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.
|Number of pages||8|
|Journal||Building and Environment|
|Publication status||Published - 2008|