Project description

Revival of Romanian traditional houses with modern solutions and local, natural materials

Nowadays, traditional residential houses are not built anymore, with few exceptions, although they represent valuable assets from the heritage point of view and also an important part in our cultural identity. In addition, they can be regarded as a seismically resilient typology and also as a cheap construction due to the use of local materials and especially of self-workmanship.
The construction details of traditional houses used to be done very carefully, but this habit got lost with time. In recent years, due to immigration of villagers to other countries, the self-builders who mastered those construction details disappeared together with their knowledge.
This project proposal aims at reviving traditional architecture for houses with timber frames and masonry infills (TFM), for new houses using improved construction details based on recent technological developments which make use of traditional materials. Moreover, the knowledge acquired in recent state-of-the-art research studies will be used as a starting point for this research project. An experimental program will be developed, such as to variate the few most important parameters (timber connection types, timber dimensions, strength of the mortar, etc), to introduce new details to improve the system with local and natural materials (different combinations of infill materials, earth, straw, clay, etc.) and also to conduct out of plane tests and check their influence in the global seismic behaviour.
A design guideline will be discussed with specialists from private architecture, design and construction companies and the experiments will be considered also based on their proposals, depending on their current practices and available materials.
Additionally, a complete design project example will be made, so it can be used and promoted, in order to start to influence the people (not engineers) to build safer and healthier, even though they will build their house by themselves.

The project is financially supported by the Romanian National Authority for Scientific Research and Innovation, CNCS – UEFISCDI, project number