The historical turf farms of Iceland : Architecture, building technology and the indoor environment

J. Hoof, van, F van Dijken

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)
1 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Mineral-based turf has been used as a building material in Iceland for centuries. The vernacular Icelandic architecture is characterised by turf walls and sod roofs. This paper describes the historical development of the various archetypes of Icelandic turf farmhouses, researches the building techniques and materials applied, and qualifies the impact of the building properties on comfort and health of the former occupants. The study consisted of desk research, and a field study at the farmhouse of Glaumbær. In the wet and cold Icelandic climate, turf was an appropriate material that required its own building technology. The material was commonly available in settled areas of the island. Thick turf walls protected the residents against the harsh outdoor conditions, but had little effect on indoor air quality.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1023-1030
Number of pages8
JournalBuilding and Environment
Volume43
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2008

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