PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATORS: Charlie O’Geen, Catherine Page Harris
This research combines earthen materials with fabric formwork to eliminate the need for a Portland cement binder. Instead of Portland cement, clay is used as the binding agent which could be sourced directly from the construction site, thereby eliminating even more greenhouse gas emissions tied to transportation of raw materials. In concert with these low carbon footprint strategies, the reusable fabric formwork greatly limits the amount of material and production energy put towards formwork as a system that can be repeatedly used across the project, is lightweight, and very packable. Further, the elastic behavior of the fabric pairs effectively with shrinkage of the clay. Previous research conducted by the authors in comparative side-by-side testing has shown that fabric formwork hung by expandable elastics reduced cracking by allowing for material shrinkage and promoted drying with the use of the permeable membrane versus conventional rigid formwork.