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close this bookAppropriate Building Materials: a Catalogue of Potential Solutions (SKAT; 1988; 430 pages)
View the documentPreface
Open this folder and view contentsIntroduction
Open this folder and view contentsFundamental information on building materials
Open this folder and view contentsFundamental information on building elements
Open this folder and view contentsFundamental information on protective measures
Open this folder and view contentsExamples of foundation materials
Open this folder and view contentsExamples of floor materials
Open this folder and view contentsExamples of wall materials
Open this folder and view contentsExamples of roof materials
close this folderExamples of building systems
View the documentMud brick vaults and domes
View the documentEarthquake resistant mud/bamboo structures
View the documentAdobe brick house
View the documentModular framed earth block construction
View the documentLok Bild system
View the documentConcrete panel house
View the documentFerrocement housing units
View the documentFibracreto building system
View the documentBamboocrete construction
View the documentBamboo houses
View the documentPrefabricated timber hut
View the documentPrefabricated wooden house
View the documentTimber houses for flood areas
View the documentRha-lime prototype house
Open this folder and view contentsAnnexes

Rha-lime prototype house


Special properties

Substantial replacement of cement

Economical aspects

Medium costs


Very good

Skills required

Standard construction skills

Equipment required

Conventional building equipment

Resistance to earthquake

Very good

Resistance to hurricane

Very good

Resistance to rain

Very good

Resistance to insects

Very good

Climatic suitability

All climates

Stage of experience



• The first house to be built, using to a large extent rice husk ash (RHA) and lime as substitute for cement, stands on the premises of the National Building Research Institute, Karachi, Pakistan (also see Pozzolanas).

• Portland cement was used to stabilize the soil for the foundation (3 % cement); for compressed soil blocks (5 % cement) used to construct the plinth; for the floor; and for concrete door and window frames.

• Structural components such as the roof, beams, lintels, projection slabs (sunshade), overhead water tank, were also made with portland cement, but with 30 % of the required amount replaced by RHA and lime.

• The hollow blocks and mortar used for the load-bearing walls were made only with RHA and lime as binder, just as the external plaster.

• The appearance, structural performance and durability of the house is no different from conventional constructions, using portland cement as the only binder, but it saved 37 % of the costs and showed a way to solve a waste disposal problem.

Further information: National Building Research Institute, F-40, S.I.T.E., Hub River Road, Karachi, Pakistan; Bibl. 24.16.

RHA-Lime Prototype House at NBRI, Karachi (Bibl. 24.16)

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