The Auroville Earth Institute attempts to revive these forms, techniques and craftsmen skills with the following aims:
- To increase global awareness of the low-cost, low-carbon possibilities of masonry flooring and roofing.
- To research and develop constructive techniques with the aim to integrate 21st century technologies with age-old building techniques, such as those developed in ancient Egypt or medieval Europe.
- To design large-span structures, with structurally optimized thickness and integrated construction methods.
The AVD Theory online course covers the structural design and construction of vaulted earthen masonry. It offers an in-depth understanding of various methods of stability analysis for arches, vaults and domes following the principles of Limit Analysis of Masonry. It is one of the few courses globally which combine structural design of AVD with integrated principles of construction. The course focuses on the use of Compressed Stabilised Earth Block (CSEB) as a building material and vault construction methods developed by AVEI (e.g. the Free-spanning technique).
This is a self-paced online training course. Course materials will be presented to enrolled students through AVEI’s online learning platform. Students will need to log in to this system and will then be able to access videos and reading materials, engaging with the material through quizzes, exercises, and instructor-moderated discussion forums. Individual feedback sessions will be offered to students as they progress through the exercises to ensure full understanding. Students may start the course material on any date during the enrolment period and complete the course at their own speed, but must finish all lectures and assignments within the maximum duration of 4 weeks in order to receive a certificate.
Video lectures, presentations, case studies and reading materials will be provided on the following subjects:
– Symbolism & Historical development
– Typology, terminology and diversity of arches, vaults and domes
– Basic Structural Principles
– Evaluation of the Stability of Domes & Neutralisation of the Thrust
– Various methods to evaluate the stability of domes
– Acoustics and formulas for vaults and domes
– Catenary Method
– Funicular Method
– Optimisation Method
– Drawing an arch of varying thicknesses
– Masonry Bond Pattern for optimised arches
Students will work on the following types of exercises:
– Stability study of basic shapes with the Funicular Method
– Designing AVD with the Optimisation Method
– Designing the masonry bond pattern of vaults
Additionally, students will be exposed to a vast array of examples of vaults and domes through case studies on the following topics:
– Gaudi’s work in Barcelona
– AVD in Iran
– Dome of the Dhyanalinga temple
– Vaults of the Earth Institute Training Centre
– Equilateral vault
– Bucket pointed vault
– Equilateral groined vault
– Semicircular vault
– Segmental groined dome
– Gayatri dome
Recommended only for engineers, architects or students.
Self-paced, over a maximum of 4 weeks