Keywords: building design, materials testing, materials performance, indigenous construction techniques, embodied energy levels, developing countries
Indigenous materials and techniques database (IMTeD): a sustainability data aid for designers
A consideration of the "value" of indigenous materials in developing nations precedes an overview of current approaches to encouraging their sustainable use. A significant factor in the failure of traditional building materials to become widely established in the developing world is identified as being a lack of appropriate (i.e. supported by formal measurement and test procedures) codes and standards. The relevance of using existing material characterisation and quality control tests for the "on-site" selection of suitable earth-based brick construction materials is examined. The paper concludes with a discussion of issues relevant to the further development of a materials performance database in the context of achieving a design aid which is both sustainable in the efficient use of indigenous materials, and sympathetic to the culture of individual developing nations.