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Sustainability 2013, 5(1), 298-315; doi:10.3390/su5010298

Nondestructive Evaluation of Historic Hakka Rammed Earth Structures

1,* , 1
1 Constructed Facilities Center, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV 26506, USA 2 School of Architecture and Civil Engineering, Xiamen University, Xiamen 361005, Fujian, China
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 4 December 2012 / Revised: 10 December 2012 / Accepted: 11 January 2013 / Published: 21 January 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hakka Tulou and Sustainability: The Greenest Buildings in the World)
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The in-service Hakka rammed earth buildings, in the Fujian Province of China, are unique in design and performance. Their UNESCO’s inscription as World Heritage sites recognizes their artistic, cultural, social and historic significance. Sponsored by the National Science Foundation of the United States, the authors have examined the engineering values of these buildings in terms of comfortable living at low energy consumption, sustainability and durability. The objective of this study was to better understand the thermo-mechanical and aging responses of Hakka earth buildings under thermal and earthquake loads through nondestructive field evaluation, including full-scale roof truss and floor testing, laboratory testing of field samples and finite element modeling. This paper presents our observations and findings from the field nondestructive evaluations with emphasis on the integrity of the rammed earth outer walls and inner wood structures, as well as the thermal comfort of living in these buildings, while a second paper presents the results from the material characterization of field samples and the structural responses of a representative building under earthquake induced loads through finite element analysis.
Keywords: Hakka Tulou; rammed earth; earth structures; load test; thermal comfort; NDE; nondestructive evaluation; ultrasonic; rebound hammer; Infrared thermography Hakka Tulou; rammed earth; earth structures; load test; thermal comfort; NDE; nondestructive evaluation; ultrasonic; rebound hammer; Infrared thermography
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Liang, R.; Hota, G.; Lei, Y.; Li, Y.; Stanislawski, D.; Jiang, Y. Nondestructive Evaluation of Historic Hakka Rammed Earth Structures. Sustainability 2013, 5, 298-315.

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