We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Otherwise, we'll assume you're OK to continue.

Durham University

Department of Archaeology


Publication details for Professor Chris Gerrard

Jaquin, P.A., Augarde, C.E. & Gerrard, C.M. (2006). Analysis of historic rammed earth construction. 5th International Conference on Structural Analysis of Historical Constructions, Delhi, Macmillan India Ltd.
  • Publication type: Conference Proceeding
  • ISSN/ISBN: 972-8692-27-7
  • Keywords: rammed earth, historic structures

Author(s) from Durham


Rammed earth is a widely used historic building material, found in Mediterranean regions, along the Silk Road, and in parts of the Himalayas. While guidelines exist for the construction of new rammed earth structures, there is very little guidance for the structural analysis of historic structures.

A novel approach to the modelling of rammed earth using finite elements is presented. Each rammed earth lift is modelled as two layers, one representing the actual rammed earth and one representing the interface between each rammed earth lift. These layers are both modelled using the Mohr-Coulomb failure criteria, but different strength properties are assigned to each. A rammed earth wall is then built up using a number of these layers. These simulations have been compared with rammed earth test walls constructed in the laboratory and the above technique has been used to model these walls, with a good degree of success.


For more information on rammed earth research go to