Dachverband Lehm e.V.
The German Association for building with earth and initiator of this site.


Banko Foundation, Gambia

Banko Foundation is a non-profit organization registered in Gambia in 2020. Banko Foundation projects draw on asset-based approach to community development that involves immersion in the community to mobilise existing, but often unrecognised abundant local resources to enable the underserved community drive its own development process.

Throughout the year Banko runs community development projects at project sites in rural Gambia for university students, recent graduates and others from around the world to immerse themselves in the local culture and learn by interaction with local people through on-site projects. Through hands-on, site-specific projects in locations outside of the Western culture, students can experience the entire design-build process and in turn learn how to design what is buildable. Students can also use this opportunity for an internship, thesis or personal research.

Egyptian Earth Construction Association (EECA), Egypt

The Egyptian Earth Construction Association (EECA) is an Egyptian non-governmental / non-profit organization founded in 1997 and concerned with Appropriate Building Technology (ABT) as a tool for sustainable development and community building. Based on that approach, it works to develop, apply, and disseminate alternative building technologies that are appropriate for the Egyptian context.

Hand Over, Egypt

Hand Over is a social enterprise, based in Cairo, Egypt. Our main goal is to revolutionize the building industry by finding alternatives to the conventional building techniques that are cost-effective and environmentally friendly. We design and implement sustainable buildings for social causes and for commercial causes. We adapt earth construction techniques, especially rammed earth.


Abari Adobe and Bamboo Research Institute, Nepal

Abari is a socially and environmentally committed research, design and construction firm that examines, encourages, and celebrates the vernacular architectural tradition of Nepal. Nepal posses sophisticated traditional knowledge of natural materials like adobes, bamboos, stones and reed, and Abari as a research and design firm tries to promulgate these materials into contemporary design practices.

Auroville Building Centre, India

Founded in 1989, the Earth Unit of the Auroville Building Centre aims to research, develop, promote and transfer earth-based technologies, which are cost and energy effective. These technologies are disseminated through training courses, seminars, workshops, publications and consultancy within and outside India. The main expertise is with Compressed Stabilised Earth Blocks (CSEB), but the AVBC also promotes manual rammed earth and other earth based technologies.


Associazione Nazionale Città della Terra Cruda, Italy

The Italian National Association Cities of the Raw Earth aims to channel the experience of Italian municipalities with high numbers of earthen building stock. Currently focussing on the regions Abruzzo (CEDTERRA) and Sardinia.

BAM Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing, Germany

The BAM Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing is a senior scientific and technological Federal Institute with responsibility to the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology (BMWi). BAM has 1700 employees and represents one of the leading chemical and material technological institutes in Germany. Pursuing its mission as a Federal Institute for materials technology and chemical engineering, BAM ensures ongoing safety in technology and chemistry.

BAM Division 7.1 – Building materials focuses primarily on research into the mechanical performance and durability of building materials. A part of the multidisciplinary team examines ways of improving material behaviour under varying conditions and a part assesses and analyzes damages and damage mechanisms that lead to degradation of materials under different environmental conditions. Due to its many projects involving cultural heritage objects and monuments, the members of Division 7.1 have sound expertise in the properties and behaviour of various materials used for historical and ancient monuments. They are aware of the requirements of the cultural heritage authorities and trained in communicating with conservators, property owners and decision makers. As part of a large research organisation, Division 7.1 has access to many techniques and instrumentation, of which the most important for the project are in the division’s responsibilities.

In the framework of the national funded StandardLEHM project (2008-2011) with Claytec e.K. as project partner and the Dachverband Lehm e.V. as associate partner, technical guidelines for testing earthen materials were developed. StandardLEHM was funded by the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology (BMWi) under their funding instrument MNPQ. Significant results of the project have been adopted in the national standards for earthen materials.

The mechanical behaviour of earthen materials under earthquake actions and strategies for low invasive intervention techniques to strengthen historical earthen structures in seismic areas were investigated and defined in the NIKER project (2010-2012). NIKER (New Integrated Knowledge-based approaches to the protection of cultural heritage from Earthquake-induced Risk) included 18 international project partners and was funded by the EC under the umbrella of the 7th Framework Program.


The Documentation Centre on Raw Earth Buildings sees itself as a documentation centre for promoting the knowledge of raw earth as a building material, supporting research and the upkeep of local heritage and building methods

Centro da Terra, Portugal

The Centro da Terra is a newly founded registered association for the promotion of new earthen architecture in Portugal and the preservation of existing built heritage. It aims to become a forum for discussion about earthen building materials and techniques, and a centre for continuing the tradition of building with earth

CRATerre, France

CRATerre is the international centre for building with earth at the Faculty of Architecture at the University of Grenoble, France.

EBUKI Earth Building UK & Ireland, UK & Ireland

Earth Building UK & Ireland is a registered charity working to foster earth building in all its diversity. It brings together academics, builders, researchers, trainers, architects and engineers, manufacturers and many more to work in areas of common interest at a national and local level.

Hlína, Czech Republic

“Sdružení Hlinìného Stavitelství” is the Czech Republic Earthen Architecture Association based in Brno. The association promotes the use of clay in new buildings and the protection and preservation of existing clay houses as a part of Czech cultural heritage. Hlína organises courses and excursions and hosts an annual “Healthy Houses” conference.

IG Lehm, Switzerland

The representative body for earth building professionals and interested individuals in Switzerland.

