Work Item
ASTM WK64123

New Guide for Design of Earthen Floors

1. Scope

1.Scope 1.1This standard provides guidance for earthen floors, to address the technical performance and design considerations of the floors for sustainable development. Earthen floors include adobe, cast earth, cob, rammed earth and other earthen materials. This does not include buildings built for high traffic use or extensive loading. 1.2Earthen floors have been utilized all over the world as natural and affordable options for flooring. This construction process has a wide variation of techniques depending on material availability, climate and type of use. 1.3Design considerations for sustainable development regarding earthen floors are categorized as follows: materials (extraction), manufacturing process, procurement, operational performance (product installed), social impact, and indoor environmental quality (IEQ). 1.4Technical requirements for sustainable development regarding earthen floors are specified as follows; design criteria, construction methods, structural and non-structural components. 1.5This standard does not take into consideration design for other earthen building systems or external uses of earthen floors. 1.6The values stated in either SI units or inch-pound units are to be regarded separately as standard. The values stated in each system may not be exact equivalents; therefore, each system shall be used independently of the other. Combining values from the two systems may result in non-conformance with the standard. 1.7Units - The values stated in SI units are to be regarded as the standard. No other units of measurement are included in this standard. This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use


adobe; alternative building materials; cob; compressed earthen floors; earthen construction; natural building materials; rammed earth construction; sustainability; sealant; varnish; flooring;:


The Guide for Design of Earthen Floors is written to develop a healthy, cheap and sustainable alternative to dirt floors. Over 1 billion people in the world currently are living on dirt floors, leading to bacterial infections, parasites and other pathogens that cause diarrhea, malnutrition and lower retention. Because of this, dirt floors are a major issue and other flooring options are well out of the affordability range of this population. Earthen floors with a soil stabilizer or sealant would provide a flooring option that is 75% cheaper than the cheapest concrete. This standard could help drive initiatives around the world to follow a design guideline in making a sustainable and affordable option for these 1 billion people.

The title and scope are in draft form and are under development within this ASTM Committee.


Developed by Subcommittee: E60.01

Committee: E60

Staff Manager: Kristy Straiton

Work Item Status

Date Initiated: 06-28-2018

Technical Contact: C Michael Donoghue

Item: 000