessment, fire resistance testing, acoustic transmittance testing, air permeability tests and thermal surveys.

Pelly R.,Integral Engineering Design | Mander T.,Integral Engineering Design
Structural Engineer | Year: 2014

The Nucleus building at Hayesfield Girls' School in Bath (Figure 1) demonstrates how the innovative use of renewable construction materials can help to achieve a highly sustainable structure with low embodied carbon, and how by considering the carbon sequestration of the renewable materials, this can result in a negative carbon footprint. The embodied carbon of the structural components has been calculated in a 'cradle-to-gate' analysis. The results are presented and compared to the values for comparable structures built using modern methods in steel and concrete.

Jaquin P.,Integral Engineering Design
Sustainability | Year: 2012

This paper discusses different rammed earth construction technique in Asia. Rammed earth construction techniques from China, Indian, Nepal and Bhutan are examined. It is shown that these techniques are demonstrably different from each other, and argued that the techniques may have developed independently. Case study structures are discussed and it is shown that with care it is possible to chart the development of both techniques both chronologically and geographically. © 2012 by the authors.

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