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251.845 Cross-Cultural Reflections Earth Building Worldwide
This course is in all assigned curricula part of the STEOP.
This course is in at least 1 assigned curriculum part of the STEOP.

2021S, SE, 2.0h, 2.5EC


  • Semester hours: 2.0
  • Credits: 2.5
  • Type: SE Seminar
  • Format: Online

Learning outcomes

After successful completion of the course, students are able to analyse the various earth building techniques (clay brick, cob, rammed earth, infill techniques, earth loaf building, etc.) that have established themselves worldwide in their regional context and compare them on a meta-level. The students learn to understand the development of the individual earth building techniques, which often developed independently of each other in distant regions, depending on the available source material as well as climatic and craft conditions. Since the industrial revolution, earth from building materials has been pushed back worldwide and replaced by other materials. For ecological reasons (climate change, scarcity of resources, healthy indoor climate, etc.) it is time to pay new attention to earth building. The aim of the seminar is to create a new awareness both of the value of historical loam buildings and the potential of new earthen structures.

Subject of course

Focal topic SS 2020:

Austrian Earth Building: Domestic and International

In international comparison, Austria has a rich legacy of traditional earthen buildings and Austrian experts are increasingly advocating modern earthen buildings at home and abroad. The variety of different earth building techniques that e.g. the Weinviertel raises is unique in the world. The homesteads but also the architecture of the cellar lane are an important part of the vernacular cultural heritage, from which we can learn a lot for contemporary architecture. Contemporary earth building is currently receiving new attention due to the climate problem and ecological considerations. The Austrian Earth Building Network, established at the Vienna University of Technology, is a non-profit association dedicated to promoting and disseminating local earth building. In the course of the seminar we will analyze, document and conduct empirical data surveys (interviews) on the one hand, international projects implemented by Austrians abroad and, on the other hand, traditional and modern earthen buildings and cellar lanes in Austria. The results will be made publicly available. In this way, the students can also make a contribution to increasing awareness of earth building and promoting awareness of the positive aspects of this building material.

Teaching methods

Literature- and Internet research, empirical research, semi-formal interviews

Mode of examination

Written and oral

Additional information

Das Seminar will be held via Zoom:

Zoom Link: https://tuwien.zoom.us/j/95645423973

Seminar dates: Tuesdays from 10 - 12 pm.

The seminar can only be attended from participants of the "Sondermodul Lehmbau"!

09.3. Introduction

16.3. Lecture: Earth building worldwide, discussion of research

23.3. Lecture: Earth building in Austria, discussion of interviews

13.4. Lecture: Earth building projects at the Institute for Building History :: building research, supervision appointment

20.4. Lecture: cellar lanes, supervision

27.4. Supervision

04.5. Supervision

11.5. Supervision

18.5. Supervision

Attention: Attendance is compulsory for all events marked in bold!



Please consider the plagiarism guidelines of TU Wien when writing your seminar paper: Directive concerning the handling of plagiarism (PDF)



Examination modalities

Interview, project work + presentation

Course registration

Begin End Deregistration end
03.03.2021 10:00 02.04.2021 22:00 17.03.2021 21:00


Study CodeObligationSemesterPrecon.Info
066 443 Architecture Not specified


No lecture notes are available.


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