Interaccion, Spain

Founded in 1982 as a non-government organisation, Interaccion was established to promote the protection and restoration of the cultural and architectural heritage of building with traditional (earthen) materials in Spain. As part of this the Research Centre Navapalos was set up as a centre for the investigation and experimentation with traditional materials, techniques and structures (adobe, rammed earth, hybrid techniques). Reconstruction work has been put into practice in the town of Navapalos (Soria).

Lerbyggeföreningen i Sverige, Sweden

Lerbyggeföreningen i Sverige is the Swedish Earth Building Organisation. The purpose of the organisation is to provide a platform for information and knowledge, and promote earth as a building material in combination with other sustainable materials and techniques.

Netzwerk Lehm, Austria

The representative body for earth building professionals and interested individuals in Austria.

NJH Earth and Strawbuilder Organisation, Norway

NJH (Norsk jord- og halmbyggeforening) is the Norwegian Earth and Strawbuilder Organisation and promotes building with straw bales as well as with earth. Its membership spans a broad range of professions. It provides information, keeps regular contact with its members, organises workshops, takes part in national professional events and is in the process of establishing links with other like-minded and organisations and professional bodies. At present in Norwegian language only.

The Centre for Irish Earthen Architecture, Ireland

Along with the development and implementation of training courses for both the individual and academic institutions, the Irish Earthen Architecture Centre wishes to establish a monitoring system to deliver competence in earthen architecture to the wider audience: To revive the rural craft skills of earth building, as a consequence of knowledge gained from both current research and local tradition; To ensure the conservation of existing earthen architecture; To promote earth as a contemporary building material; to provide a “centre” for advice and training.

North America

Adobe Alliance, USA

The Adobe Alliance is a non-profit group dedicated to helping communities apply cooperative building techniques in earth architecture; educate groups in fulfilling the widespread need for low cost, salubrious, energy efficient, sustainable housing; enhance rather than blemish landscapes by designing solid contemporary structures of simple design which respect local climatic, environmental and cultural traditions within desert environments.

Adobe in Action, USA

Adobe in Action is a New Mexico-based 501c3 non-profit organization. We support owner builders with the planning and construction of their adobe homes. We promote adobe home building and ownership through education and student-based field support.

Nka Foundation, USA & Africa

Nka Foundation is an organization in USA that serves underserved communities in Africa through arts and design projects involving workshops, competitions and conferences. Throughout the year and in different countries in Africa, Nka runs earth architecture workshops and arts projects that invite professionals, students, and others from around the world to immerse in the local culture and learn-by-interaction with the people through the onsite projects. Students can use the opportunity for internship, thesis or personal research. To Nka, designing is not the whole thing. The design education question is: How do you learn to design what is buildable? It is by designing and building a project! Nka Foundation has come to know that by immersing the young designers in the full circle of designing and building their design, at the completion of the design-build process, the emerging professionals will learn to design what is buildable to make a well-rounded graduate. For the professional, you will find the hands-on construction experience a pause from your office work to rediscover the rudiments of design and nuances that can refresh your practice. Current projects: nkaprojects.boards.net.

The Earthbuilders' Guild, USA

The Earthbuilders’ Guild is an organization dedicated to the Betterment & Advancement of Earthen Construction of homes and commercial buildings, and is based in New Mexico in the United States of America. Its mission is to preserve and promote the age old building methods of adobe, rammed earth and compressed earth block construction. The commitment of people in the industry stretches across family traditions, meaningful work, environmental concerns, and joy of working with the earth. The Guild’s aim is to insure that we continue to make history through our building process while improving them to create safe, comfortable, long lasting structures.


Earth Building Association of New Zealand, New Zealand

EBANZ, the Earth Building Association of New Zealand, produces a bi-monthly newsletter sent to all members covering many aspects of earth building, and also provides equipment, literature, and expertise to its members in New Zealand. EBANZ aims to facilitate networking between its members and all those interested in the earthen building.

Earth Building Research Forum, Australia

The Earth Building Research Forum was established by the Faculty of Architecture and Building at the University of Technology, Sydney, Australia to investigate material properties and constructional aspects of earthbuilding, with particular reference to cement stabilised pressed earth bricks.

EBAA Earth Building, Australia

The EBAA is a non-profit organisation open to all with an interest in earthen building with the aim of fostering and promoting the use of earth building in Australia and worldwide.

South America

Ecosur, Latin America

The Network for an Ecologically and Economically Sustainable Habitat. EcoSur strives to promote the use of “Ecomaterials”, semi-industrialised and ecologically and economically viable materials, in building throughout Africa and Latin America – most notably MCR (MicroConcrete Roofing tiles) and sun-baked adobe bricks. As a roots organisation for technology transfer it also supports academic investigation into new building materials and techniques

fundacion Tierra Viva, Columbia

A Columbian foundation for the promotion and investigation of earthen building among academics, architects, engineers and other building professionals in Columbia. The foundation conducts academic and technical investigations and has arranged conferences on earthen building and appropriate technology in Latin America.

PROTERRA, Latin America

PROTERRA is multilateral international project and technical cooperative whose focus is the dissemination of earth construction technologies within productive sectors to impact the social policies of Latin American countries. At present PROTERRA has more than 50 members including universities, research centers and companies from 15 Latin American countries. (Spanish and Portuguese language website)