Date of Graduation
Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources
Civil and Environmental Engineering
Hota V. S. GangaRao.
Hakka Tulous are rammed earth structures that have survived the effects of aging and natural elements upwards of even over a thousand years. These structures have housed the Hakka people of the Fujian Province, China in natural yet modern housing that has provided benefits over newer building materials. The key building material, rammed earth, which is used for the walls of the Hakka Tulou structures, has provided structural stability along with thermal comfort to the respective inhabitants of the Hakka Tulous.;Through material testing and analysis this study has examined how the Tulou structures have maintained their structural stability while also providing thermal comfort. Reports of self healing cracks in the rammed earth walls were also analyzed for their validity in this study. The study has found that although the story of the self healing crack cannot be validated, there is reason to believe that with the existence of lime, some type of autogenous healing could occur on a small scale. The study has also found, through the use of nondestructive testing, that both the internal wooden systems (flooring, roof, and column support) and the rammed earth walls, are still structurally sound. Also, rammed earth's high thermal mass along with the use of sufficient shading has allowed for a delay release of heat energy from the walls of the Tulous, thus providing thermal comfort that can be felt during both night and day temperatures. The Hakka Tulou structures have been found to resist destruction from natural disasters such as strong earthquakes even when more modern construction has not.;Through finite element modeling, this study has shown that the high volume of rammed earth used in the construction of the Hakka Tulous helps dissipate lateral force energy into much lower stresses for the rammed earth wall. This absorption of lateral force energy allows the rammed earth structures to survive even the strongest of earthquakes experienced in the region. The Hakka Tulou, if rated by the LEED green building certification program, would earn the highest certification as this rammed earth construction has offered efficient living for hundreds of years. As historic as these rammed earth structures are, they present an environmentally friendly option to structures of the future.
Sranislawski, Daniel, "Structural Responses and Finite Element Modeling of Hakka Tulou Rammed Earth Structures" (2011). Graduate Theses, Dissertations, and Problem Reports. 2229.