Civil Engineering and Architecture Vol. 10(7), pp. 3015 - 3027
DOI: 10.13189/cea.2022.100717
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Adobe Constructions in Albania: Future Application of Earth as A Conventional Construction Material

Etleva Dobjani 1,*, Dorina Papa 2
1 Department of Architecture and Design, Barleti University, Tirana, Albania
2 Department of Architecture and Design, New York University, Tirana, Albania


In primitive societies, houses were built using local materials. In Albania, the highlands often used stone whereas the lowlands and valleys, particularly those close to the coast, were more likely to employ adobe and bricks. In the coastal plain, due to the shortage of stone sources and the ease of accessing mud material nearby, mud bricks were largely used both for urban and rural buildings. Most of the earth architecture in Albania dates back to the Ottoman era. Other structures made of mud bricks were built up to the early 1990s. The majority of them have been demolished, abandoned, and fallen into ruin. Nowadays, traditional adobe building techniques are vanishing, because they are no longer used in modern constructions. Examining the theoretical foundations and structural components of Albania's traditional earthen architecture is the main goal of this study. The classification of earth architecture techniques used in various traditional building typologies is achieved by examining the spatial distribution of housing typologies, the structural components, and construction systems in different geographical locations. This study reports an assessment that is based on extensive in-situ research, including field survey, archival research, comprehensive pictures, recording of various adobe building types in Albania, and a literature review. Based on the collected data and critical assessments, this study intends to offer and document various earthen building typologies in Albania according to their spatial distribution in the plan, volume, construction methods, and material combinations. This knowledge may be subsequently utilized as vital information for new vernacular buildings or temporary structures. It aims to provide specific architectural principles and technical criteria for the use of earth in new structures or restoration of existing historical buildings. This study serves as a starting point for further research with the aim of producing an easy-to-follow guide with plans for earthen buildings, from little dwellings to larger ones, by employing several case studies across Albania. Due to the historical, social, and cultural significance of adobe architecture in Albania as well as its advantages in terms of the economy and environment, revitalizing, restoring, and preserving adobe architecture by improving its construction conditions can be an added value for sustainable future development.

Adobe Architecture, Traditional Buildings, Mud Material, Revitalization, Preservation

Cite This Paper in IEEE or APA Citation Styles
(a). IEEE Format:
[1] Etleva Dobjani , Dorina Papa , "Adobe Constructions in Albania: Future Application of Earth as A Conventional Construction Material," Civil Engineering and Architecture, Vol. 10, No. 7, pp. 3015 - 3027, 2022. DOI: 10.13189/cea.2022.100717.

(b). APA Format:
Etleva Dobjani , Dorina Papa (2022). Adobe Constructions in Albania: Future Application of Earth as A Conventional Construction Material. Civil Engineering and Architecture, 10(7), 3015 - 3027. DOI: 10.13189/cea.2022.100717.