A Case Study on Thermal Performance in Residences with Laterite Stone and Rammed Earth Walling Materials in A Warm and Humid Climate

Uma P

CEPT University, Ahmedabad, India
Corresponding Author: umaparch@gmail.com

Rashmin Damle

CEPT University, Ahmedabad, India

Cite this article

Uma, P., Rashmin, D (2024). A Case Study on Thermal Performance in Residences with Laterite Stone and Rammed Earth Walling Materials in A Warm and Humid Climate. In Proceedings of Energise 2023-  Lifestyle, Energy Efficiency, and Climate Action, pp 19–29, Alliance for an Energy Efficient Economy. https://doi.org/10.62576/KRLD3397


  • Study of thermal performance of Rammed earth and Laterite stone.
  • Monitoring using hand-held instruments in a built environment.
  • Rammed earth wall, due to thermal properties, has an overall 2°C lower surface temperature compared to laterite stone.


Traditionally in coastal Karnataka, mud was used in residential construction, but due to its labour-intensive nature, the construction shifted to laterite stone in the mid-20th century. Presently, with the growing need for thermal comfort and interest in sustainable approaches, there is increased interest in traditional mud architecture. A study was conducted to understand how these two materials- Rammed earth and Laterite stone perform in their built environment in a warm and humid climate. The analysis of inner surface temperatures of the east wall showed that 45% of the temperature for rammed earth and 97% of the temperature for laterite stone were more than 28°C. 1°C difference in mean WBGT showed that the indoor spaces in rammed earth residences have lower heat stress compared to laterite stone. Additionally, cooling loads can be reduced by 10%, and surface temperature can be reduced by 2°C for rammed earth compared to laterite stone walls. 


Thermal Performance, Laterite Stone, Rammed Earth, Surface Temperature, WGBT.


  1. ASHRAE, “ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 55, Thermal Environmental Conditions for Human Occupancy,” ASHRAE, Atlanta, 2017.
  2. A. Lawane, R. Vinai, A. Pantet, J. H. Thomassin, and A. Messan, “Hygrothermal features of laterite dimension stones for sub-Saharan residential building construction.” J. Mater. Civ. Eng., vol. 26, (7), 05014002, 2014.
  3. L. Soudani, M. Woloszyn, A. Fabbri, J. C.Morel, and A. C., Grillet, “Energy evaluation of rammed earth walls using long term in-situ measurements.” Solar energy, vol. 141, pp. 70-80, 2017. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.solener.2016.11.002