By Dr. Asmae Khaldoun, Akhawayn University in Ifrane, Morocco.
Developing eco-friendly houses using local, low embodied energy construction materials such as clay represents an essential step towards making houses more cost and energy-efficient. This project aims at contributing to the development of the building sector in Ifrane region by increasing its energy efficiency through using unfired clay bricks as the main construction material. The main objective of this study is to enhance the mechanical properties of this clay while keeping its excellent thermal properties, special attention is given to the additives such as natural fibres, waste plastics, Ash, etc. A detailed and complete study of this clay is conducted starting from the powder until the construction of a stable and efficient clay House. Finally, a case study of the development of an eco-village in the region of Ifrane will be also presented.
Asmae Khaldoun was born and brought up in Morocco. She studied Physics and Chemistry and holds in 1996 her M. Sc. degree in Renewable Energy materials from the University Mohamed V in Rabat and then earned PhD in physical chemistry at the University of Abdel Malek Essaadi in Morocco in 2002. She earned a second PhD in Physics “Soft Condensed Matter” at the University of Amsterdam in 2013. From 2004 to 2007 she worked, as Post Doc at the soft condensed matter group at University of Amsterdam. From 2007 to 2009, she worked as Project Leader at Avantim Technologies in Amsterdam. Since September 2009 she has worked as Associate Professor at Al Akhawayn University. She has coordinated several research projects funded by National and International entities.