Degree Name

MS (Master of Science)



Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Kenneth G. Kellogg

Committee Members

Dennis W. Coffey, Keith V. Johnson, W. Andrew Clark


This paper discusses earth as a building material and the extent to which earth building technology has evolved over the years. In particular it addresses the adobe, compressed and rammed earth techniques of earth building as suitable techniques for Liberia consumption. In addition, the paper investigates the suitability of the Latosols soils of Liberia for earth building construction purposes using standardized earth building principles and requirements. A local Johnson City, Tennessee, earth sample found to have the same physical characteristics of the Latosols of Liberia was used to simulate Liberia soils to produce specimen blocks at different configurations of moisture content and stabilizers (Bentonite and cement). Following 14 days of cure, the blocks were tested for compressive strength. It was found that blocks produced from the natural soil with no stabilizer added were structurally adequate for building construction purposes. A cost-benefit analysis involving blocks with and without stabilizer (cement) added was also performed.

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.