University of Technology, Sydney
Faculty of Design, Architecture & Building

University of Technology, Sydney
PO Box 123
Broadway NSW 2007


Tel: +61-2-9514-8718
Fax: +61-2-9514-8828  


Contact person:

Sydney, Australia

University of Technology, Sydney

The Earth Building Research Forum was set up by Dr Kevan Heathcote and Mr Gregory Moor in the Faculty of Design Architecture and Building of UTS in December 1999. It was originally envisaged as a forum for disseminating ideas and research into the performance of earth buildings but has since been widened to include a database of earth building projects, information on forthcoming conferences, linkages to other earth building sites and to include more general articles on the subject. The Forum hosted an international earth building conference at UTS in January 2005 (EarthBuild 2005) The Conference brought together engineers, environmentalists, builders and architects from around the world.


Earth has been used as a building material for centuries. Today about one third of the world’s population live in houses built of earth. Australia has a strong historic and contemporary involvement with earth building.

Since the end of the 19th century earth has been increasingly ousted by high energy consuming industrially produced building materials. Since the 1980s there has been a renaissance in low energy, resource conserving and environmentally sound hygienically safe building materials. Earth satisfies all these criteria and a new consciousness has arisen for the use of this building material.

The subject offered by the Faculty of Design, Architecture and Building, Design and Construction of Earth Buildings provides an overview of earth building through a format of lectures, field trips and workshops and is available to all undergraduate and graduate students as well as to those with a general interest in earth building. The subject does not require any prior knowledge or prerequisites.


Dr Heathcote and Mr Moor have been mainly conducting research into the durability of earth buildings but are also investigating thermal performance, and earthquake performance in conjunction with staff from the Faculty of Engineering. The Faculty of Design Architecture and Building has a fully equipped laboratory with all the necessary equipment to analyse soils and to test earth building samples for strength and durability and the Faculty of Engineering has a large shake table for earthquake testing.

Entrance Requirements

For entrance requirements to courses. As the leading university faculty offering contemporary design, architecture and built environment courses, our graduates have a reputation for excelling in their fields.

Many of our courses can also be combined with International Studies.