SATO, M. H. Y.1; BRASIL, R. M. L. R. F.2

1) Master of Civil Engineering, Polytechnic School, University of S. Paulo, Dep. of Structural Engineering,

2) Doctor of Civil Engineering, Full Professor, Federal University of ABC, CECS,


This paper is a contribution to establish a basis for the numerical analysis of Brazilian traditional rammed earth masonry structures. This material, basically earth obtained in the construction site, displays all the properties of the so called sustainable construction, including minimum energy consumption as compared to conventional concrete and steel structures. The main goal of this paper is to gather the mechanical characteristics of this material and establish analysis basis for this kind of structures. First, a brief description of the material selection and construction techniques is presented in order to obtain the necessary parameters for the numerical analysis itself. Second, a commercial Finite Element Method code is applied, using a tri dimensional solid model considering rammed earth masonry as a continuous medium. Based in these analyses, it can be noted that quite slender structural walls made of rammed earth are possible, without reaching unduly high values of compression and traction stresses, as well as keeping very low strains, as desired.


Keywords: Rammed earth masonry, numerical analysis, traditional construction.