Towards Sustainable Rural Development: an Investigation on Clay based Materials, their Appropriateness and Potential.

  • Fatema Meher Khan Lecturer, Department of Architecture Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET), Dhaka.
  • Saimum Kabir Lecturer, Department of Architecture American International University Bangladesh (AIUB), Dhaka.
  • Shajjad Hossain Lecturer, Department of Architecture BRAC University, Dhaka.
Keywords: Indigenous Material, Sustainable Development, Mud Construction, Clay Roof Tiles, Local Technique, Low- cost.


Building material always plays an important role in the generation of form and character in architecture, which varies from region to region depending on locally available material. In this climatic domain, mud houses are typical and hold an important part of our traditional shelter. Being a delta, the land of Bangladesh is a renewable source for raw material of clayi based products like mud wall and clay tiles. These materials also linked to the roots to the culture and philosophy of the rural people. Due to the advent of the industrially produced and imported building materials, like CI sheet, these traditional building materials have almost disappeared in different areas of Bangladesh. Research and conservation are needed to ensure that the country does not loose the benefit of traditional construction, materials and systems in the course of enduring modernization. Some recent attempts of constructing buildings with clay in order to achieve a sustainable development by utilizing local technique and local resources gives us an opportunity to rethink the issue more seriously. This paper reviews the traditional materials - the mud wall and clay roof tiles, their potential use and technical aspects. The objective of the paper is basically a reappraisal of indigenous building material in architecture of  Bangladesh in order to finding a way to reestablish the traditional building materials, specially mud wall and clay roof
tiles, in the context. Through the investigation, it is found out that like other materials these traditional building materials would prove as potential building materials in our contemporary vernacular architecture and thus once popular material - mud wall and clay roof tiles - could be revived in more innovative ways as a sustainable building material.