International Symposium on Earthen Structures (ISES-2018)

22 – 24 August 2018, Bangalore, India

Globally earthen structures house a significant proportion of humanity. Using time-tested building techniques, they are affordable, easily procurable and more responsive to the local environmental conditions. In our current pursuit of Sustainable Development, amidst climate change, earthen structures hold enormous potential as solutions for low-energy/eco dwellings, energy efficiency, thermal-comfort, climate responsiveness, affordability, and end-of-life recyclability.

However, increasing modernisation of lifestyles and rapid urbanisation have seen a steep decline in the acceptance and adoption of traditional or vernacular earthen structures. Buildings today are not climatically responsive and excessively use energy intensive building materials. Not only are standard modern building materials and techniques unsuited to local diversity in climate and culture, they place heavy demands on energy in their operation. Locally available earth is a viable alternative.

Fortunately, in many countries interest in traditional and modern methods of earth buildings has been steadily growing as more sustainable and healthier buildings are sought. Even the global climate change panel IPCC recommends scientific validation of indigenous material to lower resource footprint of dwellings. The introduction and development of new affordable solutions to combat critical housing shortages, using earth-based materials, such as compressed earth blocks, rammed earth, cob, adobe blocks, etc. remain a primary focus for modern buildings. Recent developments include wide adoption of compressed earth blocks and rammed earth constructions.

Earth building offers many advantages, including opportunity to use locally (diverse) materials, low environmental impact, improved health and thermal comfort, and favourable whole-building environmental performance. Challenges include lack of proper engineering design methodologies, poor seismic resistance of vernacular construction, limited data/codes on performance, uncertified products, and inadequate education/training and regulatory mechanisms.


The symposium will provide an International Forum for information dissemination and exchange, discussions and debates on research and sustainable practice in the broad field of earthen structures, including materials, building techniques, climate responsive architecture, building-comfort, energy in buildings, climate change mitigation and emission reduction.

The symposium aims to bring together practicing professionals (engineers and architects), manufacturers, building professionals, designers, academics, researchers and students keenly interested and engaged in the theory and practice of ‘earthen structures’ for sustainability.


The following themes can include case-studies, research and innovations in earthen structures

  1. Earthen materials and technology (adobe, rammed earth, stabilised earth, cob, etc.)
  2. Energy & Environmental performance
  3. Structural performance and durability
  4. Architecture/ design
  5. Heritage: conservation, repair & reuse
  6. Indoor Air Quality
  7. Codes and design guidelines
  8. Climate-change mitigation
  9. Seismic performance and design

Key dates

Submission of abstract: 30 September 2017
Notification of Acceptance: 30 November 2017
Submission of paper: 28 February 2018
Notification of paper Acceptance
(including revisions): 30 April 2018


The official symposium language is English

Enquiries to:

Enquiries concerning the symposium should be mailed to

Queries may also be addressed to:
Prof. B. V. Venkatarama Reddy
Dept. of Civil Engineering,
Indian Institute of Science,
Bangalore 560 012, India,

Tel: +91 080 22933126
Fax: +91 80 23600404 / 23601683

Keynote speakers

The symposium will have keynote lectures by eminent academic/professionals specialised in various themes connected with earthen structures

Technical Review Committee

Prof. Andrew Heath, University of Bath (UK)
Dr. Antonin Fabbri, ENTPE, University of Lyon (Fr)
Prof. Bilge Isik, Istanbul Aydýn University (Turkey)
Dr. Bruce King, Green Building Press (US)
Prof. Charles Augarde, Durham University (UK)
Prof. Chintha Jayasinghe, University of Moratuwa (Sri Lanka)
Dr. Chris Beckett, University of Edinburgh (UK)
Mr. David Easton, Watershed Materials (US)
Dr. Daniel Maskell, University of Bath (UK)
Prof. Daniel Torrealva, Catholic University of Peru
Prof. Daniela Ciancio, Univ. of Western Australia
Prof. Fabio Matta, University of South Carolina (US)
Prof. Habert Guillaume, ETH Zurich (Switzerland)
Mr. Hugh Morris, University of Auckland (NZ)
Dr. Horst Schroeder, Dachverband Lehm, (Germany)
Prof. Jean-Claude Morel, Coventry University (UK)
Prof. Jagadish, K. S., (India)
Prof. Kristopher Dick, Univ. of Manitoba (Canada)
Mr. Kiran Vaghela, Hunnarshala (India)
Prof. Matthew Hall, Univ. of Nottingham (UK)
Prof. Monto Mani, Indian Institute of Science
Dr. Nanjunda Rao, K. S., Indian Institute of Science
Prof. Paulina Faria, NOVA University of Lisbon (Portugal)
Prof. Peter Walker, University of Bath (UK)
Mr. Stephan Jörchel, Dachverband Lehm, (Germany)
Prof. Venkatarama Reddy, B. V., Indian Institute of Science
Dr. Yogananda, M. R., Mrinmayee (India)

Conference Chairs